Compiled by MARIE-CLAIRE DIGBY
A date for dinner
Next Thursday you can join Birgitta Curtin of Burren Smokehouse at Donnybrook Fair for a Supper Club dinner focusing on her produce. Five courses with Prosecco and wine, €50 or €90 for two, tel: 01-6144849 for reservations. Details of the menu created by executive chef Neil McFadden, featuring hot and cold smoked salmon, hake and scallops, are available at donnybrookfair.ie/therestaurant/winedinners
The last few seats are now on sale for a seasonal game menu matched with Delas wines from the Rhône Valley at the Westin hotel in Dublin 2, next Friday night, October 26th. Smoked venison, turbot and guinea fowl are on chef John Hickey’s menu. Champagne Deutz reception, plus four courses with wine matches, €55 per person. For bookings, tel: 01-645 1318
Ballyhoura Mushrooms @irishshiitake: The FSAI would have been proud of MrsShiitake, identified numerous wild mushroom for callers to her stall today at Mahon FMkt
Jake Tilson @JakeTilson: UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013
Ernie Whalley @forkncork: @winematcher Today, after two marathon sessions, I am the Pavlovs dog of trained palates. Show me a water biscuit and I bark
Dunbrody House Hotel @DunbrodyHouse: Only slightly traumatised after Michelin inspection
Cheers for cheese
Irish craft beers and farmhouse cheeses are being celebrated at a series of countrywide events next week (October 25th-29th). Caroline Hennessy, food blogger, journalist and wife of Eight Degrees craft brewer Scott Baigent, has written an excellent guide to what cheeses to pair with the growing range of Irish craft beers, and this, together with the full programme of events is online at bordbia.ie/cheeseandbeerweekend. “Good pairing is all about balance, either contrasting or complimenting the flavours,” she says.
Wild about everything that grows
There’s nothing growing in Fiona and Malcolm Falconer’s permaculture garden on their farm in Monamolin, Co Wexford that cannot be eaten – from wild plants and herbs to fruit trees, currant bushes, hedgerow berries and haws. They also have a traditional garden and polytunnel planted with a rotation of seasonal crops, and everything they grow finds its way into their Wild About range of chutneys, preserves, syrups, pestos, dressings and sauces.
Fiona is a Dubliner who worked in documentary film production. Malcolm was brought up on a smallholding in south Wales. He studied product design and engineering, ending up with a double MA from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. Together with their three children, they left their London lives behind a few years ago to “change their lives forever”.
Their range is beautifully presented – “all those years at art college didn’t go to waste”, Fiona says. The rhubarb syrup is delicious stirred into boiling water or added to a glass of chilled Prosecco. The chutney and condiment range changes with the seasons. Standouts include a wonderful red onion marmalade with blackberry; cracking carrot – a mixture of grated carrot, orange and fennel, and saucy haws, a hedgerow ketchup. Wild About is on sale at the Marley Park (Saturday) and People’s Park (Sunday) markets in Dublin, in Cavistons in Glasthule; the Wicklow Wine Company; the Store Rooms at BrookLodge; Spuds ’n’ Stuff, Taghmon, Wexford; Kate’s Farm Shop, Clonard, Wexford, and at wildabout.ie.