BBQ for a great cause: Sage Restaurant in Midleton will host a Summer BBQ on Monday (July 24) as a fundraiser for the Time for Tilara fund.
With live music on the night from local east Cork musicians, entry costs just €10 and includes a #12Mile BBQ plate plus a beverage, with the entirety of funds raised (thanks to sponsors Sage Courtyard) going to this very worthy cause.
Tilara is a local five-year-old girl who was diagnosed at 12 months with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy.
This debilitating condition not only restricts her movement but also leaves her in constant pain and spasms constantly interrupt her sleep.
Nonetheless, Tilara loves attending her local school (otherwise impossible without the aid of her dedicated SNA) and has many friends.
She has been accepted for a special surgical procedure in the US, its goal being to provide her with increased mobility and, most importantly, a pain-free existence and her supporters are aiming to raise the €140,000 needed to pay for the operation and post-op rehabilitation. (www.facebook.com/TimeForTilara)
The Menu welcomes the latest boost for the West Cork dining scene with the announcement of an eight-week residency (Tuesday to Saturday evenings) by nationally renowned chef Rob Krawczyk, himself a native of the region. RAI Best Chef in Leinster two years running and formerly head chef at Tankardstown House, Rob’s return to his own locality will see him offer a daily changing seven to nine-course tasting menu featuring the finest local fare in the stunning surroundings of beautiful Glebe House (www.glebegardens.com).
Banquet by the Bay
The Bayview Hotel in Ballycotton is to host a dining series, Banquet by the Bay, in the gorgeously situated east Cork hotel, in the heart of the lovely village and overlooking the sea, kicking off on July 28 with The Mackerel Run, all cooked on the terrace by one of The Menu’s favourite chefs, Ciarán Scully. Prices for each night are €65 per person for ticket only and €110 per person for ticket, bed and breakfast (thebayviewhotel.com).
Special wine dinner
The very convivial Ely Wine Bar & Brasserie in Dublin hosts a special wine dinner (July 28) celebrating the festival of San Fermín, with wines from Navarra, in Spain (elywinebar.ie)
Walking food trail
Time to don the clogs once more for another walking food trail, this time hosted by Sharon Noonan, host of the Best Possible Taste radio show on West Limerick 102FM community radio, and taking place in Newcastlewest, Co Limerick, introducing the producers, brewers and farmers in the region and culminating in a multi-course lunch made from local ingredients (www.sharonnoonan.com). The Boyne Valley Food series continues with Grow It, Mill It, Bake It (July 28) at the very wonderful Dunany Farm, in Drogheda. (www.dunanyflour.com )
The Menu has discovered yet another of Ireland’s underground beekeepers, the men and women who keep alive the ancient traditions of beekeeping for which their reward is the very finest of local honey, always the superior of the those blended imported products from around the world.
Leo O’Donoghue’s early honey has the added advantage of coming from bees subsisting for the most part on nearby acres of wild growth uncontaminated by toxic sprays and pesticides. The Menu’s first taste revealed a balanced honey with booming toffee and caramel notes at the bass end lifting to a clean high floral finish in the upper register, very nice indeed when served up with a spot of Hegarty’s Cheddar. Of course, your chances of procuring a jar of self-same honey are probably miniscule for Leo keeps comparatively few hives.
The Menu recommends you track down and support a beekeeper in your own locality but for the truly persistent, it might be worth taking your chances at Caitriona and Willie’s Organic Republic fruit and veg stalls in Mahon and Midleton farmers’ markets, the only places where Leo’s honey is available commercially. (www.facebook.com/organicrepublic)
SPIRIT OF THE WEEK
Blackwater Wexford Strawberry Gin, 40% abv, 50cl - €30
Stockists: Bradleys Cork; Castle Tralee; O’Briens; Greenacres; Celtic Whiskey Shop; SuperValu Cappoquin.
Blackwater first introduced its strawberry gin early last summer and, while I praised it then, it is even better now thanks to a slight reformulation.
It seems the addition of strawberry leaves — increasing tension and helping to focus fruit flavours — was all it took to turn a good drink into a great one.
Double down on the pink by adding Fever-Tree Aromatic (with Angostura bark), add a strawberry and a basil leaf or try with some redcurrants and sage or raspberries and black pepper.
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