Food news with Joe McNamee

Irish Examiner - Weekend - - Food - Send food news/events/ prod­ucts to the­menu@ex­am­

Aim­sir a sunny prospect The ad­di­tion of three new res­tau­rants to the Ir­ish Miche­lin port­fo­lio el­e­vated in­ter­est in the in­ter­na­tional food guide’s pres­ti­gious ac­co­lade. Many peo­ple on the Ir­ish food scene are ex­pect­ing some­thing sim­i­lar for Aim­sir. The restau­rant will open at Cliff at Lyons in March, 2019. It was sched­uled to open in Novem­ber, but for those un­able to wait un­til then, chef Jor­dan Bai­ley and his team will serve up a taster with a short res­i­dency, El­e­ments of Aim­sir, for a select group of just ten din­ers each night, over six nights (Novem­ber 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21). Email info@aim­ Bord Bia or­ganic win­ners The Menu would like to ac­knowl­edge the re­cip­i­ents of the Bord Bia Na­tional Or­ganic Awards, six win­ners culled from over 200 en­tries. Wex­ford-based Ir­ish Coun­try Meats re­ceived the Over­all Award and the Re­tail Award, for its Good Herds­men or­ganic half leg of lamb, while Rivers­field Or­ganic Farm, in Callen, Co. Kilkenny, won Chef’s Choice Award for their cherry toma­toes. The Menu’s old pals, High­bank Or­ganic Or­chards and Dis­tillery, also from Kilkenny, won Di­rect Sell­ing Award for their for­ti­fied ap­ple wine, Sack No. 3 Pom­meau vin­tage 2016, and the Ex­port Award went to a part­ner­ship of Dun­gar­van-based Lit­tle Milk Co and Cashel Blue Cheese, for Cashel Blue or­ganic cheese. Beech­lawn Or­ganic Farm, Bal­li­nasloe, Co Gal­way, won New and In­no­va­tive Prod­uct for their ‘biobag’, a fully biodegrad­able so­lu­tion, to pack­age their or­ganic curly kale prod­uct, and Slí Eile Hous­ing Com­mu­nity Or­ganic Farm, Mal­low, Co Cork, won Busi­ness in the Com­mu­nity Award, for help­ing peo­ple work­ing the farm to re­cover and re­build their lives after ex­pe­ri­enc­ing men­tal health chal­lenges. Hal­loween fun For those par­ents who are all about the treat this mid-term break, then one smart trick to play will be Gal­way’s Ren­vyle House Ho­tel’s Hal­loween fam­ily B&B pack­ages, with su­per­vised Kids’ Club, tra­di­tional games, fancy dress par­ties, evening en­ter­tain­ment, along with some fine cook­ing from chef Tim O’Sul­li­van;­ Tra­di­tional brack Re­cently spin­ning yarns of Hal­loween’s past to his younger prog­eny, The Menu was re­call­ing the long-de­parted, tra­di­tional Barm­brack, which con­tained the fol­low­ing items: a ring, a pea, a stick, a coin and piece of cloth; each item a pre­dic­tor of im­pend­ing for­tune and fate. And then, lo, he hears tell that Bew­ley’s are re­viv­ing the afore­men­tioned tra­di­tion with their own take on the bairín breac, or speck­led loaf, avail­able from their Grafton Street out­let.

This ver­sion is a proper, rich fruit loaf, with all fruit soaked overnight in Bew­ley’s Gold Tea. TO­DAY’S SPE­CIAL Such has been the na­tive em- brace of the ‘way of the bean’ that 22,000 sin­gle-use cof­fee cups are thrown away each day in Ire­land, adding up to a stag­ger­ing 200m each year, which is why The Menu was so chuffed to ac­cept de­liv­ery of his new, re-us­able Stojo cup. It’s not the only re­us­able cup on the mar­ket, but it is, as far as The Menu is aware, the only col­lapsi­ble cup.

The Menu very much fan­cies the no­tion of re­tain­ing some sem­blance of a planet earth to be equally en­joyed by his chil­dren and grand­chil­dren (should they oc­cur), so is, nat­u­rally, an avid fan of re-us­able cups, but the Bould Nei­dín’s sad­dle­bags are al­ready packed to the brim. The Stojo, how­ever, is made from re­cy­clable ma­te­ri­als and, after each use, can be col­lapsed down to just two inches in height, eas­ily fit­ting into a sad­dle­bag, hand­bag, or even pocket.

It also comes with a heat­proof grip, for when­ever The Menu hap­pens upon his next cof­fee port and wishes to un­leash his Stojo once more, to cel­e­brate with a fine cup of Joe!

Aim­sir will open at the Cliff at Lyons in 2019 but there will be a short taster in Novem­ber.

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