We are very happy to learn that our English Market neighbour and pal Isabelle Sheridan of On the Pig's Back has once again been rewarded for her long service in the cause of promoting French food and culture in Ireland. And it's a pretty good reward, as such things go, coming from the top this time in Isabelle's native France.
Today, Friday, Isabelle is being made a Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite by the French ambassador Jean-Pierre Thébault. They don't give these things away, and shortly the proud new recipient will join an elite of both French and foreign statesmen, actors, scientists and others, many of international renown. It's a pretty smart club to be a member of.
Appetite for success
Isabelle's contribution to the cause of good food and her development of Franco-Hibernian trade links during more than twenty years in Cork are the principal reasons for the award. The On the Pig's Back stall is the epitome of artisan food retailing, with all manner of good things to eat brought together and attractively and knowledgeably presented to the public. Isabelle's contribution to the life of the modern English Market, and her inspiring presence at its very heart, certainly deserve significant acknowledgement given their influence on a generation of shoppers and cooks, not to mention the benefits to the market and city as a tourist attraction.
The annual Cork French Food Festival and successive events at the Douglas Woollen Mills branch of On The Pig's Back have reinforced relations between Isabelle's native France and Ireland, and given the gourmets of Cork and further afield a steady menu of temptations.
I wonder what the correct term of address is for a Chevalier &c.? Once we manage to beat a path through the crowds that separate the passer-by from all the extremely delicious meats and cheeses—and more—that fill the display cabinets daily at the Market stall, we'll have to remember to ask.