Food File: The weekly food news round-up


Raw chocolate
Amy Levin, a professional chef and raw chocolatier working in the UK, is coming to Ireland to do two advanced classes. Raw chocolate is cacao that is minimally processed at low temperatures, which preserves the antioxidant properties we use as an excuse for indulging. The classes will include tips on tempering, making filled chocolates, bonbons, praline, creating texture in chocolate, and non-dairy white chocolate. The five-hour sessions take place on Saturday, June 29th at Glenmill Road, Newcastle, Co Wicklow (contact dorcasbarry@gmail for directions) and on June 30th at Fionnuisce Natural Health Centre in Bandon. The €175 fee includes lunch and a copy of Levin’s book, A Passion for Raw Chocolate. You can book online at

M&S buy Irish
There are now 25 Irish suppliers providing more than 400 products for the 21 M&S foodhalls in this country, and several – Monaghan Mushrooms, Avondale and Lir Chocolates among them – also have listings in the chain’s UK and international stores too. The company’s food team is always on the look out for new additions to its Irish portfolio. This summer Rory Morahan, who calls himself The Druid Chef, will be cooking with Irish produce in M&S stores around the country. He will be in Cork today, Liffey Valley next Thursday and Friday; Mary Street on June 20th and 21st; Grafton Street on June 27th and Blackrock on June 28th. All of the demos will start at noon, with the exception of Cork, which will begin an hour later. The photo is of his party-inspired single serving caesar salads.

Licence to make money
The Jamie’s Italian group of restaurants reported a double digit increase in revenue for the 12 months to December 30th 2012, and if the numbers eating at the branch in Dundrum Town Centre are anything to go by, the Irish outpost is chipping in its fair share of the profits. Gerry Fitzpatrick, Oliver’s partner in the Irish branch, recently launched a new summer menu, the first complete menu revamp for the kitchen since it opened last September. Starter highlights include pea and broadbean sourdough bruschetta with asparagus, pea shoots, mozzarella and lemon ricotta; a fishy version of the antipasti plank, and a very pretty bouquet of colourful crudites served on ice, with lemon and mint yoghurt. New main courses feature an Italian sausage supplied by Jane Russell and a brined and marinated rare breed pork chop from Kettyle Meats. The desserts have become more ambitious too, following the hiring of a pastry chef to make them in-house. “We’re only the second Jamie’s Italian to do this,” says head chef Nick Lantini. “The other is Sydney.”