The menu: Tourism and local gastonomy

Fáilte Ireland has launched the Irish leg of the 7th EU Eden project, promoting sustainable tourism across Europe with this year’s theme Tourism and Local Gastronomy. 

Food tourism is the fastest-growing tourism sector worldwide and Fáilte Ireland is seeking the region that has best used local food potential or indigenous gastronomic attractions, with the winning region receiving a marketing package of €5,000 and a free promotional photoshoot.

And neither are the traditional food ‘strongholds’ guaranteed victory as special preference will be given to ‘small, emerging’ or ‘non-traditional, off-the-beaten-track’ destinations.

Closing date for entries: April 8.  or email 


Recently in beautiful Bantry, The Menu highly recommended the wonderfully refurbished Organico Restaurant, Bakery and Health Food Store, run by the lovely Dare sisters, Rachel and Hannah.

What better way to introduce oneself there than by participating in Rachel’s Healthy Vegetarian Cooking Demo (March 28) covering ten or more dishes, including breakfast, salads, dips and dessert, all featuring herbs, local ‘superfoods’ and a few often overlooked ‘pantry-urchins’ ( ).


Food for Thought (March 25), at IT Tralee, features farmer’s markets, cookery demos, and food and beverage workshops ( ).

The Menu’s excellent friend, Christine Girault, a dab hand at the patisserie, has wonderful classes on the go, including Macaroons (March 28, April 18) and Kid’s Easter Class (April 4) (

Meanwhile, Liquid Curiosity’s Introduction to Craft Beer and Cider Assessment course (March 24) fetches up at L’Atitude 51 for a comprehensive overview of craft beer and cider-making, leading on to tasting and assessment, beer, and cider styles, and food matching, particularly useful for hospitality, wholesale or retail staff seeking to keep pace with the rapidly-evolving Irish scene. (  & )


On his recent Bantry skite, The Menu was equally taken with The Stuffed Olive ( www.facebook/TheStuffedOlive ), his progeny going through the lovely grub like a plague of approving locusts. The Pantry, in Kinsale, ( ) looks very downhome and friendly indeed, while El Vino at the Elysian is also on The Menu’s list.

New head chef Kieran O’Shaughnessy put in a spell at The Dorchester and spent time in Ballycotton’s Bayview Hotel, under The Menu’s mentor of mastication, chef Ciaran Scully, so a trip to check out O’Shaughnessy’s new menus is very much on the cards ( ).

The Menu shall be gussying himself up in his finest party frock for a wonderful charity shindig, Cocktails, Cuisine and Style (March 25) at the Cornstore Cork, an Annual Spring Fashion event in aid of the Mercy Foundation Cancer Appeal ( ).


The Menu greatly enjoys a glass of delicious full-fat Irish cow’s milk, often as an excellent stopgap, and empathises with those unable to tolerate same for health reasons, most especially as substitutes or alternatives in the marketplace can be underwhelming.

Kudos to The Good Little Cook’s Beetroot Almond Milk, the earthy sweetness of beetroot makes for a charming little drink and while he won’t be using it any time soon in his cup of Earl Grey, the entirely additive-free concoction makes for a delightful and nutritious smoothie base that has The Menu and his progeny bounding out the gap at the crack of dawn, set up for the day ahead. 


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