Food File: The weekly food news round-up
Chef Elena Arzak pictured in her spice cellar in San Sebastian, is one of the judges for the Euro-toques Ireland young chef of the year final
The wild foods pantry at the Strawberry Tree restaurant in Wicklow
Klaudia Kalazna of Solaris Botanicals, a finalist in the National Enterprise awards
Ireland’s best young chefs
Elena Arzak, who is joint head chef, with her father Juan Marie, of their three-Michelin-starred restaurant Arzak in San Sebastian, is one of the judges for this year’s Euro-toques Ireland young chef of the year competition, which has food memories as its theme this year. Five finalists have been chosen following the first round of judging and they will next be required to cook a “memory on a plate in gastro-pub style”, using a main ingredient that reminds them of a food memory, at Cooks Academy in Dublin on Monday. The final round of judging takes place on November 24th. The finalists are the restaurants they represent are Kevin Burke (Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud); Paula Leavy (Locks Brasserie); Mark Moriarty (The Greenhouse); Brian O’Flaherty (Restaurant Forty One) and Grainne O’Keefe (Pichet).
Wild and free
A wild berry drinks reception is a fitting start to the annual Wild Foods Dinner at the Strawberry Tree restaurant at BrookLodge, which takes place on Saturday, November 16th. The organic restaurant’s wild food larder will be plundered for this annual banquet, which has been taking place for more than 20 years. It’s been a record year for wild mushrooms and some of the 243kh of ceps the kitchen staff have collected will feature, along with wild game, which is starting to appear on menus now. The event is in collaborationwith SugarLoad Slow Food and costs €145 for members, €165 for non-members, including B&B, dinner with wine, and a wild food masterclass in the afternoon. For bookings, see email@example.com
Food book of the week
Meals at Gould Farm in the Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts are a welcoming affair. Everyone gathers in a large rustic dining room, tucking into tasty leams created from food grown, or reared on the farm and prepared by chef Flavio and his kitchen team, who are adults with mental illness working towards recovery, as all as volunteers and staff. Gould Farm is the US’s longest established therapeutic community, founded in 1913 by Will and Agnes Gould. Its centenary is being celebrated with the publication Gould Farm – A Hundred Years of Good Foof, edited by Irish Times journalist Rose Doyle, a volunteer at the farm.The book tells the story of Gould Farm, alongside recipes used there. It is available from amazon.com or from gouldfarm.org.
Three of the eight finalists in the National Enterprise Awards, the winner of which will be announced next Thursday, are food businesses. Chia Bia is a Waterford company producing food supplements and products made with chia seeds, which are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties; Kinsale Gourmet makes frozen meals, and currently produces 5,000 a week. Solaris Botanicals makes organic tea blends.