Food news with Joe McNamee

Irish Examiner - Weekend - - Food -

LIs­towel de­lights

As home to the late, great John B Keane and an au­gust lit­er­ary fes­ti­val, Lis­towel has long adopted the man­tle of lit­er­ary cap­i­tal of The King­dom, but is in­creas­ingly mak­ing a name for it­self on the food front, most es­pe­cially with the up­com­ing Lis­towel Food Fair (Novem­ber 9-12). While Nei­dín trav­els un­der duress, still bristling at Keane’s de­ci­sion to have his fic­tional char­ac­ters from The Field, Bull McCabe and son, kill a don­key and chuck the car­cass in a lake, The Menu is keen to put on his own nose­bag for a se­ries of lo­cal Din­ing Cir­cle events in­clud­ing A Novel Sup­per, as Lizzy’s Lit­tle Kitchen de­vise a menu based on food al­lu­sions in Lim­er­ick au­thor Roisin Meaney’s nov­els and an in­trigu­ing night of Ar­me­nian dishes, at Gapo’s. The child­friendly fes­ti­val in­cludes work­shops for chil­dren as well as demos for adults, with ac­tor Si­mon De­laney putting on the apron. A mar­ket fills the town square on Satur­day and all pro­ceeds from Allo’s Char­ity Cook & Wine Book Sale, go to the in­cred­i­ble Doc­tors with­out Bor­ders char­ity. The flag­ship event is the Food Fair Awards Din­ner, a seven-course tast­ing menu in­cor­po­rat­ing pro­duce from this year’s win­ning food pro­ducer with gongs also handed out for Food Book of the year, Lo­cal Food Hero & Life­time Achieve­ment Award.


No whin­ing about wine

Grape glug­gers will surely flock to the Clay­ton Ho­tel, for the Cork Win­ter Edi­tion (Nove­mebr 9) of the an­nual O’Brien’s Wine Fes­ti­val, fea­tur­ing over 100 wines and 25 wine­mak­ers and a com­pli­men­tary Tip­per­ary Crys­tal wine glass and wine guide for at­ten­dees ( The Menu of­fers sin­cere con­grat­u­la­tions to Iseult Ward and Aoib­heann O’Brien, of FoodCloud and FoodCloud Hubs (for­merly, the mag­nif­i­cent so­cial en­ter­prise, Bia Food Ini­tia­tive, which be­gan in Lit­tle Is­land, Cork) who have joined an il­lus­tri­ous group of for­mer win­ners of the EY Spe­cial Achieve­ment Award 2017, past win­ners span­ning the spec­trum from Fr Peter McVerry to for­mer EU com­mis­sioner Peter Suther­land.

Pop­ping up for drinks

Fleet­ing men­tions for two equally fleet­ing Dublin-based of­fer­ings: 16-61 is a pop-up Poitín Bar (un­til Novem­ber 25), lo­cated un­der the Ber­lin Café serv­ing cock­tails and 18 dif­fer­ent poitíns while The Shel­bourne are putting on a Padding­ton Bear Chil­dren’s Af­ter­noon Tea to tie in with the re­lease of the movie, Padding­ton 2, The Menu very much shares the ur­sine Peru­vian’s pen­chant for mar­malade, fea­tur­ing here as an Or­ange Mar­malade & Choco­late Cup.



The Menu is de­lighted to rec­om­mend yet an­other fine baker to the ta­ble, Mo­ray Bres­ni­han, fa­mil­iar to many for his ster­ling con­tri­bu­tions to the Cork arts scene and a man, like many fel­low artists, drawn to bak­ing bread by the enor­mously tac­tile na­ture of the work. Trad­ing as Bread & Roses, his range fea­tures some in­spired cre­ations, in­clud­ing Rye, Sesame & Car­rot and an equally ap­peal­ing Po­lenta & Pepita.

By the time The Menu ar­rived at the Coal Quay Farmer’s Mar­ket, last Satur­day morn­ing, the cup­board was pretty bare, as B&R fans are very early ris­ers in­deed. He still man­aged to snaf­fle three de­li­cious loaves (two for the freezer), Salted Choco­late Rye Cook­ies and a Buchtein, a jam-filled, sweet yeast roll that went very nicely with a fil­tered cof­fee from the newly opened and quite ex­cel­lent Pri­ory cof­fee shop around the cor­ner on North Main St. That evening, The Menu slow­braised (with Wild­wood Black­berry Bal­samic Vine­gar) de­li­cious short ribs pro­cured from English Mar­ket butcher Eoin O’Ma­hony, mak­ing good use of the left­overs for next day’s Sun­day lunch, cold beef, pickle, let­tuce and aioli on Mo­ray’s de­li­cious, dense rye sour­dough, the finest sand­wich he has put away in many a moon. Good bak­ers, like their slow-prov­ing doughs, tend to evolve over time but Mo­ray ap­pears to have ar­rived fully formed and The Menu highly rec­om­mends set­ting the clock for an early Satur­day trip into town.

www.breadan­ Send food news/events/ prod­ucts to the­menu@ex­am­

Ac­tor Si­mon De­laney who fea­tured on ‘Mas­terchef Ire­land’ will don the apron for the Lis­towel Food Fair.

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