The Menu:

Thrill of the Grill for Father’s Day

Any residual scepticism The Menu may harbour towards ‘Hallmark Holidays’ usually withers when he is the recipient of possible resulting bounty: hence, Mother’s Day is an outrageous moneymaking scam; Father’s Day, some small but justifiably deserved recognition of the incredible daily accomplishments of your typical male progenitor. Actually, one typical male progenitor in particular. And when that aforementioned bounty turns out to be a BBQ class, Thrill of the Grill (June 14-16) at West Cork’s Inchydoney Lodge and Spa Hotel with Pitmaster Mike Corcoran, then The Menu believes just one Father’s Day per annum is an outrageous deprivation. Having had the privilege of a masterclass with this practioner of the ‘Low and Slow’ school of barbecue cooking, Chicago-native Pitmaster Mike opened up a new culinary world for The Menu — ask nicely and he may tell you how to do his renowned ‘Beer-Butt Chicken’! Package includes two nights B&B.

Love thy neighbour’s food

While The Menu would talk to a brick wall if it hung around long enough, apparently, a mere 47% of Irish people ‘know their neighbours to say hello to’ and almost 25% don’t know their neighbours at all — a most heinous state of affairs altogether. The Menu strongly urges all and sundry to sign up to the 3rd annual Street Feast (Jun 23), brainchild of the inspirational Street Feast crew of community activists, as there are few better ways of breaking the ice than sitting down and breaking bread together. It can be anything from a simple picnic to a full-on banquet and can take place anywhere communal, from a balcony to a barn. With sponsorship from Centra, hosting a Street Feast is simple — register at to be sent a free party pack and guide, including posters, invitations, balloons, party hats and bunting to set the block a rockin’.

Seaweed foraging: No need to be all at sea

Bia Sasta host a seaweed foraging course in East Cork with ‘sea gardener’ Marie Power (Jun 8 at10am), walk, talk, info, picnic and recipes all for €15 (email while newly-launched Baking Academy of Ireland in Dublin sees the quality bread revival continue with courses in bread and cake baking, chocolate making and sugar craft cake decoration taught by Master Baker Derek O’Brien ( and combining a spot of culinary education with an even larger spot of fun, Cork’s Cookery Cottage are offering Italian or Indian food classes to groups of 10 or more.

Nutcase with its head screwed on

There are few things more chilling for a parent than witnessing a teenage offspring afflicted with early-onset vegetarianism — how on earth to feed the poor benighted creature? Well, as a recovering vegetarian himself, The Menu gives a hearty thumbs-up to the Nutcase Co range; a delightfully light, nutty bite for such a fine wholesome meal. But he is still torn between the sweet basil tones of the Hey Pesto and the sublimely-spiced Madras.


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