You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy an ice-cream sandwich from new Irish company Leamhain, set up by Dublin-born chef Conor Sweeny. They come in four varieties – Butterscotch Blondie, Double Chocolate Brownie, Lemon Curd Meringue and Mint Stracciatella – and are gluten-free, nut-free and palm oil-free, as well as vegan.
To arrive at the recipe for his ice-cream base, Sweeny, who previously worked at Vanilla Black, a fine-dining restaurant in London, and Cornucopia in Dublin, made more than 250 litres of vegan ice-cream before he was happy with it.
Leamhain is now based in a commercial kitchen in Smithfield, Dublin 7, where an Italian ice-cream machine has been installed that has allowed production to increase to 10,000 ice-cream sandwiches a week. The sandwiches weight a chunky 135g, and cost €5.50.
Nationwide stockists include Cornucopia (Wicklow Street); Green Beards Juicery (Donnybrook and Ranelagh); Small Changes Wholefoods Store (Inchicore); Marlowe & Co (South Circular Road); Two Fifty Square (Terenure and Rathmines) and McNally Family Farm Shop (Balrickard), in Dublin, as well as Three Fools Coffee, Cork city; The Blue Goat Ramelton, Co Donegal; Little Brew Café, Kilcullen, Co Kildare; Muse Coffee + Food, Butler Gallery, Kilkenny city; Unwind Coffee Co, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny; Sweet Beat Café, Sligo; Ardkeen Quality Food Store, Waterford, and The Saucy Cow, Bray, Co Wicklow.
Turning up the heat on the workplace experience
Irish catering industry community group Chef Network is promoting positivity in the workplace by asking kitchen staff to contribute to a survey that will be used to share ideas on how to improve working conditions.
“We are looking for chefs and kitchen staff at all career levels to share their views and experiences on what makes a great kitchen workplace – one where people are nurtured, where they learn and where they can progress their career,” says Ruth Hegarty of Chef Network.
“This is about taking a positive approach to making kitchens better workplaces. We know there are lots of great employers and great practices out there that everyone can learn from them. That’s why Chef Network is asking chefs to share their positive experiences; to tell us what has motivated them to stay in particular kitchens, what practices help create a great workplace, and who are the best employers in the industry and why.
“The aim is to share practical things that every kitchen can implement to improve things, and to highlight employers who take great care of their staff,” Hegarty says. To take the Great Kitchen Workplace Survey, see chefnetwork.ie.