Time once more for Mystic Menu to ponder a culinary year ahead and, appropriately, for his first glimpse into the future, he is not taking stock but talking stock.
The finest cooks have always known the secret ingredient that so often converts a dish from average to extraordinary is a splendid bone stock or broth.
The Menu himself has always kept a pot bubbling but thanks to the misguided efforts of the food safety bods, in restaurants (agitating for inferior bought-in versions) and butchers (attempting to prohibit the sale of bones), many a modern consumer will have forgotten the meat they consume was once flesh draped over a skeleton of bones — lifegiving, flavoursome and deeply nutritious bones.
The Menu suspects, however, that a growing global phenomenon is set to hit Ireland with a vengeance and Cork-based Sonny’s Broth Merchants are already up and running at Mahon Point Market with a permanent bricks-and-mortar home in the pipeline.
This time last year, The Menu wondered if Galway-based chef, Enda McEvoy, might garner a Michelin star for then newly-Opened restaurant, Loam, and that came to pass.
The Menu also praised Kevin Murphy, chef/proprietor of Idás, in Dingle, and a recent return meal proved a further revelation, confirming for The Menu that 2016 will see Murphy/Idás develop a richly-deserved national reputation.
GIY is one of the more remarkable food-related organisations to have emerged in recent times and it has long transcended these native shores to gain widespread international appeal. T
his is only set to further blossom with the opening of GROW HQ, their new National Food Education Centre, opening in Waterford City in autumn 2016 (www.giyinternational.org).
The Menu is very keen to see how restaurateur/chef JP McMahon progresses with plans to raise €100,000 to open an ethical fast food chain, entitled ‘Farmer’. Farmer will be a fast food restaurant serving takeaway staples such as burgers and chips but using the finest, fresh Irish and even organic ingredients with as little process as possible. (Funding details: www.kickstarter.com)
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