The Menu: Food news with Joe McNamee

Chile dishes

Part of this year’s Cork Midsummer Festival programme, Cocina Pública, a Chilean art project featuring a mobile kitchen housed in a shipping container, is to set up in Cork’s South Parish community seeking local food heritage, including recipes and techniques, to bring the community together through theatre, food and eating. 

Teatro Container will work with the community to share stories and food at a collective dining events featuring Chilean and Cork artists, storytellers, singers and musicians and South Parish volunteers are now being sought to share their own recipes and stories or to help with decorating, baking or hosting. (Email: or call to Cork Flower Studio, 104 Douglas Street, Cork.)

Izz Cafe

Speaking of the South Parish, The Menu is delighted to report the addition of a wonderful new eatery to the local community, Izz Cafe, on George’s Quay, owned and operated by Izz Alkarajeh and his wife Eman, creator of the superb range of sweet and savoury Palestinian dishes that have been enjoyed by canny diners at the Douglas and Mahon Point Farmers’ markets over the last 12 months. And don’t miss ordering your first personalised ‘picture coffee’!

Prosecco festival

The ongoing Festival of Prosecco Cork 2019, in association with Tindal Wine Merchants, offers a Prosecco Cocktail Masterclass (May 17) and a Prosecco Supper Club (May 24) with winemaker Elena Brugnera of Perlage Winery ( while Brugnera also pitches up at Kinsale’s Blue Haven for a Prosecco Brunch (May 26).

L’Atitude 51

Should you be a subscriber to such notions, L’Atitude 51 may be currently more akin to the hospitality version of the Holy Ghost: though lacking a physical presence ever since fire seriously damaged their Union Quay premises last Paddy’s Day, the city’s favourite wine bar continues to move amongst us spreading the vinified gospel in any of several hospitality venues around the city kind of enough to host L’At 51 on a temporary basis for events and tastings. 

The four week Level 2 Wine Fundamentals course (May 18) kicks off while a tasting (May 16) at Ali’s Kitchen with John Wuderman from Pheasant’s Tears, Georgia, in association with Real Wine Month and Le Caveau.

Taste the island

Fáilte Ireland initiative, Taste the Island, designed to increase out-of-season visitor numbers and slated for later this year is offering workshops to businesses and individuals in the hospitality sector to show how they can get involved with this new tourism initiative, the first to encompass the entire 32 counties. Full details of workshop dates are available online:

Today’s special

The Menu wishes to make mention of the very splendid Cultured Food Company, in west Cork, and their new Beet Kvass, an organic, fermented tonic made from beetroot and ginger that he has been enjoying enormously of late. With much of the natural sugars gobbled up during the fermentation process, it is a low sugar beverage yet still possessed of a salty-sweet salty earthiness with a faint zingy fizz at the tail to remind a body that this is a live tonic with all manner of beneficial health outcomes, including as a digestive aid and for promoting gut health. 

Another such outcome is its potency as a liver cleanser, a tad ironic, when you consider one of The Menu’s favourite methods of consuming this beverage is employing it as a tomato juice substitute in a Bloody Máire, his own take on the Bloody Mary. Said combo may rather neutralise the aforementioned health benefits for the liver but it adds greatly to prolonging The Menu’s spiritual wellbeing!

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