What’s your favourite Comfort Food? GastroGays call for Ireland’s best comforting cheese recipes.

Food writers Patrick Hanlon and Russell Alford aka GastroGays have announced that they are on the lookout for Ireland’s most comforting cheese recipes where one winner will receive Ireland’s Blue Book Hotel vouchers worth €2,000 as well as two runners up prizes.

GastroGays have joined forces with the National Dairy Council and the EU funded Cheese Your Way campaign to find out what’s cooking, melting, and bubbling in homes across Ireland!

Patrick and Russell comment – “We’re all need of a bit of comfort at the moment and this competition is a fun challenge, share a recipe that you love and may even have a story behind.”

Patrick adds – “we’re really looking forward to seeing what entries start coming in for this competition. In the past year we have seen many of our followers post recipes with wonderful produce from Ireland, France and even Denmark, so wherever your inspiration comes from we’d love to hear about it.”

GastroGays will be helping to celebrate the wonderful versality and variety of European cheese and give inspiration to people entering by sharing tips on flavour pairings with cheeses and advice on what cheese cooking techniques work best with a variety of dishes. They will be sharing these tips on their Instagram channel over the coming weeks.

The competition has been inspired by the Ireland’s love of cheese and our curiosity to try out more varieties. In a recent EU funded survey 53% people stated they are curious to discover more cheeses but Ireland’s firm favourite at 64% is cheddar.

Russell Alford comments – “The fact that Ireland is open to exploring different cheeses is exciting as there are so many varieties to choose from locally and further afield. We love cooking with cheese as it is so easy to use as well as being delicious. All it takes is a little bit of know how to transform a recipe from normal to phenomenal with the right cheese and flavour combinations, which we look forward to sharing throughout the competition.”

Russell and Patrick have been taking their love of cheese to the next level during lockdown to undertaking an Academy of Cheese accreditation to up-skill in their cheese knowledge and apply it in the kitchen, commenting – “The world of delicious Irish & European cheeses has consumed us over the past year, so we’re super excited to be part of this campaign by encouraging home cooks of all skill levels to enter their most amazing cheesy, comforting, culinary creations with the world!”

The competition is open for submissions until Friday 9 April.

Visit www.cheeseyourway.ie to submit an entry.


Is there a food that really reminds you of home or your childhood? Västerbottenost Pie is that food for me

Due to the events of 2020, the time since I’ve visited Sweden, my home country, has grown longer and longer. I’m finding myself turning to the food and smells that remind me of home. We usually make Västerbottenost Pie in the Autumn, when we’ve just come home from the forest with a basket with freshly picked chanterelle mushrooms but it works well with shellfish or just on its own like the recipe here.

Västerbotten Ost is a cheese from the north of Sweden. It’s a hard cheese, best described like a mix between a strong Cheddar and Parmesan and has to have aged for at least 14 months and is legally only allowed to be made from local cow’s milk.

The cheese can be ordered online but you can easily substitute it with the strongest white cheddar you can get your hands on. For my upcoming Valentine’s date night with my husband, Donal, I’m trying to put together something that gives that feeling of home comforts. Often, we are too busy to properly celebrate Valentines, but now more than ever it’s important to celebrate the little things. What reminds you of home?

View the Recipe

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