Menu: Your chance to win a fully kitted out food truck

Plus, check out a cooking demo with some of Cork's top chefs
Menu: Your chance to win a fully kitted out food truck

Sebastian Thommen of Toast Cork City. Picture Clare Keogh

€12 for a chance to win a fully kitted out food truck

It saddens The Menu to learn of the imminent demise of a comparatively new food truck enterprise — Sebastian Thommen’s Cork-based Toast Pantry & Coffee Bar — that began with such potential back in May 2020. But he can’t help feeling he is not alone in dreaming of the possibilities inherent in snaffling said food truck as first prize in a raffle.

Each ticket costs just €12.

It’s a small price to pay for a chance of acquiring an exquisitely fitted out food trailer, a professionally restored 1960s Rice horsebox trailer, powered by super quiet generators, with coffee machine and fully kitted-out and working HACCP-approved kitchen, along with iPad, SumUp card payment terminal, till, and printer: pretty much all the requirements to get your own mobile food business up and running.

Should the target of 5,000 tickets sold not be achieved, then the winner will receive a cash prize equivalent to tickets sold by September 30. 5% of all monies raised will be donated to

  • To buy a ticket, search ‘Win Food and Coffee Trailer’ on

Food fun for pre-schoolers

The Cool Food School has launched a new interactive online course for Irish pre-schoolers, aiming to encourage an interest in food and develop healthy eating habits in children of all ages.

‘Food Fun For Pre-schoolers’ has been specially developed by The Cool Food School’s award-winning Founder and BTEC-qualified health coach, Deirdre Doyle, and this new course of six virtual video workshops, will also help tackle neophobia — a fear of new food which is very common amongst young children aged two and upwards and can even impact on their diets.

These expertly led and designed modules can be enjoyed with your children at your leisure.

And an accompanying resource box includes Kiddies Food Kutter and Safety Food Peeler to help empower children to chop and peel fruit and vegetables, as well as seeds for growing lettuce.

  • A special introductory offer (running until March 10) sees the course available for a six-month period for €99.99, using discount code EARLYBIRD on

Cooking demo with Farmgate, Dede and Cafe Paradiso chefs

Do check out a very smart cooking demo (March 2) in MTU’s Department of Tourism and Hospitality, as part of the month-long Innovation Festival, with three fine Cork-based chefs: Pam Kelly (The Farmgate) features local produce; Michelin-starred Ahmet Dede (Dede at the Customs House) features foraged ingredients; and Meadhbh Halton (head chef, Cafe Paradiso) and Denis Cotter (executive chef/proprietor, Cafe Paradiso) on plant-based food.

  • Text 085 851 4355 for further info

Five-course wine dinner at The River Lee Hotel

The very wonderful and thoroughly engaging Lynne Coyle, Master of Wine, hosts a five-course wine dinner (March 10) in partnership with O’Brien’s Wine in the delightfully tasteful Grill Room at The River Lee hotel, joining top sommelier, Philip Dunne, to focus on sustainability, organic practices and biodiversity in wine, including two of Lynne’s own Spanish creations.


Harvest Day's Founder & CEO, Fergus Halpin, with Farmers Dan Hogan & Una Wycherley of Larkin's Hill Farm, in Co Tipperary. (Picture: Marin Bramblett)
Harvest Day's Founder & CEO, Fergus Halpin, with Farmers Dan Hogan & Una Wycherley of Larkin's Hill Farm, in Co Tipperary. (Picture: Marin Bramblett)

While first concerns around Russia’s hideous war on Ukraine can only centre on the terrible plight of the Ukrainian people, there is no question its impact will be felt around world, including a massive disruption of European and world food supply chains and production.

Both Russia and Ukraine are huge food producers, including one-third of global wheat exports, 75% of sunflower oil exports and vast quantities of barley, soy and other grains.

All of the aforementioned contribute to the global livestock fodder supply, on which Ireland’s dairy and livestock sectors so heavily relies — we too are extremely vulnerable.

This is the latest and most serious of an ongoing series of geopolitical events which increasingly make a mockery of the abandonment of the native Irish horticulture sector, when a combination of State and EU policy beginning in the 90s, allied to below-cost selling by the multiple supermarket chains, led to the decimation of the conventional Irish horticultural sector.

Many of those conventional growers are receiving the same prices they received 20 years ago so it is no surprise whatsoever that so many are now abandoning the sector for good, continually reducing our access to fresh, local seasonal produce. In such troubled times, The Menu finds it to be a greater privilege than ever to reside in the ‘breadbasket’ of County Cork, surrounded by so many great, small alternative producers of seasonal, often organic vegetables and fruit provisioning local supply chains.

However, not all citizens are so lucky to have such easy access to outlets (through farmer’s markets, CSAs, Box Schemes, farm gate sales, independent retailers etc) for fresh, seasonal Irish produce.

This is where Harvest Day comes in, offering a delivery service of freshly harvested and seasonal organic Irish produce sourced from a network of organic farmers around the country.

The list of those involved includes Beechlawn Organic Farm, Co Galway; Coolnagrower Organics, Co Offaly; Riversfield Organic Farm, Co Kilkenn and Larkin’s Hill Farm, Co Tipperary.

There is a great choice of Irish premium specialty food products and recipe cards for dishes containing that week’s fresh produce, and it can all be delivered to your doorstep anywhere in the country, with the option of returning used boxes. The Menu most recently enjoyed a box containing gorgeous fresh and organic celeriac, red cabbage, potatoes, carrots, Brussel sprouts, leeks, heritage kale and mushrooms along with Eve’s Leaves Smoked Tomato Relish, Lacystown Gardens’ Apple & Pear Juice, Nutshed Peanut Butter, Jamshack Marmalade and Isle of Crackers black olive crackers.

And with such a smorgasbord of finest Irish produce to hand, he more or less had his entire shopping done for the week!

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