The menu: Dingle delights

Neidín is already on the steroids getting ready to haul The Menu’s enormous carcass west to one of his most favourite annual food outings, The Dingle Food Festival (Sept 30-Oct 2) in association with the Blás na hÉireann National Irish Food Award.

The Menu is rather inclined to let nature and gravity take its course when in Dingle, for there is fun, frolics and fine food to be found on every corner but he will be keeping an especial eye out for demos from Neven Maguire, Kai Chef/Proprietor Jess Murphy and Cork-based Takashi Miyazaki. 

The Farmers & Fishermen Forum covers topics, including the effect of animal welfare on meat quality, beekeeping and hemp as a crop. 

Golden Bean’s Marc Kingston makes yet another return to Dingle with his workshop, Making Great Coffee at Home, while children are, as always, splendidly catered with specific events including Food for Fun, a hands-on creative cooking workshop and a falconry display. & 


Sight for Hungry Eyes (Oct 4-9) is an Italian culinary project founded by Italian chef Cristina Giacomelli, to fundraise for families affected by Alzheimer disease and brought to Ireland by the indefatigable Manuela Spinelli, whom football fans may remember as Chief Decipherer for former Ireland manager Giovanni Trappatoni.

Giacomelli and fellow chef Luciano Tona, creative partner with Ross Lewis in Dublin’s Osteria Lucio, will partner with five top Irish restaurants (Chapter One, Dublin; Greene’s, Cork; 1826 Adare, Co Limerick; Burren Storehouse, Lisdoonvarna; The Olde Post Inn, Co Cavan) to create ticketed dinner events including a SPLASH dish, a unique Italian recipe featuring finest Irish produce.

Reflecting Giacomelli’s family background in the eyewear game, extremely stylish La Giacoma spectacles will be on sale at each event, net proceeds to be donated to a family affected by Alzheimer’s in each participating county and involvement of local groups, associations and branches of Alzheimer Society of Ireland is welcomed.

(Contact: Manuela Spinelli 086 0485802)


The Menu has always had a grá for Cork’s docklands, once the frantic, bustling epicentre of commercial life in the city, when Cork reigned supreme as one of the most important trading ports in Europe and though now apparently, to the casual passerby, near-dormant. 

In fact it hosts a thriving local hospitality network (L’Atitude 51, Club Brasserie, The Sextant, El Vino, Goldberg’s and Salt) that has come together to offer The Docks Taste Tour (Sept 29), a guided tour of cultural, historical and gastronomic highlights of the area. 


James Whelan Butchers have announced a fully accredited €100k scholarship programme for their privately certified professional butchery academy which will run over the next three years and is initially open to 10 successful candidates who will train in James Whelan Butchers shops around the country 


The Gluten Free Living Show (Oct 1) is for all interested in a gluten-free diet, most especially coeliacs and hosts producers, talks and demos.


The Menu has spent the past few days soaking in an Epsom salts bath, recuperating from the rigours of Taste of West Cork, not least a multi-course meal he cooked for diners in the Skibbereen Arts Centre. 

But, save a simple compote of local blackberries and redcurrants on the side, he couldn’t take a single ounce of credit for one of the most popular courses of all, cheese, featuring only Jeffa Gill’s truly splendid and award-winning Durrus Óg, a creamy, buttery concoction with just a hint of ‘farmyard’, served with Sheridan’s Cheese Crackers, by the Regale Biscuit Company Ltd. 


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