The menu: Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair

The Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair takes place on Feb 23-25 in the Dublin Convention Centre, and features some of Joe McNamee’s his favourite local tipples.

The menu: Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair

There will be no shortage of splendid quaffing options should The Menu decide to sit down to watch the rugger over the course of the Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair (Feb 23-25) in the Dublin Convention Centre, featuring some of his favourite local tipples: Blacks of Kinsale, Eight Degrees, Clonakilty Brew Co, Mountain Man, and Longueville House Cider.

They star among the 400-plus craft beers and ciders on offer, along with offerings from many of our new boutique distillers (and a new gin from Blacks).

As well as rugby on big screens, there is live entertainment and numerous fine food options offering premium soakage.

Career fair

Having studied most fruitfully in the wonderfully appointed faculty building not so long ago, The Menu is pleased to announce the CIT Department of Tourism & Hospitality’s annual career fair, where more than 40 employers from culinary, tourism, and hospitality sectors will meet students about to enter the full-time job market, as well as offering opportunities for part-time and summer employment.

(Other potential employers interested in exhibiting, email

The Cornstore in Cork, currently sporting a distinctly Italian flavour to their kitchen crew with head chef Alfonso Giugliano heading up a team of five of his compatriots, celebrate Carnevale (Feb 28) with a special Italian menu.


Palate for Palomar

Jess Murphy, chef/proprietor of Galway’s Kai, continues to run the rule over some of her favourite cookbooks, this time featuring a night of recipes (Feb 28) from Mitchell Beasley’s excellent Palomar Cookbook (Tickets €45,

Michelin-starred chef/restaurateur Derry Clarke offers an exclusive demo/dining experience (Feb 21) in L’Ecrivain’s luxury private dining and live kitchen space, beginning with prosecco, a guided demo, and a specially-created three-courser with matching wines.

Dine in Dublin (Feb 27-March 5) Food Festival returns with over 70 of the capital’s food and beverage companies participating.

The lineup includes Pichet, Rustic Stone, Zaragoza, Woollen Mills, Fade Street Social, Carluccios, Brother Hubbard, Saba, and Marco Pierre White, with all venues offering dishes or menus unique to the festival.


The Menu rarely pays much serious attention to food fads, most recently struggling with the notion of ‘clean eating’, particularly when so many recipes appeared to be based on favouring inferior imported ingredients over freshly grown, local, seasonal produce.

The Menu does, though, salute the emphasis on using non-processed foods, often in their raw form, and, crucially, the turnaway from refined sugar, an ingredient with which we in the developed world have long had a dysfunctional relationship.

Amy Musgrave’s Crunch Food Company is a thriving little business offering multiple and tasty healthy dining options to those shorn of time and, once he ceased shuddering with distaste at the actual name, The Menu found himself greatly taken with her excellent ‘Cleantella’, a chocolate cashew spread utterly devoid of refined sugar, naturally sweetened with dates, coconut, vanilla, and dark smoky cocoa, all making for a very healthy yet wonderfully tasty addition to the Progeny’s lunchboxes, slathered onto oat cakes and banana.

So good, in fact, that he enjoyed same with his mid-morning espresso, although it should be noted, arch-contrarian that he is, The Menu also enhanced said espresso with a teaspoon of old-school and extremely ‘dirty’ sweetened condensed milk.

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