Compiled by MARIE-CLAIRE DIGBY
Winter seems to be settling in, so it’s a good time for a filling and warming dinner that won’t break the bank. Dún Laoghaire restaurant Alexis is running a Classics of French Cookery promotion on October 9th-14th, with starters priced at €5 and main courses €10. “We’ll be doing slow-cooked, comforting dishes such as onion soup, rillettes, terrines, cassoulet, veal blanquette and coq au vin,” says proprietor Patrick O’Reilly.
It’s been a great week for Irish cheesemakers, with good showings at both the British Cheese Awards last Friday, and the Irish Cheese Awards on Monday. Helen Finnegan, who won the supreme award at the British event last year, took the best goat’s cheese award this time for Knockdrinna Gold. The best Irish cheese prize went to Killeen Extra Mature, made by Marion Roeleveld (left), which also took gold and silver awards at the RDS. Burren Gold with Cumin was judged to be the best flavour-added cheese of the British show. The Irish Cheese Awards were judged at the SHOP retail trade fair in the RDS by a panel including Patricia Michelson of La Fromagerie, the cheese emporium in London’s Marylebone, and the supreme championship honours went to Maja Binder of Dingle Peninsula Cheese for her Kilcummin raw cow’s milk cheese.
Elizabeth Hurley @ElizabethHurley: Farming can be sad – our new white calf didnt make it
Poulet Bonne Femme @pouletbfemme: Opening in @avocaireland rathcoole. LilliputStores @LilliputStores: Were going international!! Shop being featured in a French cookery show. Full film crew in our tiny space
Campagne @campagnekilkenn: Staff tea is twice cooked goats cheese souffle and leek and potato rosti ... feeling particularly generous today!
Neven Maguire @nevenmaguire: Guess who I met today in Pollen St Social, Thomas Keller my hero!
Big name chefs doing short and usually much-hyped residencies in kitchens other than their own is becoming a global trend, but top-rated US restaurants Eleven Madison Park and Alinea took the idea one step further this week when they swapped whole kitchens, and staff. Grant Achatz and team left Alinea in Chicago on Wednesday for a five-night “pop-up” in Eleven Madison Park’s swanky Manhattan premises.
James Beard Foundation chef of the year Daniel Humm (pictured left) and his team at Eleven Madison Park will return the favour when they relocate to Chicago for five nights beginning October 10th. The chefs will each bring their own cooking style and dishes to their temporary restaurants rather than following the house menu.
Interestingly, Humm was snapped for Twitter with chef Kieran Glennon in the kitchen at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud on Monday night, not looking too worried about handing over the reins of his restaurant to Achatz two days later.
Closer to home, there’s a guest chef event at Campagne in Kilkenny city on October 24th when chef/patron Garrett Byrne hosts a Game and Burgundy dinner with Peter Byrne, head chef at Gordon Ramsay at the Ritz Carlton in Enniskerry. Byrne and Byrne – no relation – are both graduates of the kitchen at Chapter One in Dublin. The five-course dinner with accompanying wines costs €70 and reservations are being taken on 056-777 2858.
Shop on the move
If you’re heading to Kitchen Complements, the kitchenware and baking supplies shop where Domini Kemp picked up her egg poaching gadget (see page 25), you could watch a free demo - Icing Birthday Cakes for Beginners – which takes place today and tomorrow between 11.30am and 4.30pm. Next month Kitchen Complements will relocate to new premises on South Anne Street. “It’s three times the size of our current store. We expect to open on October 30th, with more of what we already do, plus many new ranges,” says owner Ann McNamee.