The menu: Nepal fundraiser

The Menu’s great compadre, chef Kevin O’Toole, of Dublin’s Chameleon Restaurant has devised a wonderful fundraiser for Nepal, in Smock Alley Theatre, Temple Bar (May 24), an informal dining experience featuring curry, drinks and dancing. 

O’Toole will be joined by the excellent Shamzuri Hanifa, of The Cottage, Carrick-on-Shannon, and Lina Dhakal Gautam, of Monty’s of Kathmandu, in Dublin, who will cook a Nepalese starter. 100 guests are seated at three long tables and the main course is three giant pots of curry. 

A raffle for some stunning prizes includes dinner for two plus accommodation at Neven Maguire’s MacNean Bistro, and, as befits any event involving the bould O’Toole, there will be flamboyant drinking and copious dancing a-plenty to sounds provided by four of Dublin’s top DJs. Tickets €100 each, and the aim is to raise €10,000.


The Menu shall only be in one place this weekend and that is Ballymaloe for Litfest. He is greatly looking forward to his public interview with the wonderful (A Girl Called) Jack Monroe but is also hosting Rants, Raves and Ruaille Buaille, as part of the fringe festival, and welcomes all bearers of strong food-related opinions and the moxie to get up and mouth off about them and be in with a chance of competing for the inaugural Golden Gob trophy. ( )

Appetite for Design: A Culinary Design Experience (May 8-June 30), is a highly intriguing exhibition exploring food, design and our experience of the entire combined kit and caboodle, all taking place in the National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny, and featuring leading Irish designers, chefs and restaurateurs. 

There is an edible element including a culinary evening hosted by Cork’s Domestic Godless (


Tickets are sure to be snapped up for a splendid night in Cork’s Cricket Club (May 22) where Wayne Dunlea’s masticatory militia grouping, Glut, joins forces with Comida for a pop-up dining experience reflecting the Apostle Dunlea’s commendable evangelical passion for all things local and sustainable on the nosebag front with some superb produce to be sourced from the Coal Quay Farmer’s Market on the day ( ). 

To commemorate the visit of Prince Chuck and Duchess Ca’ to the Wild West, Galway’s Hotel Meyrick are offering a special Royal Afternoon Tea (May 18-24), available to titled and commoners alike ( ). 

Listowel Food Fair’s amateur recipe competition will see eight shortlisted dishes feature as specials in four of Listowel’s finest restaurants, with the most ordered dish winning a cash prize. Hurry, closing date is May 18. ( ). 

Finally, any bakers, professional or otherwise, wishing to hone their craft would do well to check out the Baking Academy of Ireland’s new Professional Baking Certificate, an intensive course (begins June 8) tutored by top bakers ( )


The Menu’s recent return to the steak pan was, in truth, as much about testing a culinary technique filched from renowned Swedish chef Magnus ‘Faviken’ Nilsson as it was about fulfilling another professional obligation, the tasting of Dexter Striploin Steak from the Real Meat Co-Operative. 

The cooking method (steak, double-fried, in butter!) relaxed and tenderised the cerise flesh, but the astonishing flavour, a sweet beefy umami, plumbs depths that would give Neptune the bends.

Beer of the week — Leslie Williams

Mountain Man Brewing Sneaky Owl, 500ml, 4.6% ABV, 500ml - €3.49

Stockists: Bradleys, Abbot Ale House, Galvins, Bierhaus, Matsons, 1601, Stacks, Castle, Next Door Raheen & Sundrive, O’Briens, McHughs

Mountain Man brewing from the Derrynasaggart mountains in West Cork is always worth keeping an eye on. Sneaky Owl is its newish Cumbrian-style dark ale — the colour of black coffee with caramel and coffee aromas and a rich smoky chocolate infused palate and a dry hop-influenced finish.

Mountain Man is one of a number of Munster-based craft beers on tap at the Kerrygold Ballymaloe LitFest this weekend along with Metalman, White Gypsy and 8 Degrees. Craft beer talks and events continue at Litfest today and tomorrow.


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