FEAST: A Dinner Journal- Summer/Autumn

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I'm oh so very excited to tell you that after a lot of work, the new issue of FEAST: A Dinner Journal is ready!  It has just launched and for this issue we now have an exclusive app which you can download via iTunes, it allows you to buy and subscribe digitally to this and future issues.  For printed copies, you can visit MagCloud and order there

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Continuing our theme of celebrating Irish ingredients in this issue we hit the road in July to visit producers all across Ireland, to soak up the best food and produce the country has to offer.  Producing the images for the magazine is my favourite part of the process and it provides an opportunity to spend time with some incredible and inspiring people.

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The most nerve-wracking photo I took was during a visit to Aisling Kennedy's bee hives, where dressed from head to toe in a bee suit, I had to try and shoot the hive closeup with my hands completely covered in bees.  An intimidating and high adrenaline situation but an incredible experience altogether.  Honey will forever be one of those magical natural ingredients and I was so thrilled to get a chance to include it as a key ingredients in our FEAST.

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One of my favourite moments on the journey, was a visit to Anna and her two year old daughter Lucie from Triskell Goats Cheese.  We spent hours with them making cheese and feeding the goats and it was so beautiful to see Lucie so at ease with the goats and them with her.  One very early summer morning in Dublin was spent with Marion and Dervla from the PepperPot Cafe, my favourite lunchtime spot, where I finally learned the secrets behind their bread which makes the most epic roast pear, bacon and montgomery cheese sandwich.  The ladies were full of beans, clearly more used to early morning starts than us and were full of stories and laughs as they baked cakes and made bread.

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I have been meaning to visit Denise from The Herb Garden for a few years now after chatting more than once over twitter.  Her knowledge of herbs for both medicinal and culinary usage is an incredible resource and a late Friday evening was spent at her little stone cottage surrounded by herbs in the Naul.  We took photos, talked and nibbled our way through the many varieties of herbs she grows.  On the same day we took a trip to Virginia in Cavan to visit the Farmers2Market organic chicken farmers to take images of the birds.  I had met the guys at the Bloom Festival two years ago, and have been buying their chicken ever since so it was a great opportunity to catch up with them.

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I was really excited to get the chance to shoot the fabulous Wild Flour Kate's beautiful sweet creations for this issue.  We worked together earlier this year to create a shared blog post so I knew her cakes would make a great addition to our menu.  Kate invited me to her house where we shot the beautiful stone fruit cake which adorns the front cover of this issue, watched closely by her two dogs eager to eat any leftovers!  On a sunny summer afternoon we travelled to Tara to visit Bernie from Burke's Farm Icecream and sample her creative flavour combinations.  I had met Bernie at the Sheridan's Food Fest a few years ago and just one taste her Apple Crumble Ice Cream had me hooked- she piled us up with a whole selection of different tubs to take in the car ride home!

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The artistic element of this issue came in the form of Jennifer Slattery's unique linen tableware.  We met Jennifer in her design studio on the northside of Dublin and she gave us a tour of her studio and put the finishing touches to the linen napkins which we used for our final FEAST table.  With all the producers images complete the last job on the list was to shoot the images of our final meal.  For that, we stayed close to home, in fact only a couple of minutes from where I live, to the picturesque grounds of Howth castle and it's adjoining cookery school.  It was the perfect setting and our little team got stuck in to creating the most beautiful scene.  I roped Cathy who styles the set for Kitchen Hero in to bring together the props for our table and picnic setting.  The ever attentive Sharon was on food styling duties, backed up by Ajda and Sarah in the kitchen.  Ross our fabulous editor at large even graced us with his presence in shorts and tshirts nonetheless and pushed us to get the best photos we possibly could.  The scene was set and after a long day with an early start, with the help of friends and producers, finally we all sat down and ate our high summer FEAST!

Find out more over at FeastDinnerJournal.com

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