Though ‘wild and slow’ is a pretty apt description of The Menu atop the Bould Neidín whenever he takes to the highways and byways in search of fine Irish food, in this case, Wild & Slow 2016 (Nov 12 & 13) refers to the unmissable biennial wild foods festival sited in the very wonderful surroundings of Brooklodge & Macreddin Village, Co Wicklow.
Now Europe’s largest wild foods festival and falling under the auspices of Slow Food Ireland, it is focussed on education and conservation of our wild food heritage and is also a celebration of the opening of the wild game season.
The Wild Foods Street Market features all manner of fantastic food stalls, myriad wild food workshops and the whole schemozzle climaxing with the Wild Food Dinner, in Brooklodge.
Also appearing at the festival will be JP McMahon, Catherine Fulvio, Derry Clarke, Ross Lewis, Ed Hick & Evan Doyle. (www.wildandslow.com & www.slowfoodireland.com)
The Menu shall be chowing down on the oily fish over the coming days in an endeavour to kickstart his brain with an omega 3 overdose in preparation for L’Atitude 51’s Great Food & Drinks Quiz (Nov 8) in aid of Cork Simon Community.
With quizmaster Chris Bennett supplying a whole fiendish range of questions, it promises to be a splendid night of tantalising trivia, not least a ‘taste test’ round.
At €20 per table of four, booking is essential, and all proceeds go to Cork Simon. Donations and spot prizes will also be gratefully accepted from those unable to attend on the night. (www.latitude51.ie).
The latest round of students at Ballymaloe Cookery School come together to offer a very pleasant-sounding Slow Food Dinner: A Rediscovery of Forgotten Flavours & Foraged Foods (Nov 19), a seasonal menu including pheasant, Jerusalem artichokes and pumpkin on the menu, with all proceeds going to the Slow Food East Cork Educational Project. (Tickets: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel. 021 4646785).
A troika of wine and food events upcoming includes: The Unusual Suspects (Nov 10) is a wine masterclass, tasting and dinner, taking place at the Cliff House Hotel and hosted by the hotel’s wine buyer and head sommelier Thierry Sauvnot, Michelin-starred chef Martjin Kajuiter and Pascal Rossignol, of Le Caveau Wines, in Kilkenny, for an evening featuring wonderful organic wines from Rossignol’s superb list. (email@example.com);
A dinner at 1826 Adare (Nov 13) with chef Wade Murphy pairing Ribera del Duero wines with fine local ingredients (bookings: www.1826adare.ie); while the Hayfield Manor Wine Society pop the corks for another of wonderful evening (Nov 17) of food and fine wines served up under the watchful eye of justly-renowned sommelier Sandra Bizet-Crowley, this time out featuring some very splendid wines from the celebrated Delas Frères winery in the Rhone Valley. (email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 021 4845909).
The Menu is uncommonly fond of a sticky bun, an encounter with such a class of confection instantly whisking him back to his childhood and to memories of procuring same during school lunchtime from McCarthy’s, on Cork city’s Daunt Square.
He has welcomed greatly the sticky bun revival of recent years and is currently besotted with an especially fine example of same, a sticky cinnamon bun from Kirsty Sweetnam’s splendid Free Birds Bakery, a tart, yeasty pastry dripping in sweet, sugary cinnamon syrup. www.facebook.com/FreeBirdsBakery