The Menu: Food news with Joe McNamee

Get fish on the dish

You shall have a fishy, on a little dishy … Any initiative in Galway that expands the palates of young children (and possibly parents as well) is always most welcome and Parent’s and Kid’s Days at The Dockside Deli (January 26, February 2 and 9) is designed to encourage them to eat more fish and seafood, never really a difficult task in The Menu’s experience.

Families are invited to drop by between 11am and 3pm for tastings and information from in-house chef Kevin Hynes and his team and Colette Reynolds, Children’s Healthy Eating Specialist at Galway’s Growing Healthy Eaters. Dockside Deli also offers adult cookery classes, including a sit-down two-courser with wine, all for €35.

Kai club

The very splendid Kai café and restaurant returns with its Cookbook Club for 2019 and the first page to be turned is an exploration of Diana Henry’s How to Eat a Peach (January 29), which sees Kai chef-proprietor serve a family-style selection of dishes from the aforementioned. Booking essential.

Barolo dinner

The enormously charming Ristorante Rinuccini, in the equally charming town of Kilkenny, stage an exclusive eight-course Barolo Wine Dinner (January 29) featuring some of The Menu’s most favourite wines hosted by Piemontese winemaker Enzo Brezza, one of series of events to celebrate the renowned Italian restaurant’s 30 years in business. Booking essential.

Whiskey taster

The Menu reckons a special Teeling’s Whiskey Tasting Dinner, at Conrad Dublin, including cocktail and five courses of whiskey-paired dishes and a goodie bag should all make for a pretty fine evening’s entertainment. (www.conraddublin.com)

All-Ireland tapas

The first ever All-Ireland Tapas and Pintxo Championships will take place in April in Tralee with the winner being crowned All-Ireland Champion and receiving an all-expenses paid trip to the 2019 World Tapas Championships, in Valladolid 2019. If you fancy rendering the very finest of local, seasonal Irish produce into a savoury dish of just three bites, register before February 22 for application pack.

Burger fest

Burger Fest (January 28 to February 3), in association with Ballymaloe Foods, returns with a call out to venues interested in participating in a packed programme of events, tastings and demos and a competition to find the best burger in each county and ultimately in Ireland.

Well brewed

One of Ireland’s original temples to the native craft brew, The Franciscan Well, hosts The Cask Ales and Strange Brew Festival (January 31 to February 2) with cask-conditioned brews from various Irish brewers, including a host of experimental offerings along with Pompeii woodfired pizzas, cocktails from the MONK cocktail bar and live entertainment. (Admission free.) www.franciscanwellbrewpub.ie

Today’s special

Good ketchup can be rather crucial to the consumption of fine, crispy fries or a lovely homemade cheeseburger but the amount of sugar in ketchup is coming under the spotlight, with anything up to a third of some major commercial brands made up entirely of sugars. The Menu was mightily impressed with Homemade Tomato Ketchup from Loretta Kennedy’s Mama Bear Foods, an extremely child-friendly condiment with its well-balanced, tomato-heavy flavour that has a complete absence of refined sugar.

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