Food judge

Hi all,Two weeks today I will be a guest judge at the IQFA. It is an honour to be invited and I’m looking forward to attending!! Please see below press release:













Do Your Products Have What It Takes To Win An Irish Quality 

Food or Drink Award?

Entry for 2015 awards now open!


Dishing up another chance for success and industry acclaim, the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards are back for 2015 and calling all retailers, food producers and manufacturers across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. 


These prestigious accolades, now in their third year, set out to recognise excellence in food and drink product development from a wide variety of companies across Ireland.


Once again, the judging will take place over three weeks in July at the Dublin Institute of Technology’s School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology. The results will be announced at a gorgeous gala dinner in the fabulous surroundings of the Round Room at The Mansion House in Dublin on 16 September 2015.


Repeating last year’s trade-media partnership with Retail News magazine, and consumer-media partnership with Easy Food magazine, the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards 2015 place your food and drink products onto the tables you need for success.


The awards themselves are organised into two distinct sections: Quality Food Awards – products for the multiple and independent grocery retail market and Quality Drink Awards – alcoholic drinks for the retail sector. 


Organised by Metropolis Business Media, group publisherHelen Lyons comments: “We are absolutely delighted with the growing success of these awards and so pleased to be organising a just-as-exciting event for 2015. As former winners can testify, picking up an Irish Quality Food and Drink Award is a powerful marketing tool, with many winners using the awards’ logos on their packaging and in national press, television and outdoor advertising.”


“This year we’ve listened to our partners in the industry and introduced new categories which we hope will encourage even more people to enter and enjoy showcasing their success.” 


Entries for the awards, which are once again headline sponsored by innovative packaging company The Benson Group, will be accepted until 1st June 2015 and judging will take place from 1st – 17th July 2015. 


The awards are also sponsored by the Coeliac Society of Ireland, who will play an important role during the stringent judging process of the ‘Free From’ categories, Dairymaid and Invest Northern Ireland.


A selection of shortlisted and winning products, announced in August, will be showcased at the Food & Hospitality Ireland exhibition on September 17th in Dublin.




Hi all. I’m pleased that Tesco are now stocking a pork jerky. Until now I’ve only seen beef jerky (I don’t eat beef). So am well pleased Tesco do it. I had a packet earlier and it was yummy!!
Jerky is lean meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips, and then dried to prevent spoiling. Normally, this drying includes the addition of salt, to prevent bacteria from developing on the meat before sufficient moisture has been removed. The word “jerky” derived from the Quechua word charki which means “dried, salted meat”. All that is needed to produce basic “jerky” is a low-temperature drying method, and salt to inhibit bacterial growth.
Modern manufactured jerky is normally marinated in a seasoned spice rub or liquid, and dried, dehydrated or smoked with low heat (usually under 70 °C/160 °F). Some product manufacturers finely grind meat, mix in seasonings, and press the meat-paste into flat shapes prior to drying.
The resulting jerky from the above methods would be a salty and/or savory snack. However, often a sweet or semi-sweet recipe is used, with sugar being a major ingredient (in contrast to biltong which is a dried meat product that utilizes the acid in vinegar rather than salt to inhibit bacterial growth when drying the meat). Jerky is ready-to-eat and needs no additional preparation. It can be stored for months without refrigerating . When the protein to moisture content ratio is correct, the resulting meat is cured, or preserved.
There are many products in the marketplace which are sold as jerky which consist of highly processed, chopped and formed meat, rather than traditional sliced, whole-muscle meat. These products may contain more fat, but moisture content, like the whole-muscle product, must meet a 0.75 to 1 moisture to protein ratio in the US.Chemical preservatives can be used to prevent oxidative spoilage, but the moisture to protein ratio prevents microbial spoilage by low water activity. Many jerky products are very high in sugar and are therefore very sweet, unlike biltong, which rarely contains added sugars.
A typical 30 g portion of fresh jerky contains 10–15 g of protein, 1 g of fat, and 0–3 g of carbohydrates, although some beef jerky can have more than 65% of protein content.Since traditional jerky recipes use a basic salt cure, sodium can be a concern for some people. A 30 g serving of jerky could contain more than 600 mg of sodium.


Enterconf day 2

Hard hitting straight off the bat by Nell Watson from Singularity. She talked about Intelligent systems, the Virtual Employee/firms, Bitcoins that cannot be traced and has no control, how Artificial Intelligence can run business ie autonomously and DAO or data access object. 
We place more faith in machine not human eg in S Korea there is Virtual AI where one can talk to a digital confidant. This leads to Machine Philosophy. Scary but true. 

Good points are that this tech can be used for human good eg remember the $300,000 burger in 2013? It’s $11 now!! All due to increase in Tech. Other health benefits are the DNA Origami, nano bots and logic gates. This can lead to smaller computers made from quantum dots and genetic engineering viruses to create these ie a virus that prints computer chips. We also see Bacteria that eats sugar to produce nano wires and electricity. This will lead to ubiquitous computing in the body. 
The future is having a biological neuro network (brain) and an Augmented network ie AI,this really is science fiction becoming science fact.
Another really interesting topic here is Cloud Security and Misha Govshteyn from AleryLogic gave a comprehensive overview on this important area which I hasten to add affects all of us as all our emails, web, data is stored remotely!!!
All this tech info made me hungry!! Decision time the keema goat from Broughgammon or pulled pork from Wolf & Devour? 
The Broughgammon Keema Curry won!!! It was absolutely fabulous. Now onto the Internet of Everything!!

Enterconf 1

Data data data. It’s all info from data warehousing, farming, hosting, analytics and security in short all things data or Big Data. 
There are five properties of data which are data covets data, data has mass, data comes in many different shapes and sizes, data wants to be shared and data is a liability it needs governance. 
Connectivity is key, by 2020 there will be 220 billion connected devices. So this will affect everyone now so jump on board. 
Andy Caddy from Virgin Active is very excited about this area. I asked him about data and its use and security that Virgin Active have access to. He assured me they only use limited amounts and it is secure. 
All this talk of data made me hungry so I had a wonderful Halloumi burger from Pheasant Hill Farm. The burger bap contained two grilled slices of Halloumi, pickle, jalapeños, onion, tomato and lettuce with BBQ and mustard. It was delicious and filling!! Big shout to Food NI for sourcing the vendors.


Enterconf intro

Hi guys.Welcome to Enterconf at T13. It’s two days of packed IT stuff covering Big Data, start ups, privacy, open data, analytics, payments, the Cloud, business, architecture and open source to name but a few on the opening day!!!
To fuel it all we have Pheasant Hill Farm Kitchen, Javaman coffee, Wolf & Devour, Kremvan coffee and Broughgammon.

Sit back, relax and soak it up!!

Moneyconf end

As we draw to the end of a fab two days time to reflect. There really was some very interesting stuff talked about. From old banking ideas eg RBS, Amex, Visa and Mastercard to the new eg Paypal and Bitcoins or Cryptocurrency. From old sources of funding business to the new eg Crowdfunding. We really have come a long way in a short period of time.
It’s great to have so many intellectual forward thinking minds such as Toby Coppel (an old school chum!!), John Collins, Jay Reinemann and the list goes on, sharing their pearls of wisdom.
All this talk certainly makes one hungry and today that appetite was fed by a pulled pork burger with slaw in a brioche type bap from the Linen Hill Kitchen and Deli,which was yum. Later on I tried the Spanish Bull Dawg from Gourmet Hot Dogs. This dawg was all pork in a long sub roll with peppers, onions, chorizo, cheese and pesto. All delicious and filling!!

Well done Belfast!!!! The end of a successful Moneyconf. Big thanks to Paddy for having faith in Belfast and congrats to all involved. Roll on Enterconf!!!


Moneyconf day 2

Day 2 has kicked off!!! With talks on BitCoin, Banks both traditional and new,eCommerce and regulations, there is certainly lots to hear,see and digest.
The T13 venue forms a superb venue for delegates, speakers and vendors alike as well as the media.
To help get through the morning session I had a wonderful Americano from Wolf & Devour. As part of delegates pack we do receive coffee and lunch vouchers. 
So for all your money needs this is the place to be!!

Money Conf day 1

Congrats Belfast. Day 1 of Money Conf. A global alternative conference for all things money, finance, commerce and ideas. Held at T13 in the Titanic Island. What a feather in the cap for Belfast Inc. The worlds leading minds in finance and tech having a chat!!!!! They all need fed and watered and we have the pedigree to oblige. 

Take a look ladies and gents…..

         Ps I had the goat keema with rice and yoghurt,coriander and mini popadoms from Broughgammon. Wow…..