The Menu: Spudlove

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth several years hence at the perceived loss of national sovereignty on foot of the bailout.

But The Menu believes food sovereignty — greater control for Irish citizens of the production and sourcing of our food supply — to be an equally pressing matter and that the date chosen to release the Irish Food Sovereignty Proclamation, April 24, the actual centenary of the Easter Rising, is especially appropriate. 

Put together by a group of concerned citizens including farmers, growers and consumers, it is linked to the greater global food sovereignty movement, which seeks to protect and promote small-scale local food producers in particular. 

The organisers are encouraging all and sundry to gather for a meal with family, friends and neighbours and share their efforts via social media or else join in with one of the many planned events listed on the Irish Food Sovereignty Proclamation Facebook page.

Meanwhile, the splendid GIY (Grow It Yourself), in conjunction with Bord Bia, are urging us to get in touch with our inner tuber and reignite the nation’s love affair with the spud. 

Spudlove 2016 is a competition designed to unearth Ireland’s biggest Spudlover through a national ‘Spud Off’, in the process also discovering the nation’s favourite spud with a Spud Off Tool Kit available for all ( www.potato.ie  & www.giyinternational.org/spudlove ).

Roasting beans

The next outing for the Munster Wine & Dine Circle sees the usual post-prandial coffee elevated to the main course as the gallivanting gourmets visit The Golden Bean coffee roastery (April 19), sited next to the Ballymaloe Grainstore, where proprietor Marc Kingston —who roasts what The Menu believes to be the finest coffee in Ireland — will deliver a talk and tasting and a bag of beans for all (tickets: email mwdcircle@gmail.com).

There’s a trio of very fine wine dinners ahead, beginning with an evening (April 21) in Les Gourmandises where Florent Cazaux presents a selection from JM Cazes (owners of multiple Bordeaux estates including Chateau Lynch-Bages) while chef Pat Kiely serves up a wonderful four-courser (tickets 021 4369596 or email douglas@obrienwines.ie ). 

Winemaker Alberto Zenato in conjuction with Tindal Wines hosts an evening (April 20) at the Forge Restaurant, outside Kells, with a fine menu from chef Pauric White (tickets 046 924 5003). 

The Bouchard Finlayson Wine Dinner (April 26) at The Lodge at Ashford Castle is a six-courser with pairings ( www.thelodgeac.com ).

Guiding the way

Time to join The Menu in the lab as he dons his white coat for a spot of technical news, specifically, the unveiling of the renowned McKennas’ Guide apps for 100 Best Restaurants and 100 Best Places to Stay, both now available online. 

The Menu is very proud to play his part each year in assembling the two lists, an eclectic grouping of some of the finest hospitality offerings in the country ( www.guides.ie ). 

While hospitality ventures including restaurants and bars might be interested in checking out Bizimply, a new online workforce software package for managing rostering/scheduling etc along with tracking all the vital daily figures and KPIs ( www.bizimply.com ).

TODAY’S SPECIAL

For some time now, The Menu has been keenly anticipating the arrival of Sonny’s Deli, in Cork’s Albert Road, and this week he was finally able to tether Neidín to the hitching post and pile inside with a scattering of progeny a mere 15 minutes after it first opened.

A delightful little place, it promises to grow into one of the finer delis to be found around these parts, selling superb Golden Bean coffee, innovative salads and a variety of tasty treats and should the sandwiches continue to meet the standards of the classic New York-style Reuben The Menu purchased for his lunch — melting slivers of home-cured brisket, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and pickles, all on lovely fresh sourdough bread — then he predicts a flourishing future ahead. Twitter: @sonnys_deli


Lifestyle

In August 1969, headlines were dominated by Northern Ireland and the beginnings of what was to become known as “the Troubles”.August 26, 2019: A look back at what happened on this day in years gone by

Hundreds of grey seals, the ‘people of the sea’, haul out on Great Blasket’s Trá Bán.Blasket Island seals have cousins in Namibia

More From The Irish Examiner