Kilkenny Fishwives attend the first Gourmand World Summit in Paris

Mary Cody


Mary Cody


Kilkenny  Fishwives attend the first Gourmand World Summit in Paris

Two of Kilkenny’s Fishwives from the award winning Cookbook were honoured to make the trip to Paris last week as they took part in a huge come-together of the international food & drinks cultural network at the first Gourmand World Summit. Head Fishwife Mag Kirwan of Goatsbridge Trout accompanied by fellow Fishwife Siobhan Donohoe represented Ireland at the Summit. Over 200 countries and WINNERS from the last 3 years of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards attended the exhibition at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Among them were 2000 VIPs representing Ambassadors, publishers, authors, chefs, distributors, agents, photographers, food and tourism journalists, bloggers, influencers, winemakers, designers and TV producers.

Mag Kirwan of Goatsbridge Trout Farm said “it was an extraordinary opportunity to represent Ireland and to see how our “Fishwives” Cookbook is still being recognised internationally among the best Cookbooks in the World. This Cookbook has taking us on some journey, from Uganda, to China and to Paris and believe me the journey is not over yet.” She added “This was also an extraordinary opportunity to network, meet friends from the 2017 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, and to be part of something incredible - an opportunity of a lifetime!”

The Fishwives were invited to be part of the first Gourmand World Summit which was held in the famous UNESCO building - the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization that seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. As part of the Summit they also attended the International Village of Gastronomy at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. This food festival was also making history as the idyllic plot of land it was held on had only once ever being used by the public before and that was to host a fashion show by French fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent.

Speaking of fashion and food the Kilkenny business women did not miss an opportunity to showcase Kilkenny on their Paris trip, they brought presents of Goatsbridge Trout to the members of the Summit as well as custom madeberets from Kilkenny’s Lady Lorna’s Design Emporium for the famous Australia 4ingredients ladies, who wore them with pride! 

Mag Kirwan said as well as networking the trip was also very important from a business point of view. She said “the cat is not out of the bag yet but we are working on bringing the Best of the Best international food writers to Ireland. Watch this space, something extraordinary is unfolding.”

Gourmand World Cookbook Awards was founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau and honours the best food and wine books, printed or digital. The internationally recognised awards is recognize outstanding contributions to food and drink writing across the globe and are regarded as the ‘Oscars of Culinary Publishing‘, celebrating international food culture across all platforms. The founder and president Edouard Cointreau is from the Cointreau liqueur family aswell as the Cognacs Frapin and Remy Martin. “Fishwives” the Cookbook won two world titles at the Gourmand World Awards in China in 2017, when it was crowned “Best Fish and Seafood book” in the world and “Best Charity-Africa”, but at the same time this unique cookbook is all about raising awareness for Hospice Africa Uganda.

The cookbook “Fishwives”, was created in less than a year after Mag Kirwan of Goatsbridge Trout came up with the idea to write a cookbook in aid of charity Hospice Africa Uganda.  Goatsbridge, self-published the book to celebrate trout, Ireland’s  so-called “forgotten fish”, with proceeds going to Hospice Africa Uganda (HAU), a charity that is helping thousands of sick and dying in Africa have a pain-free, dignified death. Kirwan is pleased to say that “no costs are being kept for the publication or printing of the book, every cent that the consumer spends on the book will be go to Hospice Uganda.”

After Mag visited Uganda with her husband Ger and seeing first-hand the plight of the people, they agreed that it was vital for no costs or return to be taken. She says “to be highlighting the merits of trout and supporting this amazing charity at the same time is so humbling.”

This exquisite book contains 78 recipes – 70 featuring trout. Contributors include well known chefs, food writers and bloggers in Ireland -  Darina Allen, Clodagh McKenna, Suzanne Campbell, Lucinda O’Sullivan, Sally McKenna, Georgina Campbell, Clodagh McKenna,  Caroline Hennessy, Aoife Ryan and Sofie Skehan, wife of celebrity chef Donal Skehan.

Other contributors are: Former Tanaiste and Progressive Democrats leader, Mary Harney, much loved ex-RTE star Bibi Baskin, Presenter of the RTE One TV “Ear to the Ground” Programme Helen Carroll, newly appointed Chief Executive of Bord Bia Tara McCarthy, Julie Calder Potts of Highbank Orchards, and Mary Morrissey and Helen King, also of Bord Bia.  

Recipes in the book range from trout caviar cocktails to fish curries, pies and salads. Kirwan’s four sisters, Miriam, Louise, Joanne and Cathy as well as her sister in law Siobhan Donohoe, have all contributed recipes. Miriam (Donohoe) volunteered with Hospice Africa Uganda in Kampala for eight months in 2016 and is currently revisiting it to volunteer this month.

Hospice Africa Uganda was founded by the inspirational 83-year-old Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Anne Merriman, in 1991. It has helped make a difference at end-of-life to almost 30,000 seriously ill and dying patients since its foundation.

Merriman says “Irish people have been hugely supportive of our charity over the years. We are striving to ensure that no one in Africa dies in pain and discomfort, and we cannot do it without the generosity and support of donors. I hope this book is a sell-out. Winning global awards is so well deserved and it will help spread the message of what we do on a world stage also.”

Goatsbridge Trout Farm produces trout caviar and high-quality rainbow trout products including cold smoked and hot smoked trout, which sells under the ‘Eat Trout’ brand. “Fishwives” is available to buy on for only €20.