And if there was ever a one that had his name written all over it, then it has to be the 8th Burren Slow Food Festival (May 23-25), which brings together the wonderful produce of Co Clare with the equally wonderful producers in the unmatchable Burren, one of his most favoured spots in all the wide world. With large indoor and outdoor markets, Burren walks, wild foods, seaweed foraging and beer tasting, to boot, The Menu is already attaching the jetpacks to his faithful four-legged friend (www.slowfoodclare.com). Those Emperors of Cheese, the Brothers Sheridan of Sheridans’ Cheesemongers are hosting their 5th annual food festival (May 25) at their North County Meath HQ with a fine range of producers, excellent workshops, star guests and a Brown Bread competition hosted by the wonderful Ella McSweeney and on top of all that, cookery demos by Richard Corrigan, Ross Lewis, Evan Doyle and Green Saffron’s Arun Kapil and a walking tour foraging for wild foods with chef Enda McEvoy (whose new Galway restaurant is due to open this summer). Furthermore, entry is free and all ticketed events just a fiver! www.sheridanscheesemongers.com/category/sheridans-food-festival/
Voting closes tomorrow for the Restaurants Association of Ireland ‘Food Town’ and while The Menu, naturally, has voted for his own Home By The Lee, were it not for parochial ties, he’d happily make a case for any of the ten finalists and encourages all readers to get online and have their spake. (Ten finalists: Cork City; Dingle; Galway City; Howth; Kilkenny; Kinsale; Lisdoonvarna; Loop Head; Sligo Town; Westport & Clew Bay; (www.foodietowns.ie). The very splendid Big Night, starring Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub as two brothers torn between culinary integrity and the need to save their failing restaurant, is the latest offering from L’Atitude 51’s CineCafe where the nibbling and sipping fare is infinitely more enticing than cheap popcorn and fizzy fructose. Movie & Tasting €15 www.latitude51.ie. The Menu dearly loves to feel ‘the Burn’, that combustible sensation in the gullet as a fiery hot chili wends its way downwards so has high hopes for the Chili CookOff (May 31), in Dublin’s Trinity Bar, in aid of AIM Family Services. With free entry and the only proviso being no pro chefs masquerading as gifted amateurs on your team, The Menu reckons it all has the makings of a great day’s sport. Further details and registration: email@example.com by May 25.
Whenever it turns to the ‘fruit of Pan’, The Menu is very partial to using Orchard Dairy Farm’s wonderful goat’s dairy produce in his culinary capers and his current obsession is using their exquisite organic goat’s milk to construct one of the more elegantly bracing panna cottas he has made to date — all the cream and none of the cloying! www.facebook.com/orchardcottagedairyfarm
Stockists: Matsons, Bradleys, Redmonds, McHughs, Specialist Off-Licences nationwide
Paudie Scully has created Franciscan Well’s seasonal Coffee Porter as the brewery’s spring-summer seasonal beer. The coffee is added at the end of the brew when 10kg of Cork Coffee Roasters Arabica beans are added to the tank and left to steep for eight days. This is a refreshing porter that is actually a perfect fit for an Irish summer with a distinctive coffee aroma, very smooth on the palate, and a creamy finish with the hops kicking in right at the end. The price is a little steep but this is a beer for sipping.
— Leslie Williams