If The Menu could ever rid himself of the microchip implanted in his neck by Mrs Menu, he’d while away many an afternoon in his beloved L’Atitude 51, (www.latitude51.ie).
But for the moment he’ll have to make do with taking the aforementioned Dearly Beloved to the ‘Pictures’, specifically L’Atitude’s new Cine Café, on the third Wednesday of each month, films with a food/wine theme accompanying some fine nibbles and sups. First up (February 19) is an entertaining comedy-drama, starring Alan Rickman and Bill Pullman, recalling the famous ‘Judgement of Paris’ when Californian wines defeated French in a blind tasting that shocked the world. The Hayfield Manor Wine Society’s next event (February 27) is a splendid Australian selection accompanying a fine five-courser, hosted by Findlater’s Paul O’Flynn and Penfold Wines. The Menu, who enjoyed a WS evening some time back, can’t recommend the splendid mix of wine, food and company highly enough. www.hayfieldmanor.ie
Tempting offerings from Lady Eve
Taking a cue from Darina, The Menu is having enormous fun with Catherine Phipps’ The Pressure Cooker Cookbook (Elbury Press), discovering the hitherto lethal weapon of his youth is a very canny piece of kitchen kit. Another making great use of old-fashioned kit is Lady Eve, formerly, Lady Aga, such is her gr• for the famous range cooker, until legal interventions on behalf of the famous strange looker, Lady Gaga herself, who felt her global pop domination to be gravely threatened by a Ballymaloe-trained Dublin mother offering delightful cookery classes and demos in the comfort of her own home. The Menu, who prefers his meat on the pan, will opt for an evening with Lady Eve any day of the week, www.ladyeve.ie
The art of fermentation
One of the standout events at last year’s inaugural Ballymaloe Litfest was fermentation guru Sandor Katz’s demo and subsequent lecture, and fermentation is currently one of the great global food trends resulting in some truly stunning and exquisite food which also happens to have huge health benefits. Fermented & Cultured Foods — The Art of Fermentation (February 23) is taught by one of our ‘native’ gurus, Gaby Wieland, in lovely Leitrim, a hands-on class covering Kombucha, Sauerkraut, Kim Chee, Kefir and Rejuvelac, www.theorganiccentre.ie
A smidgeon of Hederman’s Smoked Country Butter, cold on the palate, had The Menu recalling Hitchcock’s classic, The 39 Steps, with Glenstal Abbey Country butter and beechwood smoke as the total strangers, initially, reluctantly thrown together but turn up the heat — literally, in the case of the butter — and the unlikely union proves to be a marriage made in heaven. The Menu has spent the last week experimenting in his lab with all manner of intriguing results but a simple shaving laid over oven-roasted fresh haddock resulted in an ethereal ‘smoked haddock’ of such exquisite delicacy, he was forced to allow himself to be temporarily transported by this smokey piscine reverie. www.frankhederman.com
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BEER OF THE WEEK
White Gypsy Russian Imperial Stout, 7% ABV, 75cl — €8.49
Stockists: Bradleys; Next Door, Raheen & Sun-drive; Centra, Templemore; Linnanes, Thurles; Kellers, Nenagh.
White Gypsy beers are brewed in Templemore in Tipperary using local ingredients wherever possible. Their Ruby Red Ale and Blond Weissbeer are available on draught locally and in selected bars nationwide.
Recent experiments with ageing their beers in oak barrels prior to bottling seems to add balance and even out flavours, particularly in the Russian Imperial Stout. I found rich chocolate and espresso coffee aromas, a creamy texture and noticeable hops on the finish. — Leslie Williams
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