Putting a smile on cheesemakers’ faces

The true Gael will daily encounter multiple reasons to swell with fierce pride as he or she ambles about our fair land but there are few finer reasons than our magnificent farmhouse cheeses, now of such variety and quality as to justly earn us a prime place on the global cheeseboard.

So, it is fitting that the 5th European Farmhouse and Artisan Cheesemakers’ Congress will be hosted at UCC (Apr 26) by CAIS, the Association of Irish Farmhouse Cheesemakers, with over 60 artisan cheesemakers from all over Europe, along with other stakeholders, including cheese technicians, health inspectors, academia and associated trade. A magnificent opportunity for sharing information and experience awaits with sustainability and environmental impact along with best practice and market opportunity all up for discussion.! www.irishcheese.ie

Spring at Wilde’s... and Springfort’s new man

This week saw the launch of the latest McKennas’ (formerly Bridgestone) Guides, The 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland 2013 and the 100 Best Places to Stay in Ireland 2013, with The Menu very proud of his own small part. Both volumes are essential reading for discerning travellers, ‘domestic’ and ‘imported’ — which leads nicely onto news of two of the latest entries in the 100 Restaurants as chef Jonathan Keane of Lisloughrey Lodge, Co Mayo, (http://www.lisloughreylodge.com) hosts a ‘Spring at Wilde’s’ evening (Apr 13, €95 pps incl. Dinner, bed and breakfast) with the up and coming young chef knocking up top vittles featuring the finest of local and foraged foods while the talented Bryan McCarthy, formerly of Springfort Hall, is the newly-installed head chef at The Savoy hotel, Limerick, and, once bedded in, should soon be showing lucky Shannonside citizens why Cork’s loss is very much Limerick’s gain. (www.savoylimerick.com)

Stylish dining for stylish diners

Stylish ladies with equally stylish plates should be the order of the day for ‘Pink Blossom’ at the Cornstore, Cork (Apr 17@7pm) at a splendid fundraiser in aid of Pink Ribbon Walk for Action Breast Cancer – a programme of the Irish Cancer Society. Kicking off with a Pink Blossom cocktail reception, the ensuing three-course dinner with a local fashion show with prizes for Best Dressed Lady in the audience sponsored by Michel Jewellers.

Advance booking advised, tickets €40, T: (021) 4274777 or E: cork@cornstore.com.

Today’s Special

The Menu was once a fierce man for the chilli, eternally questing the ultimate burn. But eventually, he succumbed to a serious case of marriage and small children and with it a prohibition on culinary excess of an eye-watering and mouth-scalding nature. Which is why The Menu keeps a jar of Rebel Chilli’s Hot Habanero Relish secreted away in a dark corner, to add a little discreet heat to his own portion of whatever’s cooking. There’s a tidily-balanced tomato base but it ultimately surrenders to a most splendidly ferocious chilli kick and, every now and then, The Menu will have a nip straight from the jar— for old time’s sake and to prove to himself that he’s still alive! www.facebook.com/rebelchilli

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