The Menu has found an ideal leisure pursuit, Smorgasboard, a board game to sate competitive instincts and epicurean appetites. Created by Richard Kelly and Maggie Leonard, players assume the guise of aspiring chefs graduating from ‘Rick’s culinary academy’ with fun questions and challenges. Smorgasboard requires philanthropists to stump up on crowd-funding website www.fundit.ie to get into production — pledge €10 to €500 in return for varying rewards. Further info www.smorgasboard.ie
The Menu is heading for two secret food events, part of Trash Culture Review, May 17-20. Cork-based arts skills exchange organisation Mutant Space repeatedly pulls off the impossible on a (donated) shoestring budget, so The Menu recommends the ‘secret brunch and gig,’ 11am-2pm, May 20, scrumptious nosh and tunes, then, that evening, at chaos cooking, participants bring a bottle of wine and food to cook for 20 others. Four hours later, the place has to be left in its original, pristine condition. Www.mutantspace.com
There’s a nice opportunity to meet fine local producers and sample wares next Thursday, May 17, in The Grain Store, at Ballymaloe House, while raising funds for the excellent East Cork Slow Food Educational Project, affording schoolchildren the chance to learn about good food, from ground to table. Producers confirmed: Ballymaloe cookery school and farm shop; Arun Kapil, Green Saffron; Noreen and Martin Conroy, Woodside farm; Jane and Louis Gubb, Cashel Blue; Arbutus bread; Mark Kingston’s Coffee; Ballymaloe House, Ballymaloe relish; Rupert Hugh Jones, organic vegetables; and Bill Casey Shanagarry smoked salmon. Tickets: Slow Food Members, €30/Non-members €35. Booking essential 021-4646785 email@example.com
The Inishfood culinary festival equivalent of the Electric Picnic, on Inishowen Peninsula, is centred around the award-winning Harry’s bar and restaurant. May 18-20. www.irishfoodbloggers.com/tag/inishfood
Who ate all the pies? Why, The Menu, as long as they’re from local company Slice O’Pie (Caroline Rose and Fenn’s Quay chef, Kate Lawlor), who have won three bronze medals in a field of 900 entries at the prestigious British pie awards. Not bad; they started only last January. When The Menu sank teeth into exquisite, crumbling, buttery shortcrust pastry and succulent beef chunks of one winner, Ole Dhrunken Cow (Irish beef and Murphys), he concurred with the judges and envied them. Available Coal Quay farmers’ mkt /www.facebook.com/SliceOPie.