Veronica Steele Joins Good Food Ireland Hall of Fame
Our Good Food Ireland Hall of Fame was created to form a legacy of people who have made a huge impact on the Irish food scene. It honours individuals for their consistent, sometimes behind the scenes dedication to Irish food tourism at home and abroad. It also recognises next generation youth, those influencers and inspirers of change, who will take forward with diligence a unanimous love of Irish food and hospitality.
Past Honourees include Myrtle Allen of Ballymaloe House, who has championed Irish food and producers for many decades, Good Food Ireland Chairman Redmond O’Donoghue who immediately saw the potential of Good Food Ireland when it was launched and threw himself wholeheartedly behind our movement, and Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave, a dynamic mover and shaker who welcomed the opportunity to showcase Good Food Ireland producers and chefs to thousands of international visitors at Web Summit 2014 and 2015.
Joining this prestigious line up in 2016 is the renowned cheesemaker who created Ireland’s very first farmhouse cheese. Veronica Steele of Milleens was inaugurated into the Good Food Ireland Hall of Fame at our Gala Collaboration Dinner at touRRoir 2016.
The words of one our Good Food Ireland Award judges, written during nominations, properly sum up the reasons why Veronica Steele has now become part of our Hall of Fame:
"Veronica is an iconic cheesemaker who created Milleens, Ireland's first farmhouse cheese, and has spent years educating many young cheesemakers in the art. She has travelled abroad to help women in impoverished areas learn how to make cheese, so they can make a living and support their families.
Veronica is a world class educator, a woman with a huge sense of humour and enormous sense of responsiblity to her profession. She has enriched the lives of the many people who have crossed her path, always ready with advice or helpful tips for anyone in the food industry, cheesemaker or not. A worthy Hall of Fame nominee, Veronica has made over forty years of contribution to Irish food production, and to raising the profile of Irish farmhouse cheeses at home and abroad."
These stirring words perfectly describe a lady who’s energy has known no bounds. Along with her husband Norman, she created Milleens from the milk of the dairy cows Norman farmed at their smallholding and cottage on the remote Beara Peninsula. Norman has played a huge part in the development and distribution of Milleens, especially in the early years, but is always ready to tell the world that this is Veronica’s cheese. A cheese she first created at the kitchen table in their little cottage kitchen. Milleens has reached the tables of the great and the good in food and restaurants.
But it also sits a perfectly in the most humble surroundings of the home kitchen, placed simply on a cheeseboard with some good bread or crackers, where it will send out its nostril twitiching aromas to beckon diners to try a piece. Milleens is a cheeseof integrity which fully represents its place of origin in simplicity and authenticity. Veronica Steele is a legend who has created a legendary product.
Veronica and Norman’s son Quinlan Steele joined us at touRRoir to collect the Hall of Fame Award on behalf of his mum. Quinlan is the second generation maker of Milleens, using the skills his mother taught him to ensure its continuation into the future. We heartily welcome and congratulate Veronica Steele on joining our Good Food Ireland Hall of Fame. And we wish Norman, Quinlan and the Steele family continued success for this wonderful representation of real Irish food.