Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had no choice but to go on Oprah

Jennifer McShane

This Sandymount home with stylish interiors is on the market for €1.3 million

Megan Burns

Amanda Gorman: ‘One day you’re called an icon, the next day, a threat’

Jennifer McShane

Sneak peek: Stylist Sarah Rickard on how to wear the Simone Rocha x H&M collection

Lauren Heskin

Screen time has exploded in our household during lockdown. How worried should I be?

Amanda Cassidy

Limerick’s Spice Vintage shop owner Grace Collier on how she’s beating the Covid business odds

Erin Lindsay

5 non-fiction podcast miniseries to get stuck into (that aren’t news or true crime)

Lauren Heskin

Sunday baking: Pecan cinnamon rolls

Meg Walker

Sofia Vergara finally wins battle with ex over embryos

Jennifer McShane

Image / Editorial

Milleen’s Cheese Week: An Interview With The Caf?’s Christine Crowley


by Melanie Mullan
23rd Apr 2017

?Any fool can make a ?cheese?. It takes a genius to ripen it.?

As the creator of the first Irish Farmhouse Cheese, Milleen’s, Veronica Steele had every right to make such a bold statement. Starting out in 1976, she quickly became known as the matriarch of Irish Farmhouse cheese makers after impressing Declan Ryan of the Arbutus Lodge Hotel and later, Myrtle Allen of Ballymaloe House.

In the following years, she worked consistently to produce a washed rind cheese from the mountainous Beara Peninsula of West Cork, maturing it carefully to create a unique flavour that made it a regular feature on many restaurant menus throughout Ireland. Her husband Norman was a big part of the business before her son, Quinlan, took over in 2003, continuing to grow the brand. Sadly, earlier this year, Veronica passed away – leaving her legacy in the Cork artisan cheese industry.

In honour of her lifetime achievements, the Cork Character Caf? Series and Taste Cork have teamed up to celebrate Milleen’s cheese. The initiative is led by URRU Bandon owner, and F?ilte Ireland food champion Ruth Healy and already has over ten cafes involved. Across the week participating caf’s will showcase the cheese across their menus as well as in signature dishes.

One such participant is The Caf? at Stephen Pearce Pottery. Concealed down a remote laneway in Shanagarry, beside the pottery workshop, Christine Crowley is busy creating a name for herself in the attached cafe. It’s a bank holiday Saturday afternoon when I visit and the room is filled with chatter. Both waiting staff and chefs are bringing dishes from the kitchen, but none seem troubled by the constant flow of customers. The smoked baba ganoush and homemade flatbread on the mezze plate is the highlight amongst our table, accompanied by a glass of locally imported Spanish wine.

When I return on Monday morning, the team are setting up for another busy day as Christine arrives with three trays of eggs – a sign of how busy the weekend has been! A graduate of Ballymaloe Cookery School, she started out with a cafe at Tintern Abbey, Co Wexford for the summer months, keeping busy the rest of the year selling jams and cakes at markets in her home county of Waterford but struggled. ?The markets aren’t the same as they are here. Waterford can’t offer you what Cork does in terms of produce. I know it has come a long way, but back then it couldn’t offer me what I wanted.?

After three years she decided to return to Cork city, working at the caf? in the Crawford Gallery before finally settling into her own spot. ?I love that I can see my customers enjoying the food I’ve prepared here. I worked in previous kitchens and had no connection with the people I was serving because I couldn’t see them. Here I can see someone appreciate it and that’s what I enjoy the most.? Christine will be featuring a Milleens cheese bruschetta on her menu as part of the Cork Character Series with roasted pears and caramelised walnuts. ?I haven’t quite decided if I’ll melt the cheese yet or leave it as it is – I think the whole thing is such a brilliant idea, I’m really excited to see what comes from it.?

When it comes to food, Cork has always been known to support local producers, and Taste Cork aims to ensure that this sector continues to thrive and get the recognition that it deserves. At the mention of local competition, Christine stands up preparing to head back to the kitchen. ?That doesn’t exist here. I tell people to go to Dervilla at the Ballymaloe Caf? and likewise, she’ll send people to me. I’ve even met customers who have been sent from restaurants in Kinsale. We all support each other.?

Across the week, participating caf’s will also share stories and fond memories of Veronica Steele and Milleens cheese something that both Cork Character Series and Rebecca O?Keeffe of Taste Cork are passionate about. ?Together we want to share the stories of our food producers, and showcase the culture, history and the people of Cork that make it so wonderfully unique.?

Milleen’s Cheese Week takes place from April 24-29. For more information and a list of all participating caf’s visit tastecork.com.

Also Read

Graham Norton
EDITORIAL
‘People were too busy ordering bottles of brandy or finding out who had the cocaine’: Graham Norton on the Christmases he’d much rather forget

Chatshow host Graham Norton worked as a waiter when he...

By Graham Norton

sore eyes UTI period
EDITORIAL
Health Check: What are prostaglandins and how do they affect my period symptoms?

If you find yourself suffering with symptoms like cramping, sore...

By Erin Lindsay

Aoibheann MacNamara
EDITORIAL
Inside a house conversion brimming with Scandi-Galwegian chic

Artistic dynamo Aoibheann MacNamara has loved every moment she’s spent...

By IMAGE Interiors & Living

Christmas cost
EDITORIAL
What I Spend at Christmas: The 37-year-old digital marketer earning €25k who isn’t buying presents for her siblings

Christmas cost the average Irish family €2,700 over the festive...

By IMAGE

Christmas trifle
EDITORIAL
Avoca has shared the recipe for their decadent Christmas trifle and we’re digging in

No festive spread is complete without a traditional Christmas trifle...

By IMAGE

Has society become more tolerant of the idea of dating interracially?
premium IMAGE WRITES, REAL-LIFE STORIES, RELATIONSHIPS
Interracial dating: “People kept asking ‘where is she from?'”

With diversity on the rise, what struggles do interracial couples continue to face today? Filomena Kaguako speaks to three couples about their experiences.

By Filomena Kaguako

EDITORIAL
GoFundMe CEO: ‘Ireland is the most generous nation in the world’

These days, it’s easier than ever to give something back....

By Jennifer McShane

glitter
EDITORIAL
The grown up guide to wearing glitter lips

If Tom Ford, Charlotte Tilbury, Chanel and Nars tell you...

By Holly O'Neill