The menu: Tastes of Euro-Toques

The Leeside ladies Ali Honour of Ali’s Kitchen and Kate Lawlor of Fenn’s Quay head for the Big Smoke for the third in a series of dinners to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the formation of Euro-Toques Ireland, all cooked by the chef-members themselves. 

The menu: Tastes of Euro-Toques

Bacon & Cabbage (July 25) will see the two women joined by three other fine Irish chefs (Sham Hanifa, The Cottage; Kevin O’Toole, Chameleon; and Robbie Krawczyk, Tankardstown House) for a five-course celebration of the classic Irish dish.

(To book call 01-6779995; )

Go Gruel Gorrilla

One Irish dining experience that will live long in The Menu’s memory is his evening in the home of chef Kevin Powell and partner Robin, in a top-floor apartment in a warehouse in Temple Bar, in the heart of Dublin city, enjoying a highly exclusive supper club with a select band of just eight diners.

Next up for Gruel Guerilla is a 10-course meal (July 24, 25 and 26), a BYOB affair with diners choosing what they wish to pay at the end of the evening and featuring an always original take on very fine Irish ingredients, including Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms (whose superb produce has just gone on sale in Harrods this week, Brexit or no Brexit!) and The Menu very much fancies cleansing his palate with a Honeysuckle and Sage Vinegar Sorbet.

The meal will be further enhanced with a clatter of Japanese specialty ingredients brought back by Robin on foot of her extended sojourn in Kyoto.

(booking: )

Fun for all the family

The extremely family-friendly Beatyard festival (July 30/31) on Dun Laoghaire marina, not only offers a superb musical bill, including The Menu’s great idol, George Clinton, but a substantial edible element with Foodyard featuring up to 30 food and drink vendors, chefs, demos, classes, and food competitions and Tippletown, featuring some of the best brewers, mixologists and bartenders from around the country ( ).

Castlemartyr Resort Hotel host yet another John Saul Picnic and Vintage Fair (Aug 1) along with Le Chat Noir Vintage Events celebrating the once-renowned horticulturalist of yore with much food and family frolics, not least Cork’s largest ever vintage fair. ( ).

L’Atitude 51 host a gin tasting with the ever-wonderful Blackwater Distillery (July 27) and The Menu urges gin fans to head their in their droves demanding large gulps, particularly of their new strawberry gin. ( )

The Specials

For a spell, at each food festival he attended, The Menu was regularly accosted by friends and acquaintances, insisting he try ‘them cakes from the crowd over there!’ Sometimes said messenger would even brandish a tantalising morsel in his general direction but nary an actual sample was ever offered, further whetting frustrated appetites.

What’s more, by the time he ever tracked down said stall, it was invariably cleared of all and sundry, that is until the day he finally arrived at a Cakeface stall early enough in the morning and promptly ‘baggsed’ a box of their finest.

Established by Laura and Rory Gannon on foot of stints working in the pastry kitchens of some of the finest restaurants in Europe, the enterprise is now about to open (August 1) their first bricks and mortar establishment, a patisserie in Irishtown, in Kilkenny, offering gourmet sandwiches using Seagull Bakery’s superb offerings and a special coffee blend courtesy of Waterford roasters, Coffeehouse Lane.

But it will be the high-end ‘cutty cakes’ which should have the citizenry all in a lather for it is supremely crafted classical patisserie with a distinctly native twist and The Menu recommends starting with The Banamel, a gossamer-light take on a banoffee, an airy flourless chocolate sponge, topped with ethereal caramel and crowned with a sublime banana and walnut mousse.

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