Food writers, bloggers, producers, consumers and others of a similar bent convene for a series of talks and discussions with 28 speaker slots concluding with a panel discussion finale. Slots are open to all (pre-booked) applicants with the single proviso they are not used to promote a business or product. Admission is free but you do have to bring lunch for two. Www.foodcamp.ie
There’s nothing like returning from an autumnal day’s foraging in the woods to some creature comforts and the Park Hotel in Kenmare do a very nice line in both woods and five-star creature comforts. Bill O’Dea of Mushroom Stuff leads an exclusive foraging party (Nov 8-10) through the Kenmare hinterland with chef James Coffey cooking up the spoils to be washed down with very fine wines from Gregrory Alken of Febvre Wines. Full details of package, including foraging tuition, BBQ and a foraged breakfast, plus room & dinner (€345pps): www.parkkenmare.com.
The capital has become a most splendid place to put on the nosebag and The Menu could comfortably pass a year eating his way around the city. Dine In Dublin (Oct 21-27) offers a more condensed version cramming in a smorgasbord of demos, competitions, wine-tastings and other events, Susan Boyle presenting a few extracts from A Wine Goose Chase at L’Gueuleton, a Witches and Warlocks party in TGI Friday and a mini-Oktoberfest in The Church along with deals in splendid Dublin eateries. dineindublin.ie
The Menu had a splendid time in Kinsale last weekend judging the Transition Town 50 Mile Meals at the Mad Hatter’s Taste of Kinsale. Jim Edwards’ chef Paul O’Callaghan did a splendid job with ‘Tongue in Cheek’, a Beef Cheeks and Tongue dish The Menu trusts will become a staple on their menu, a very worthy winner of the Most Exquisite Meal. Chef Lee Kennedy did an excellent job of adapting a traditional Cornish Stargazy Fish Pie to include some delicious local seafood to win the Special Commendation Prize, with Fishy Fishy’s Martin Shanahan and young Daniel Horgan of Man Fridays also turning in tremendous dishes.
Cate McCarthy’s cookies have a deceptively dangerous but extremely bearable lightness of being about them, but The Menu advises all and sundry to be vigilant when it comes to her brownies, an almost crisp exterior yeilding to a gooey chocolate heart, leading to unbridled displays of wanton gluttony. Fear not, the shame will fade though the hankering for a repeat is more durable. www.thecookiejar.ie
Stockists: Bradleys, Abbot Ale House, Hollands Bray, McHughs There is now an international bitter-ness unit rating for beers, similar to the Scoville scale for measuring the heat in chilli peppers. The scale goes up to 100, but this extra-hopped IPA claims an IBU of 113 — a typical English ale would measure 30 IBU. Brewed in Pennsylvania using a range of hops, this is smooth, with the bitterness countered by the sweetness of the alcohol and the rich, malt flavour with hints of grapefruit and orange peel. — Leslie Williams