The Menu

The Menu: Taste of West Cork

The splendid Taste of West Cork food festival (Sept 4-13) rolls around once more with yet another celebration of the food culture of Ireland’s original larder and the mighty programme is more ambitious than ever, 140+ events spanning 32 towns and villages, along with eight islands, throughout West Cork. 

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The Menu: Food festival frenzy

One of the great ironies of the ‘Edible Erin’ calendar is that the arrival once more of a new school year coincides with the busiest time of the year for food festivals, the season really beginning around now.

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The Menu: The Big Grill Festival, Dublin

Those beards will certainly need a liberal dousing in flame retardant as The Big Grill BBQ & Craft Beer Festival (Aug 13-16) returns once more to Dublin’s Herbert Park. 

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Neven Maguire

The Menu: Festival wrap

The menu would think nothing saddling up Neidín and travelling to Cavan and back for a taste of Silke Cropp’s Corleggy Cheese alone but throw in the Taste of Cavan 2015 food festival (Aug 7-8) and he’d be near tempted to shoulder the bould Neidín himself.

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The Menu: Culinary centre stage

The Menu is packing his theatre binoculars with the mother-of-pearl inlay and his most elasticated cummerbund for what promises to be a splendid evening of theatrical and culinary high-jinks at Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre throughout the month of August. 

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The Menu: Permanent farmers’ markets

The Menu has spent the last decade bending the ears of any with pockets of sufficient depth and the business nous necessary for creating and maintaining such aforementioned fiscal fortitude about the viability of a ‘permanent’ farmer’s market, believing it to be a marvelous business opportunity with equally positive social implications for the community.

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The Menu: Foraging for food

Food news with Joe McNamee.

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The Menu: Supportive sisters

Having three fine sisters himself, The Menu is a great man to hymn the praises of supportive female siblings so reckons the alliance of ‘Three Sisters’ from the South-East, Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny.

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The menu: Taking responsibility for food

A proud member of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild, The Menu is delighted to bring news of the Guild’s new Social Responsibility Award. 

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Myrtle Allen

The Menu: Crème de la crème for Euro-Toques Ireland awards

One of Myrtle Allen’s lesser-hymned but no less commendable achievements is her role in co-founding Euro-Toques, in 1986, the European chefs organisation dedicated to guiding chefs in preserving traditional culinary cultures and in the value of using the very best of local, seasonal produce. 

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The menu: a Father’s Day gift

The menu consents to being showered by Father’s Day gifts from his progeny; less grudgingly, if those gifts are designed to appeal to his innate gluttony.

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The menu: nibbles with a cultural bent

Unsurprisingly, Our Table, the Cork Midsummer Festival long table al fresco banquet on Cork’s Oliver Plunkett St, feeding 400 white-clad diners, is long sold out.

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The Menu: Loving the spud

Waterford-based GIY are joining forces with Bord Bia to search for Ireland’s favourite potato, a quest for inner ‘spudlove’, encouraging the growing, cooking and consumption of the National Tuber and participation in a ‘Spud-Off’, whereby local winners compete in a national competition at the GIY GROW festival, in Waterford, in mid-September.

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The menu: Waterworld

The promotion of local maritime activity as part of the Ocean to City: Cork Harbour Festival (May 30-June 6) is heartening, with one event especially catching The Menu’s attention, Boats & Bites: Boating & Seafood Tasters (June 3, 6pm-8.30pm). 

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The menu: Nepal fundraiser

The Menu’s great compadre, chef Kevin O’Toole, of Dublin’s Chameleon Restaurant has devised a wonderful fundraiser for Nepal, in Smock Alley Theatre, Temple Bar (May 24), an informal dining experience featuring curry, drinks and dancing. 

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The menu: Learn it, cook it

The new Kilkenny Cookery School has just been opened by wife-and-husband chef team, Mary and Neil McEvoy. 

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The menu: Boyne beckons

BOYNE BECKONS

The Menu is forever harping on about the still largely untapped potential for Irish food tourism, where (invariably high-spending) visitors come specifically to a destination for the food and food culture. 

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The menu: Mighty mussels

The Connemara Mussel Festival (May 1-3) picked up one hell of an accolade last year.

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The Menu: Dublin Wine Fest

THE UNION OF GOOD FOOD AND WINE

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The Menu: Camera-friendly food

There is no doubt modern technology has evolved a whole new dimension to the consideration and appreciation of the nosebag.

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The menu: Community food

The Menu gets greatly exercised about food security — ready access to delicious and nutritious food is a fundamental right. 

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