The Menu: Eat Together, Cork Food Policy Council, Good Things restaurant & Irish Biltongs

If there is a case to be made for GIY being one of Ireland’s most progressive food activist organisations, then The Menu is always happy to testify accordingly, especially taken as he is with this latest initiative, a social eating programme for primary schools, called Eat Together, that begins to address the crucial issue of food education in primary schools.

Maurice Allshire of Irish Biltong
Maurice Allshire of Irish Biltong

The six-week programme is designed to give children an experience of eating healthy, seasonal food in a social setting at school and once a week, GIY deliver a hot two-course dinner to the classroom, with learning resources for the teacher to incorporate the experience into the curriculum, making lunch part of the children’s actual education.

Developed in tandem with Tramore Educate Together, there are three schools in Waterford involved in this term (aided by sponsorship from Cashel Blue Cheesemakers).

It is a challenging project for a non-profit organisation and GIY are limited to working with schools near their Waterford city GROW HQ but are very keen to encourage like-minded restaurants, cafes, cookery schools, catering companies, etc. to get on board and set up one in their own area, with GIY providing resources to aid any such project, which The Menu fervently believes should ultimately be taken up by the Department of Education (www.giy.ie).

Food policy council 

The very splendid Cork Food Policy Council (the first in Ireland and one of the first in Europe) has announced details of the 2018 Sustainable Food Award Scheme, acknowledging those who excel in healthy, sustainable food practices.

“With one in 10 people in Cork experiencing food poverty addressing these food system issues has become even more important,” said Colin Sage, chairman of CFPC.

Applicants, who must be Cork-based, are invited from each of the following categories: Private business, non-profit organisations, educational institutions and for the first time this year a special category has been created for Primary & Secondary Schools. 

Good eating 

The very wonderful Perry sisters, from Baltimore’s Glebe House, transport their kitchen a few miles inland to Carmel Somers’ Good Things restaurant in nearby Skibbereen, where they will cook breakfast, lunch and dinner (Dec 16). 

If it wasn’t such a year-round delight, The Menu would swear Longueville House, near Mallow, was purpose-built to celebrate Christmas, the venerable old country house’s very appealing offer including festive afternoon teas, lunches and dining nights. (l). 

Finally, Loam Atoms is an intriguing exhibition (opens Dec 10) by artist Frank Corry in the very wonderful Loam restaurant, Galway, with Corry using raw materials sourced from suppliers to Enda McEvoy’s Michelin-starred establishment to make the pigments used to create each piece.

TODAY’S SPECIAL

Rosscarbery Recipes Irish Biltongs is a new offering from the ‘Youth Wing’ of the West Cork-based producers, entirely conceived of and developed by young Maurice Allshire on

Biltong is a type of meat jerky, dried, cured beef (or other meats) that was popularised in the most southerly African countries by Dutch settlers as a means of preserving meat in the intense heat and while The Menu admires the ingenuity involved, any previous experience of eating same, hours spent gnawing on something the taste and texture of shredded brogues, suggested ‘ingenuity’ is not necessarily an always enhancing sauce.

Maurice, however, stays the drying time some way short of ‘full leather’, yielding a sweet, savoury meat that still bears some relation to the quality cut of Angus beef from which it derived, natural flavours enhanced with organic raw cane sugar, sea salt, seaweed and some judicious spicing, all in all, a highly addictive product that went down very well in the progeny’s lunchboxes.

BEER OF THE WEEK

Kinnegar Special, Finally Unfiltered Export Lager, 5% ABV, 500ml - €3.95

Stockists: Bradleys; No 21 group; Castle Tralee; World Wide Wines; McHughes; Martins.

Kinnegar has recently moved to a larger premises and every time I check they seem to have more specials on offer besides its (very solid) core range.

Watch this Christmas for Thre Bagger — an 8% Belgian Triple, Noch Eins Helles and Coco Joe Coffee-Coconut Porter — a lighter seasonal take on Yannaroddy.

Finally, is Kinnegar’s first ever lager and it pours a rich red brown colour with earthy fruit and biscuit aromas and a decent hit of malt.

Soft and full flavoured on the palate and about 10 times more body and flavour than the average macro lager.



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