The Menu is readying himself once more for yet another trip to Cloughjordan, this time for a weekend conference (May 26/27), Feeding Ourselves: Rural Revitalisation through a Cooperative Approach to Farming and Food, an annual gathering of small farmers, community food advocates and anyone with an interest in good food, farming and rural revitalisation.
It was another triumphant year for Cork producers who dominated the 10th outing of the Blas na hÉireann Irish food awards at the Dingle Food Festival over the weekend, but the overall Supreme Champion accolade went to Glenstal Irish Creamery Salted Butter, from Limerick.
How did Dingle, once a poor, little fishing port, evolve to become one of the most important towns in the Irish food world? Ahead of the Dingle Food Festival - and the Blás na hÉireann Irish National Food Awards -pays tribute.
Neidín is already on the steroids getting ready to haul The Menu’s enormous carcass west to one of his most favourite annual food outings, The Dingle Food Festival (Sept 30-Oct 2) in association with the Blás na hÉireann National Irish Food Award.
This year’s Macroom Food Festival (Sept 23-25) sets out under the thematic heading of ‘Blás na hÁite’, which is as it should be for the lovely Cork town and its glorious hinterland, heaving with some very fine producers, farmers, and growers, many of them great favourites of The Menu.
The Menu wrestled with his conscience as he was dearly tempted not to advertise at all a Slow food West Cork dinner (April 27) in Pilgrim’s Restaurant, in Rosscarbery, and instead snaffle up the tickets himself, for it is an asparagus feast, a tasting menu based around the sublime green spear, which is just now coming into season.
It didn’t quite compensate for the recent failure to bring back Sam to the Kingdom, but there was great local delight at the crowning of Cahirciveen company Quinlan’s Seafood as supreme champions at the Blás na hÉireann Food Awards as part of the annual Dingle Food Festival that took place in the Kerry over the weekend.
Former chef and publican, Graham Canning, who saw his pub business in Dublin go to the wall during the Celtic Tiger has, along with his wife and business partner Bernie Canning, received the Supreme Champion accolade at the Blas na hÉireann awards at the Dingle Food Festival.
A new year and time for The Menu to don his Gypsy Rose outfit to serve up some predictions for 2013. The Menu enjoyed some memorable 2012 events: Dungarvan Food Festival, The Irish Examiner Food Festival, International Slow Food at Terra Madre in Turin and Theatre of Food at the Electric Picnic and Liss Ard Music Festival. Equally, he was heartbroken to miss Savour Kilkenny Festival and Dingle Food Festival — that will be rectified in 2013.! But the inaugural Kenmare Food Carnival was a bit special, not as multi-faceted as the aforementioned but as one of the original culinary outposts in the dark pre-food days in Ireland, KFC has all makings of a future top food attraction. www.kenmarefoodcarnival.com