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Galway has long been a place where locals and tourists collide while eating and drinking their way around the sights and sounds of the city, because that’s just what you do in Galway.

Walking tours are great craic right? There’s nothing more interesting than listening to a tour guide ramble off a script of concocted stories along a well-worn path through the city – said nobody ever!

The West is alive right now and the food scene in the city is better than you’ll find anywhere else in the country. The trouble with visiting new places though is that often you’ll read traveller and critic reviews, but rarely get on the ground tips from the people that really know where it’s at, but we have a solution!

Throw out the guidebooks and forget about Tripadvisor reviews. If you want to meet the people behind the scenes and get on a tour that takes you to the gastronomic hotspots of Galway city you need to be led around by someone that knows exactly where to go.

Sheena from Kai Café and Restaurant is on the pulse of the Galway food scene right now, and she knows the people that know the people that you would never get a chance to meet unless you knew where to go. Realising that she had a great network of foodie compadres, Sheena decided to put together Galway’s first and only walking food tour.

“Around the Market Place” is a tour around Galway’s finest foodie destinations. Sheena will guide you along the streets of Galway where you will meet artisanal producers and sample their products, while soaking up the alluring atmosphere of the west. Running Friday to Sunday you will sample the finest cheese, the freshest oysters, and the sweetest treats.

If you make it on a Saturday and Sunday the tour will include an unforgettable experience with some of the most memorable Galway market traders and their fare. All days will include visits to award winning restaurants and cafes.

 

The finer details:

Maximum of 10 people per Tour

Friday 11AM €20 (excludes Market)

Saturday + Sunday 12noon €25 (including market)

To book phone Sheena Dignam: 086 7332885

 

Other Kai events at this years Galway Food Festival include:

FRIDAY/ 3pm / Demo tent / Ales & Tails  – When craft beers meet local seafood

SATURDAY/ 4pm / Mick Lally Theatre / Women in the Industry

MONDAY/ 3pm / Eat@Massimo / The Whole Hog Pig-on-spit brought to you by Eat, Kai and Galway Hooker

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This month we are bringing a totally different kind of book to Kai, and as always you can expect a departure from the norm, and a serious gastronomic adventure.

Smoke and Pickles will be the star of the show next Tuesday evening March 25th when Jess and the team will fill your bellies with delights from the wonderful Chef Edward Lee.

Sitting in our usual communal setting we will tell the story of this Brooklyn chefs journey through food. Lee was raised by a family of Korean immigrants, which is a little insight into the magic he brings to his food. He currently lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where he owns the acclaimed restaurant 610 Magnolia.

A multiple James Beard Award nominee for his unique patchwork cuisine, Edward creates recipes–filled with pickling, fermenting, frying, curing, and smoking that reflect the overlapping flavors and techniques that led this Korean-American boy to feel right at home in the South.

Dishes like Chicken-Fried Pork Steak with Ramen Crust and Buttermilk Pepper Gravy; Collards and Kimchi; Braised Beef Kalbi with Soft Grits and Scallions; and Miso-Smothered Chicken all share a place on his table.

Born with the storytelling gene of a true Southerner, Lee fills his debut cookbook with tales of the restaurant world, New York City, Kentucky, and his time competing on Top Chef, plus more than 130 exceptional recipes for food with Korean roots and Southern soul.

Join us to experience the magic. Tickets are available in advance from the restaurant or by calling us on 091 526003.

Cost €35 pp

Date Tuesday 25th March

Time 7:30pm

 

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Established in 2009 and situated in the Oslo pub in Salthill, Galway Bay Brewery was Galway’s first microbrewery. Galway always has been a great place for firsts, and we’re proud to be supporting the lads with their consistently successful attempts at bringing new beers to the market. You really have to give it to a small local company that is now stacking up against Guinness with their Imperial Ale.

The popularity of the Galway Bay Brewery’s beers throughout the country has seen them move their operation from the original setup inside the Oslo in Salthill, to a facility with a 100,000-litre capacity to the rear of the premises – more than 12 times the size of the brewery’s original facility.

At Kai right now we have 3 awesome beers on the menu including from the Galway Bay Brewery:

Galway Bay Brewery Irish Porter

Galway Bay Brewery Irish Red Ale

Galway Bay Brewery Dry Hopped Irish Pale Ale

The Irish Porter is a rich and complex beer with lovely coffee and chocolate flavours. This is best accompanied with Rich Stews, Roast meat dishes

The Irish Red Ale is a nice hoppy ale with a nice smooth taste. It’s a well-rounded bevvie that we’d recommend pairing with hot and cold meats, fish or cheese.

The Dry Hopped Irish Pale Ale has a certain bitterness to it, which makes it the perfect accompaniment to spicey dishes and curries.

Last month we wrote a blog about the places where we love to go, and one such place was the Salthouse Bar. The Salthouse is owned by the Galway Bay Brewery, so if you’re looking for somewhere to sample the full range of their products make sure to head down there some lazy Sunday evening for beers and bluegrass.

 

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Nestled deep along the Connemara shoreline is a very special business, close to the hearts of the local community, and loved by customers all over the world.

In our blogs we always highlight the importance of local producers, and artisan and cottage industries, well this particular business is as close to nature as any.

Located in Aillebrack, Ballyconneely is the Connemara Smokehouse. Right on the waters edge the Smokehouse is a good drive off the main road, down a narrowing lane that makes you wonder if you’ve taken a wrong turn – well you haven’t, you’re just about to discover one of the oldest smokehouses in the country.

Previously I wrote about the wonderful family business of the Roberts family that has been in operation since 1979, but now there’s another reason for people to know about the Smokehouse. Connemara Smokehouse has just become Ireland’s first food Economusee. What on earth is that?

An Economusee is an economically independent artisan business that opens its doors to the public in order to promote its craft, and craftspeople. It gives people a reason to visit artisan busineses, and offers visitors a learning experience. This prestigious title puts The Connemara Smokehouse in a special place – deepening its ties to culture, community, trade, sustainable development, and protecting jobs.

There’s a need to strengthen awareness of these businesses in order to cement their future and development. For the Connemara Smokehouse they can now showcase their artisan process to the public in a way that both informs and teaches.

There aren’t many businesses that can claim to have totally natural produce, but one that takes fish directly from the waters around it, and smokes the produce using age-old natural processes is one that we must cherish.

Speaking at the opening of the Economusee, Teagasc Regional Advisory Manager Brendan Heneghan said: “The economusee concept originated 20 years ago in Quebec, Canada, where there are now over 50 economusee’s contributing to employment and the maintenance of local skills and knowledge in traditional rural businesses ranging from artisan food to boat building.”

“Needless to say we are thrilled to be the first food economusee in Ireland and now a member of this prestigious network. We aim to build on this success as the opening of the economusee today allows Saoirse and I to realise some of our long term dreams and plans for the business. It also showcases Connemara globally, which in turn should benefit other businesses locally and the seafood industry on a national scale”.

We have always used produce from The Connemara Smokehouse and will continue to do so because we believe in their ethical, and traditional processes. We at Kai also feel that the quality of the Roberts smoked produce is uncomparable. We are proud to say we are an artisan business supporting artisan businesses. It’s good to keep it in the family!

So, next time you’re heading to Connemara make sure to put the Economusee top of your list.

Best of luck to the Roberts from all of us at Kai.

For more information on The Connemara Smokehouse visit www.smokehouse.ie or for more information on the whole Economusee organisation check out http://www.economusee.eu

 

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During the Galway Food Festival John and Sally McKenna popped in to Kai and produced this great video with Jess about her passions, her style of cooking, and how she’s opened up the imaginations of people serving ceviche to the customers in Kai.

 

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