GREAT FOOD ‘ZINES You’re probably familiar with the slow-living bible Kinfolk (kinfolk.com), and the engagingly brash style of Lucky Peach magazine (luckypeach.com), but there is plenty of other stimulating food writing to be found in gastronomic magazines if you’re looking to extend your food magazine library.
I’ve been most excited by my recent discovery of Food Phreaking, a perfectly packaged collection of booklets by the food-centric artists at The Center for Genomic Gastronomy (genomicgastronomy.com). This fascinating think-tank is the project of Dublin-based Zack Denfield and Cathrine Kramer, and their growing collection of ‘zines put forward essays around food technology and open culture.
My current bedtime reading is Issue 02 which tackles the topic of in-vitro meat, ie meat grown in a lab, and puts together a balanced view of this burgeoning technology thanks to experts outlining the pros and cons of “cultured” meat. You can buy a bundle of the three current issues for about ¤35 plus shipping on foodphreaking.com. You can also have a look at free downloadable versions of the ‘zines on their website, but I would recommend buying these booklets so you can enjoy them in the flesh.
Root + Bone is a free, quarterly magazine co-founded by London-based, Kilkenny-born photographer Steve Ryan, whose food portraiture is particularly outstanding. Root + Bone contains just the right amount of irreverence and cheekiness, with long-form pieces tackling subjects such as Vegemite vs Marmite, and recipes entitled “How To BBQ with Napalm”. You can get a feel for their style online at rootandbone.co.uk, where you can subscribe for free – you just pay the postage. You can also pick up a free copy of the magazine in print in the Fumbally Café in Dublin 8.
Another magazine you’re likely to find floating around the Fumbally Café, though this time for purchase, is Fool, a food magazine based in Malmo, Sweden, created by husband and wife team Lotta and Per-Anders Jorgensen. This magazine is a collection of “food, insanity, brilliance and love” and recent cover stars include Iñaki Aizpitarte of Le Chateaubriand in Paris and Magnus Nilsson of Fäviken in Sweden. Apart from the Fumbally Café, other Irish stockists include Ard Bia and coffeewerk + press, both in Galway. Issues three, four and five are available online at fool.se and work out at about ¤25 per issue, including shipping.
Ambrosia is a new fancy magazine on the block, published twice a year from New York publishing team Digital Ventures. It features one country and its food culture per issue, combining a food and travel magazine approach. The first issue on Mexico has sold out, but there are still copies available of their second volume, which zooms in on Denmark and features interviews from René Redzepi of that level of detail just yet. Urbanity has three grinders (most cafes only have one on the go, though it’s more common to have two these days) which means they can easily offer you a choice of three beans, and thus different taste profiles, on any given day.
There’s food, too, including some pleasing salads that are inventive yet accessible. I add a small portion of salad to my sandwich order (an additional ¤2.50) and go for the roasted broccoli with a sweet tahini sauce, and a portion of a celeriac, orange, apple and sumac salad. The ham and cheese sandwich (¤6.50) doesn’t quite match the rest of the menu’s offering. The ham is decent but the cheese is dull and sweaty.
Urbanity had been so busy during the lunchtime wave that hit them before I arrived that I literally got the last Arun Bakery bun in the kitchen, so my options were limited. A Middle Eastern Chicken sandwich on the menu looked a little more interesting. There are plenty of house-made desserts, and a teeny tahini biscuit (¤1) goes down a treat with my coffee.
Coffee is king here at Urbanity. Visit them from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, or on Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.
Noma and Matthew Orlando from Amass. You can get the issue for around ¤17, plus shipping, online at ambrosiamag.com.
From the same publishing team as Ambrosia, coffee nerds will delight in Drift. It follows the same principle as Ambrosia, and embarks on a coffee travelogue of a chosen city throughout the issue. So far, Drift has studied New York, Tokyo and Havana, and its next issue will look at Stockholm. The issues work out at around ¤22 plus shipping and you can order online at driftmag.com.
Going back to a more traditional idea of a magazine, and away from high-production value glossy (or matte, as the case may be) mags, you might enjoy the homemade feel of Remedy Quarterly, a quarterly magazine by Kelly Carámbula, a San Francisco-based graphic 155b Rathgar Road, Dublin 6 fia.ie Fia Café is the brainchild of friends and business partners Alan and Derek. In the early assembling of the Fia Café team, Roasted Brown lent the café their barista Johnny Northcutt, who is making the impeccable brews (¤3 for a flat white) with Roasted Brown beans the day I visit.
My lunch is Peas on Toast (¤8), a dish that unapologetically makes use of the goodness in frozen peas by topping toasted sourdough with plenty of them, and covering them with chunks of McCarthy’s tremendous black pudding. A softly fried egg sits atop, a sprinkling of herb salt making it all the more interesting.
There are four breakfast dishes (served from 9am to noon) and three lunch dishes (served from noon to 4pm). Two daily specials afe offered as a way to trial dishes for weekend brunch menu. Rather than a soup, offers a more substantial broth-based hotpot (¤7) is offered. The Filo Pie (¤10) is a mix of sizeable spinach leaves from McNally’s Family Farm, lightly steamed, and parcelled into sheets of filo alongside bay leaves, rosemary, dill seeds, mint, dill, Greek feta from Lilliput Stores in Stoneybatter and eggs. It’s a satisfying take on the classic spanakopita. The menu will change regularly, and will be influenced by what suppliers can offer.
Visit on Tuesday to Friday from 7.30am to 4pm, and Saturday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm.
Meet Me in the Morning
50 Pleasants Street Dublin 8 facebook.com/ meetmeinthemorning designer turned food blogger. She launched Remedy Quarterly ( remedyquarterly.com) in 2009 to accompany her blog, The Best Remedy. Each issue of Remedy Quarterly has a theme – such as Taste, Share, Fresh and Gather – examined by a collection of food writers in each issue through essays and recipes. In the Taste issue, Katy Severson gives an account of her experience working in April Bloomfield’s New York City kitchen where she learned to taste with other people’s palates in mind, and Sylvie Morgan Brown shares her account of getting over her aversion to the taste of mushrooms.
On a similarly homemade yet skilled vibe is Short Stack Editions (shortstackeditions.com). These little pamphlets feature a different food writer delving into one ingredient per issue. The current issue is an exploration of cherries, while past subjects include maple syrup, strawberries, chickpeas, corn and lemons.
Each issue is hand-bound in New York using butcher’s string. That might sound twee but the graphic design is anything but. You can buy a bundle of all 21 issues for just over ¤200. That may seem like a lot but it would be a worthwhile investment for a fervent food lover. Some people spend their money on handbags and shoes; others spend their dough on food magazines. Opened by Brian O’Keefe on April 15th, Meet Me In The Morning’s clear, unpretentious identity already feels fully formed within a month of opening. He has brought his coffee ardour to his café, and my flat white (¤3.50) is flawless and flavourful. O’Keeffe has plans to rotate between an Irish and an international roaster. When I visit, he’s using beans from Hexagone Café, roasted in rural France by Stéphane Cataldi, who provided O’Keeffe with his beans when he competed in the Brewers’ Cup, on both the Irish and world stage.
In the kitchen, Fiona Hallinan is an astute artist as well as being a skilled cook. Hallinan is greatly influenced by the visual beauty of food, and her recipes are inspired by her travels to places such as Beirut and India. Her Nut Eile (¤5) is based on a friend’s recipe of roasted hazelnuts blitzed and coco-ed up with raw cacao. It’s served sprinkled with sea salt and slathered onto toasted slices of Le Levain sourdough. The honey on the side is from O’Keeffe’s father’s hives in Roscommon. Her bowl of egg and greens (¤7) accomplishes breakfast transcendence. The egg is just cooked so that it runs gloriously into the rainbow chard and sorrel, supplied by Christie Stapleton from the nearby Green Door Market.
There are also spring onions, sweetened through frying. A dollop of garlic yogurt melds with drops of paprika and chilli oil that is evocative of chorizo while maintaining this dish’s vegetarian credentials. There are just a handful of dishes every day, with an emphasis on