Put the two of them together in the form of a food carnival, Culture & Chips, based in the Spiegeltent, erected in the city centre for the duration and you have a most excellent extended weekend’s (May 29-June 2) entertainment. There’ll be plenty of the old pop’n’roll, naturally, including Jack L and the Jerry Fish Electric Sideshow, but there’s plenty of the edible variety to boot, including chef Paul Williams of the excellent Canteen restaurant cooking a splendid feast, The Menu’s much-favoured Susan Boyle, fresh from a stint at last weekend’s Litfest, brings her excellent Wine Goose Chase performance piece on the history of Ireland and wine and then there is the World Chip Championships, as fine a notion for a cooking competition as has been conceived in many a long year. All in all, a splendid weekend in the making and, yes, The Menu will be having chips with everything! www.cultureandchips.com
The Cork and Kerry Food Forum (June 30) in Cork City Hall includes a producers’ conference to be opened by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and covering opportunities in food retail, consumer trends and the new Food Academy Start programme for new food businesses. Doors will then be thrown open to the public (from 1pm) who’ll get to nibble their way around the event for free and enjoy culinary demos by chef Kevin Dundon. With over 70 small producers from the region, it promises to be one of the finest gratis nosebags to be had in many a moon — get there early and hungry.
The Menu is very partial to a bit of chocolate, most especially if it comes from Shana Wilkie, the only chocolatier in Ireland to begin with the bean and end with the bar, and she’s telling the tale (May 29, at 7pm) for a Slow Food event at Ballymaloe Cookery School (www.cookingisfun.ie). Casual dining and the café are very much the thing in the current Irish food scene and if you’ve ever fancied yourself as the proprietor of your very own establishment, serving up the scones and knocking out the ‘joe’, then Coffee Culture’s Start Your Own Café Workshop (May 27) in their Rathcoole, Co Dublin, Academy sounds like a mighty fine beginning. This full-day course covers the conceptual, the practical and, very importantly, the financial and all staging posts in between with an opportunity to book additional courses brushing up your barista skills. www.coffeeculture.ie
It was a fair wind indeed that blew the Fumagallis from Northern Italy to Ballinascarthy, in West Cork. These latest arrivals to the local Farmer’s Market scene are applying their Italian culinary roots to the very finest Irish produce, cooking up all manner of fine comestibles, including a delightful range of pickled vegetables, but The Menu was especially taken with their Trippa con Fagioli, a Milanese speciality combining a delicately toothsome tripe with butterbeans in a gloriously underplayed tomato broth — a worthy dish indeed in the home of that local classic, Tripe and Drisheen.
Thornbridge Kipling South Pacific Pale Ale, 5.2%, 500ml — €4.79
Stockists: Bradleys, BierHaus, Cork and Galway, McHughs, Redmonds, Deveneys
Thornbridge brewery is based in Derbyshire in the East Midlands of the UK and began brewing in 2005. One of the founders left in 2007 to create BrewDog and Thornbridge Brewery has won over 200 awards. Kipling is described as a South Pacific Pale Ale.
Kipling is unpasteurised and unfiltered, golden in colour with a light head and strong grapefruit and kiwi aromas. Bright fresh flavour with a light tropical character with a touch of pineapple on the finish and a crisp and fresh hop character.
— Leslie Williams