Hot topic, gut and psychology syndrome, is addressed by Natasha Campbell McBride while The Menu is particularly interested in hearing Nina Teicholz, author of the bestselling The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Cheese and Meat Belong in a Healthy Diet, an area that has seen much revisionism from health and nutrition experts in recent years (www.wapfmunster.com).
The Munster Branch of the International Food & Wine Society are stepping into the metaphorical telephone booth to affect an identity change and will henceforth be known as the Munster Wine & Dine Circle. The inaugural meeting takes place in Jacque’s restaurant, Cork (February 3) with Ummera Smokehouse and Stonewell Cider the featured producers on the night. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cork catering company The Sharp Knife is putting on an evening of pork’n’cider (February 5) in Urban Jungle, on Sheares Street, Cork, serving up pork dishes, using Woodside Farm’s very fine free-range pork, and showing off its penchant for BBQ with an Asian and Mexican slant, all washed down with a couple of glasses of cider (www.facebook.com/thesharpknifeireland).
UpDown, a restaurant on Cork’s St Patrick St, is tapping into the vogue for a casual dining ‘street food-style’ take on BBQ, welcome the Bia Sasta Critic’s Club (February 11) for a four-course menu with club guests assuming the role of food critics and offering feedback on the night to proprietor Shannon O’Connor. Further details: www.biasasta.ie and www.updowncork.com
The first great Irish craft beer knees-up of 2016, the Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair (February 5-7) takes place at the Dublin Convention Centre, hosting more than 50 Irish and international breweries, cider producers, distilleries and craft-brew distributors and includes the awarding of the Dublin Craft Beer Cup.
Rugby fans may well have noticed the date coincides with the Six Nations but, fear not, for all action will be screened on giant screens along with a myriad of other entertainment options and a Guinness World Record attempt on breaking the mark for the largest beer tasting (www.alltech.com).
Finally, The Dublin Chinese New Year Festival (February 6-21) offers plenty on the culinary front. The Le Cool Chinese Flavour Walking Tour should make for an excellent introduction to Dublin’s ‘Chinatown’ and the Spring Festival Fair (February 6-7) should be well worth checking out. More info: www.dublinchinesenewyear.com
With the wind howling like his belly before breakfast, The Menu is hitting the nuclear button on the central heating but ever before he throws a log on the fire he favours cranking up the internal combustion with a good dose of chilli.
A longtime fan of the Rebel Chilli range, he is greatly enjoying Green Chilli, Lemongrass & Ginger Sauce, liberally anointing all manner of dishes with this clean, green condiment, it making for a most enervating addition to a salad of winter root veg or bean tortillas in the school lunchbox and is quite exceptional as a last-minute addition to some grilled fresh cod. www.rebelchilli.com