Perfect picnic
Trusting this fine weather continues, a picnic in the park sounds most appealing, particularly, if the park in question is Dublin’s exquisite Iveagh Gardens and the ‘picnic’ is Taste of Dublin (June 16-19).

Mind you, any ‘hamper’ procured at this particular gathering is bound to be exceptionally elevated fare of the finest calibre, for once again it is a gathering of some of the very finest Irish chefs around, all intent on showcasing special signature dishes. 

Amongst those appearing will be household names Neven Maguire and Kevin Dundon, along with some new young Turks, including Danni Barry, Ireland’s only female Michelin-starred chef and young Dubliner Robin Gill, current star of the London restaurant scene whose recent West Waterford Food Fest pop-up at the Tannery featured truly superlative cooking.

Others featuring include Ireland’s finest Indian chef, Sunil Ghai, and Ross Lewis of Chapter One, while the event also features premium food and drinks producers. www.dublin.tastefestivals.com 

Food safari in Meath

The Boyne Valley Food Series, continues through summer, with the Meath Food Safari (June 11), a guided bus tour, visiting four fine local producers on their farms, sampling fare and finding out all about the production process. 

There will be a halt at a suitable watering hole before a BBQ featuring produce from all four producers. www. boynevalleyfoodseries.ie 

Granary goodness

As an essential part of the Midleton food story, The Menu is delighted to wish The Granary Foodstore well on their 20th birthday (June 11) with a family-friendly party. 

As well as birthday cake, there will also be live music, a kids’ bake-off competition, facepainting and BBQ. www.granary-foodstore.com 

Douglas delights

Another wonderful evening of music and mastication is planned for the Douglas outpost of On The Pig’s Back with Crepes, Galettes and Wonderful Waltzes (June 11) with music from FaBaRu Trio du Monde and, if attending, do cast your eye over the ongoing exhibition of children’s art entitled, For the Love of Art. ( www.onthepigsback.ie )

Bites & Boats

The Menu is relishing another evening of splendid seafood at Bites & Boats (June 8) at the Port of Cork bonded warehouses in the city centre, where a variety of watercraft will be moored for an evening of marine frolics and excellent eating, all part of Cork Harbour Festival. ( www.corkharbourfestival.com ).

Thai tastes out West

The next in a summer series of food events from Flavour.ie at Rosscarbery’s Celtic Ross Hotel is Essential Thai Cooking (June 13) with Piers Gourley-Diment of Asian Junction Catering, whose spicy specials wow weekly regulars at the Kinsale Farmer’s Market ( www.flavour.ie ).

Top of the pops

Finally, a swift mention for Dave Barry of Ballintubber Farm and his early Homeguards, procured from Mahon Point Farmers Market and The Menu’s first taste of new Irish spuds this year and while they may be ‘tunnel tatties’, they were a splendid harbinger of tuberous treasures to come.

Today’s special

The Menu rarely deigns to diet but, come late spring, does tend to take it ‘handy’ on the sweetmeats, the better to ensure another year of successful squirming into his heirloom woollen bathing trunks. 

Lest you be too greatly consumed by empathy at The Menu’s plight to read further, rest assured, this self-imposed fatwa does not extend to jam, most especially, some fine Rose Cottage Fruit Farm jam, an elegant strawberry symphony bursting with summery sweetness that, spread upon a slice of fine toasted sourdough already dripping in melted butter, has the measure of any cutty cake in the land. www.rosecottagefruitfarm.ie 


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