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We only work with the best producers and we are delighted that Bridgestone has recognised Castlemine Farm as the Farmer of the Year in the 2012 Bridgestone Top 100.
Castlemine produce the finest free range, grass fed animals with beautiful lamb, beef, and pork coming from their Roscommon Farm. The benefit of rearing animals this way ensures better quality meat, and healthier animals.
Brendan and Derek Allen are third generation farmers using traditional farming methods, producing some of the finest meat we have seen through our kitchen.
We love to use Castlemine meat as the quality is impeccable, and its full flavored taste is a reflection of the respect and attention the Allen brothers give their animals.
Their 250 acres at Castlemine is the home to specialty breeds like the Black Angus and Hereford beef, a variety of lamb breeds, and free-range pig breeds like Saddleback, Gloucestershire Old Spots and Tamworths. These pigs are always outdoors and their meat develops intense flavor, plus a good covering of fat which makes it moist, tender and truly tasty during cooking
How Free range are the Castlemine pigs? Have a look for yourself
If you were lucky enough to purchase one of the boys bronze turkeys at Christmas you will know the benefits of traditional farming methods – if not, make sure you get your name down early for next year.
The guys at Castlemine are up to speed with modern living, so rather than telling you where you can buy their produce, you can log on to their website and buy all of their meats online.
If you cannot get down to Kai for lunch or dinner, get Castlemine meats through your front door at www.castleminefarm.ie
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There is only one guy that we like to buy our fish from, and its Stefan Griebach, the most passionate Frenchman in town. This guy loves his job, he understands the fishing industry, and he knows what people want.
If it weren’t for Stefan every menu in town would still be bursting with Cod and Plaice. However, Stefan has kindly brought in more exotic fish like Megrim and Sweaty Betty, which our customers are crazy about.
Stefan explains his fish, he educates his customers about his products and tells them how best to cook it, and that’s not just to the public. Stefan brings fish in to the restaraunt everyday for us to choose from, if there is something new on offer he will tell us all about its taste, texture, and best way to cook it. This is the benefit with working closely with suppliers, rather than just ordering from a list. We take as much a hands on approach as the fisherman that land the catch.
The philosophy at Gannett is much the same as ours, Stefan and his team sell wild sustainable fish, and is continually introducing new fish to the market. As he says himself the waters are brimming with tonnes of amazing fish, but people are slow to buy them as they have never heard of them before.
One thing that amuses me most is that 10 years ago the ugly Monkfish was thrown back, and now its a luxury. And now a fish that looks beautiful but given a rather comical name is a late evening hit – Sweaty Betty.
Also known as The Greater Forked Beard – Sweaty Betty is one of the best fish in Irish waters – it lives in huge number just West of the Aran islands, and is completely sustainable, arguably a great alternative to the common Hake.
It is down to suppliers like Stefan to ensure the quality and origin of the fish we buy is 100%, and our neighbourhood Frenchman is the epitome of someone who loves his job, and takes pride in what he does.
He came here from France in 1997. He had firsthand experience of the fishmarkets in France and, on his arrival here he worked his way up through salmon farming and fish wholesaling and learned the industry the hard way.
In 2006 he saw his opportunity, formed Gannet Fishmongers, and opened his first fish stall in the Galway market.
When the fishing boats arrive in Rosaveal to auction their catch, Stefan goes through the boxes and picks the freshest fish for his five market stalls, his shop in the Eyre Square Centre and Kai.
If you want the best catch for your kitchen table be sure to visit Gannett at Galway, Oranmore, Loughrea, Moycullen and Ballinasloe markets, or at their shop in the Eyre Square market.
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We love all the things our customers love, and Jess thought that she could bring two of those passions together to entertain and teach those interested in food. There are book clubs, and supper clubs the world over – but no cookbook clubs. As always, at Kai we like to keep ahead, so from February 15 we will launch our cookbook club.
The club is about people learning, talking, and sharing their passion with others. “It will be great for people to share their love of cooking and cookbooks with like minded people. The club will be a place for individuals and groups of people to come and talk about food, ask questions, and find out how to be a better home chef” says Jess.
The cookbook club at Kai will feature in the restaurant on the 3rd Wednesday of every month. Tickets are available in advance from the restaurant at €35 for three courses including one glass of wine.
The first installment of the cookbook club will look at Fergus Hendersons ‘Nose to Tail’, and feature our producer of the month – Castlemine Farm – a perfect winter pairing.
Each evening Jess will dedicate the menu to a pre-decided book chosen by those attending via the restaurants Facebook page. From January we will run a poll on the Facebook page so you can decide what book you would like covered, and if there are any specific dishes just let us know
Each course will be served with Jessica explaining the technicalities of the dish, best places to source the freshest food, and how to serve a feast to happy customers.
Places are limited so make sure you book early.
For more information contact Kai on 526003 or visit www.kaicaferestaurant.com
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If you are a regular to Kai Cafe and Restaurant you will know that the Bluebell Falls Goats Cheese is one of our favourites and appears quite regularly on the menu.
In order to support local suppliers, and in the continuing quest to find the best local ethical produce we love to serve Bluebell Falls.
The unique goats cheese is produced on the Keane family farm in County Clare, where goats are fed indoors on fresh grass which is cut once a day. The same grass is given to the animals in the morning and again in the evening.
After the goats have eaten they are free to roam outside in the sun(when we have it), and at the first sight of rain, they are all back under cover again.
Fresh grass makes up 85 per cent of the goats’ diet and the remainder is made up of barley, oats and wheat. The high quality flavour of the milk comes from the wide variety of grasses that they eat.
The cheese is produced every day with the goats milked twice daily.
Milk from the evening is stored overnight at 4 degrees and mixed with the following morning’s milk to make a range of quality cheeses.
Milk is not sourced from any outside farms allowing all the cheese to be completely produced on the farm.
Because the Keanes love what they do, and do it so well, we are able to get the best highest quality product delivered direct from the farm to the restaurant in small batches so we always have an excellent cheese to offer you guys.
If your interested in getting some cheese visit their website for a list of shops that stock the amazing cheese, or you can buy online. http://www.bluebellfalls.ie/index.php?ID=5
At Kai we only used the best produce, and it has to treated with love and respect or we won’t serve it. In order for us to provide amazing produce we work very closely with our suppliers.
Today we are serving Ronans Roam Free Chicken Salad -
Our feathered friends that are featuring regularly on the menu come straight from the Friendly Farmer. Using traditional farming methods all the turkey and chicken comes from Athenry, and we all know the pastures are low and rich out there.
Poultry are grass fed and allowed to roam, which makes fitter, healthier animals. The key with this kind of farming is providing fresh grass for the animals at all times, the fundamental of the pasture poultry model. It sets Ronan and the gang apart from the rest – these guys are the best.
Have a look at the chickens accommodation – not bad for a bird!
If you fancy The Friendly Farmers fit birds, you can find him at He sells a selection of
Check out his site for more info – http://thefriendlyfarmer.blogspot.com
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