The Menu is delighted to congratulate the recent winners of Cork Food Policy Council’s Annual Awards scheme designed to recognise those excelling in sustainable food practices in Cork city or county, with each winner receiving certificates of excellence and a Musgraves-sponsored €500 prize, presented at an awards ceremony in St Peter’s exhibition centre, on North Main St. In the schools category, St Coleman’s NS, Cloyne, amongst other things, use their school garden to teach the children about biodiversity and conservation while Our Lady of Mercy NS (www.ourladyofmercynationalschool.com), in Bantry, were rewarded for their promotion of mental and physical wellbeing and integration of special needs pupils into the mainstream while also teaching extensively about sustainability. Down Syndrome Cork’s Field of Dreams (www.fieldofdreamscork.ie) educational and training growing project for adults, on a three-acre site in Curraheen, were awarded in the Not-For-Profit section while Cork city-based vegan food company, My Goodness ((www.mygoodness.ie) were awarded in the private business category for their work in reducing waste, aiming to become Zero Waste by 2020. Neighbourfood, the laudable online shopping initiative that allows shoppers strapped for time to purchase farmer’s market produce and then pop into a local collection point and pick it up at a set time each week, has now begun operating in Douglas, in Cork city, with a collection point in St Patrick’s Woollen Mills, operating each Wednesday between 5pm and 7pm. (www.neighbourfood.ie/douglascork)
Speaking of markets and Douglas, stallholder Kay Weldon is celebrating 10 years operating out of Douglas Farmer’s Market on Saturday March 2 and plans suitable celebrations in and around her Cupcakes by Katie stall. (www.facebook.com/Cupcakes-by Katie)
O’Brien’s Wines Douglas and Delheim Estate team up at Kenmare’s Sheen Falls Lodge Wine Academy for a wonderful weekend (March 1 and 2) of wine and food including masterclasses on choosing the right wines with Sheen Falls’ own Sommelier, a field trip to an old Menu favourite, Alain Bras’ superb Vanilla Grape wine shop, in Kenmare, and a splendid five-course dinner with matching wines (www.sheenfallslodge.ie or tel. Nicolas Sicot 087-7925755)
The Menu must confess his initial tasting of Ayle Farm Butterscotch & Brandy Sauce was conducted in rather absentminded fashion, distracted as he was by the need to issue some custodial bellows at one of his progeny, but upon tasting that first rich, creamy spoonful of buttery caramel sauce with sprightly high sweet accents of brandy, the spirit’s own oaky and dried fruit tang endowing the entire schemozzle with a deeply sophisticated flavour profile, he abandoned said progeny and ran to the larder for pastry flour and a few of James Scannell’s Knockmealaguala deliciously tart Bramley apples, that he might instantly set about concocting an apple pie with which to match this fine new discovery. It turned out to be a mighty combination indeed and when the pie ran out, they turned to some good homemade vanilla ice cream lurking in the freezer, it too proving an equally engaging partner. Sadly, the bottle ran out but The Menu has been commended by progeny to rectify that situation post haste.