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Food on the Edge

The Food on the Edge symposium (Oc­to­ber 22-23) re­turns with a gath­er­ing of chefs and food per­son­ages, from home and abroad, as­sem­bling in Gal­way for talks, panel dis­cus­sions, and mas­ter­classes, led by joint MCs, chef/restau­ra­teur JP McMa­hon (Gal­way), chef Matt Or­lando (Copen­hagen), and Sasu Laukko­nen (Helsinki). Other top names in­clude Ir­ish chefs Neven Maguire, Andy McFad­den (Glover’s Al­ley) and Cork-based Takashi Miyazaki. This year’s symposium is ded­i­cated to the mem­ory of An­thony Bour­dain, with his for­mer col­league, pro­ducer Nathan Thorn­burgh, re­call­ing their five years work­ing to­gether. Mas­ter­class ses­sions can ac­com­mo­date up to 50 on a first come, first served ba­sis, while the Food Vil­lage will host 60 of Ire­land’s top food and bev­er­age pro­duc­ers. A popup Char­lie Byrne’s Book­shop will be avail­able for book sign­ings and sales (foodon­theedge.ie)

Fayre game

The Bur­ren Food Fayre (Oc­to­ber bank hol­i­day week­end) adopts a most on-trend theme of Taste With­out Waste. As well as the food mar­ket and other fam­ily-friendly events, there is an ex­cel­lent line-up of chefs of­fer­ing demos and mas­ter­classes in­clud­ing: Lon­don-based Ir­ish­woman Anna Haugh, who is about to open her own Ir­ish-in­spired Chelsea restau­rant, Myr­tle; Rob­bie McCauley, of the very splen­did Gre­gan’s Cas­tle, also in Co Clare, and Ni­amh Fox of the re­cently opened Lit­tle Fox Café in En­nisty­mon. (bur­ren.ie)

Late serv­ings

The Menu is more than happy to make room for a cou­ple of late ar­rivals, be­gin­ning with a very splen­did fundrais­ing gala din­ner (Oc­to­ber 28), on be­half of West Cork Un­der­wa­ter Search and Res­cue, en­ti­tled ‘Cel­e­bra­tion of Land & Sea, tak­ing place at Deasy’s Restau­rant in Ring, West Cork, with swim­mer Steve Red­mond as guest of hon­our. Din­ers will feast on a spe­cially con­ceived menu from Deasy’s head chef, the be­yond won­der­ful Caitlin Ruth.

(Tick­ets from eventbrite.ie) A pre­vi­ous win­ner of The Menu’s Munchies, as Food Em­po­rium of the Year, O’Driscoll’s in­de­pen­dent su­per­mar­ket in Ballinlough hosts a French wine tast­ing (Oc­to­ber 26, 3pm-7pm) also fea­tur­ing as­sorted nib­bles. (jjo­driscoll.ie)

To­day’s special

The Menu’s Camino of the Bean — a life­long caf­feinated pil­grim­age that be­gan prob­a­bly be­fore it should have, back when his age was still mea­sured in sin­gle dig­its — has taken all man­ner of twists and turns over the decades, more so in re­cent years with the ad­vent of a whole new swathe of young roast­ers and baris­tas who have done so much to con­vert a for­merly tae-drinkin’ na­tion into a bunch of cof­fee zealots. And while he en­joys more and more, the highly in­di­vid­ual, even outré sin­gle ori­gin of­fer­ings from Ire­land’s new wave of bou­tique roas­t­er­ies, he has re­cently and greatly rel­ished an old school of­fer­ing from Java Repub­lic, one of the grand­dad­dies of modern Ir­ish roast­ing. Even if he were never to taste so much as a drop of their out­put, The Menu has long given praise to Java Repub­lic for its en­light­ened and fully com­mit­ted poli­cies on Fair Trade and sus­tain­abil­ity. A sam­pling of RuCo (a 50-50 combo of Rwan­dan and Colom­bian beans) shows that it’s also work­ing out where it mat­ters most, in the cup. Full­bod­ied with medium acid­ity, RuCo works best from an espresso ma­chine, yield­ing a nutty, caramel brew sport­ing black fruit notes and a de­li­cious creamy crema, just per­fect for when The Menu is in the mood for a sooth­ing break­fast café au lait. (javare­pub­lic.com)

Pic­ture: Ju­lia Dunin

JP McMa­hon, Aniar, leads the Food on the Edge symposium tak­ing place in Gal­way.

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