He will instead be bringing Daughter Menu and any of her tribe of stuffed cuddly types along to the Teddy Bear hospital at the John Saul Picnic & Vintage Fair (Aug 4) at Castlemartyr Resort Hotel. Hosted by the fine establishment and Le Chat Noir Vintage Events, with all class of entertaining high jinks afoot, there are more than enough edible attractions including a family picnic (pack your own or avail of the many stalls there, including a pig on a spit) to keep The Menu occupied while Daughter Menu’s stuffed progeny undergo rhinoplasty or varicose vein surgery or whatever ails Teddy Bears in the 21st century; www.facebook.com/SaulVintagePicnic
While The Menu does like to be beside the seaside on a most regular basis, he is equally taken with inland Ireland and is encouraging all and sundry to follow him up to Carlow for the Wild Food Summer School (Aug 9-10) for a weekend of foraging, cooking and debates/talks on food, ethics, environment and sustainability, all culminating in a fine Sunday lunch of foraged food cooked by Rozanne Stevens and served tapas-style. Guest speakers include Biddy White Lennon, co-author of Wild Food, environmental campaigner John Gibbons and food writer Georgina Campbell, all chaired by Manchán Magan. And did we mention the live music shindigs in the evenings in the newly renovated Green Building? www.blackstairsecotrails.ie/wild-food-summer-school/
Taste of Cavan 2014 (Aug 8-9) has a stellar gathering of Irish food stars, including Neven Maguire, Richard Corrigan, Rachel Allen and Clodagh McKenna joining star local producers, chefs and restaurants offering delectable edibles, including award winning cheeses from the splendid Silke Crop of Corleggy, handmade chocolate, ice cream and organic sausages as well as boxty, breads, muffins, mushrooms, liquors, and a host of children’s events and activities. (www.thisiscavan.ie/fun/feature/taste-of-cavan). Fans of Lily Ramirez-Foran down in the Deep South will be keen to get their hands of tickets for her boutique pop-up Taco Bar Dinner at Diva Bakery in Ballinspittle on Aug 11, 2 sittings with extras from Facebook: Diva Boutique Bakery & www.divaboutiquebakery.com
The Menu will take all the BBQ chicken out there and then some but he despairs when presented with the more usual bucketloads of cheap wings from vastly inferior birds which is why he very much enjoys snaffling a couple of trays of Dan and Anne Ahern’s organic chicken legs and thighs at the farmer’s market. A prolonged marinade in The Menu’s secret sauce followed by a swift turn on the barbie yields the class of eating experience that can cause a grown man to bawl like a babe in arms upon first sampling that salty honey-crisped skin encasing the gloriously succulent and tender ‘brown’ meat within; email@example.com
Stockists: Matsons, Bradleys, Carry Outs, Spar, SuperValu
Kenmare’s Irish Red Ale from Little Island Brewing Company is the creation of Cremin & Radley, importers of many fine beers such as Innis & Gunn, Rogue and Schneider. Currently brewed in Trim by the talented lads in Brú, there is also a Pale Ale and a Porter. The red ale will soon be on draught in the Mad Monk in Midleton.
Dark ruby red in colour with a rich caramel and roasted malt aroma and a light hop character. This is very easy drinking and a good quality entry level craft red ale.
— Leslie Williams