The menu: Meet the Bakers event in Kilkenny

It’s time for a return to the Marble City where Bia Beag are reprising their Meet the Bakers event (January 24). 

The menu: Meet the Bakers event in Kilkenny

Returning once more will be Joe Fitzmaurice (Riot Rye, formerly Cloughjordan Woodfired Bread), Spelt Baker Josephine Plettenburg and Declan Ryan (Arbutus Bread) to be then joined by several other Irish baking stars including Patrick Ryan from Firehouse (Dublin) and Kemal Scarpello SlowFoodCo (Donegal) to launch Real Bread Ireland, a new network to support and encourage real bread baking (by both bakeries and consumers). It should be the birth of something truly special.


The latest offering from food historian Regina Sexton is‘Cooking the Books; An Introduction to the History of Food, Cookery and Recipes’.

Over the course of seven weekly seminars (beginning January 28) and three field trips, as part of UCC’s Adult Continuing Education programme, the course digs deep into Irish culinary history.

With many Irish recipe collections emanating from the landed gentry, field trips will include visits to historic ‘Big House’ kitchens but the course begins with a look further back, to before the arrival of the potato and further still.

( ). And speaking of UCC and food history, the Fermentation Society host a potentially very fascinating talk (7pm, January 20, Kane G19, UCC) on the Bronze Age Origins of Irish Beer.


Master the Star (February 1) by Ballinacurra House chef David Rice and promoted by Bia Sasta is a cookery class for the more advanced domestic cook as Rice, formerly a chef of Chapter One and a very experienced teacher, takes his old gaffer Ross Lewis’s tome, Chapter One: An Irish Food Story and offers a masterclass in replicating Lewis’s Michelin-starred dishes.

The hands-on class sees all, master and students, diving in to prepare, cook and eat a three-course meal featuring recipes from the book. (Bookings: email ).

The Unstoppable Katie Sanderson, she of last summer’s innovative Dillisk Project offers a Wholefoods Workshop (January 20), in the Fumbally Stables, Dublin, covering raw food techniques and vegetarian/vegan food. Booking: email  stating preferred date. ( ).


With a fair splash of Scottish blood coursing through my veins I’m always up for a good Burns Supper and the good people of L Mulligan Grocer have a fine one lined up (January 25) offering canapés, three-course dinner, each paired with a Scotch whisky or Scottish craft beer and all the Irn Bru your pancreas can handle (Booking: ).

One of The Menu’s favourite chef & sommelier teams, Food & Wine Mag Best Chef in Ireland Graham Neville and Victor Nedelea, of Restaurant 41, offer canapés and champagne to kick off a fine four-courser (January 27) with old and new world wines served with each and a blind tasting to finish up.


The Menu, part man, part bee, is all about the honey and makes no apologies for featuring yet another fine example from Irish hives.

While last week’s splendid Galtee Honey was a deep, rich and complex affair, Clondrohid Honey, from Macroom, is to be found in the upper reaches of the taste register, a sweet and airy floral delight with a truly bearable lightness of being.

Beer of the week

Beavertown 8 Ball Rye IPA, 6.2% ABV, 330ml - €4.09

Stockists: Bradleys, Matsons, Galvins, O’Briens, Carry-Out, Molloys, Redmonds.

Beavertown was the cockney name for De Beauvoir Town in the Borough of Hackney in London where the brewery was founded in 2011.

Registering 65 IBU (international bitterness units) this is a big bold American-style Rye Pale Ale that uses six malts (including Best Pale, Rye and Crystal Rye) and a range of US and Antipodean hops).

Frothy head, earthy, spicy aromas with a richly textured spicy palate and a solid citrus and greengage tinged hoppy finish. Also watch out for the Smog Rocket Smoked Porter.

— Leslie Williams

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