The Menu: Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival

Launch of Ireland’s first ‘edible’ Économusée

While The Menu is a fierce man for drinking deep at culture’s well, to date he has been unable to actually physically consume the objects of his admiration. But that all changes with the launch of Ireland’s very first ‘edible’ Économusée, at The Connemara Smokehouse, Ballyconneely, Co Galway. The Économusée concept, whereby a small artisan craftsman or speciality food business acts part-time as a museum and interpretative centre, originated in Quebec over 20 years ago and there are now over 50 providing a fascinating insight into the workings of small food businesses and producers. As the nation slowly finds its feet in the burgeoning global gastro-tourism market, the addition of the Roberts’ family smokehouse, smokers of exquisite fish for over 30 years in The Menu’s beloved Connemara, adds yet another jewel to what should prove a most glittering crown to the foreign visitor with cultural cravings best satisfied via the belly.

Ireland’s ‘biggest’ little film festival

Only freshly returned from his much-adored West Cork, The Menu jumps at the chance for a return visit to the 5th Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival (May 22-26) in beautiful Schull, Ireland’s ‘biggest’ little film festival, in particular, to hear John and Sally McKenna of the renowned food guides pop over the mountain to explain, in From Mashed Potatoes to Movies (Sun 26, 1.30pm, The Grainstore), just how the role of food writer and guidebook publisher is moving from paper and ink to interactive web and video (, about the technology and about their love of movies and their influences as they move swiftly into the world of food video.

Return of Guinea Pig Club

The Guinea Pig Club are back again to the River Lee Hotel (May 30), test-driving a ’70s-inspired menu with 21st century twist by chef Shane O’Sullivan at a mere €28 for a five-courser including cocktail (booking while the Wexford Food Festival (May 22-26) is edible entertainment incarnate with The Menu presuming transubstantiation might be classed as cheating in a food battle, From a Fast to a Feast (May 22) as Rev Arthur Minion takes on Fr Jim Fegan in the kitchen with mentors TV chef Phelim Byrne and Singing Chef Tony Carthy cheering from the sidelines. ( Shannonside welcomes back the highly popular annual Love Gourmet week (June 1-9) with 20 of the Limerick/Shannon region’s finest restaurants showcasing special menus featuring finest local produce at criminally low prices.

Hats off to Glenilen Farm’s refreshing yoghurt

The Menu’s fledglings are as keen on a spot of yoghurt as his good self, but he despairs of the sugar-saturated youth-orientated offerings, so hats off to Glenilen Farm for their Yummy Yoghurts for kids and Fromage Frais-style yoghurts for the very weeny weaners. How refreshing to taste nothing more than yoghurt, fruit and just a hint of sugar.

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