Food File: The weekly food news round-up

Mo Bros, mushrooms, Chapter One book, il Valentino and Discover Farmhouse Cheese


Cook like a man – a Mo man
It’s not just for the boys – or the “Mo Bros” as they prefer to be called. Cook Like A Man, in support of the Movember men’s health movement, is due in book shops on October 24th, and we’ve had a sneak peak. Some of the images may be unintentionally hilarious, or maybe they’re hamming it up on purpose, but the recipes are interesting, which isn’t surprising as there are chefs from Irish restaurants The Fumbally, Damson Diner, Ukiyo and BrookLodge involved, as well as Mo Bros from the UK, Spain and Finland. See for details.

Apple harvest time at il Valentino
The bakery at il Valentino is open 24 hours a day, with bakers and pastry chefs working to keep up with demand for the cakes, pastries and speciality breads that have been drawing custom from all over Dublin to Valentina and Owen Doorly’s shop and cafe at Grand Canal Harbour. Throughout the winter, the bakers at il Valentino will be selecting ingredients to create special recipes around and for the next three weekends they’re celebrating a bumper apple harvest. You’ll find strudels, crumbles, pithiviers and tarts on sale, but the show stopper they’re planning is a croquembouche choux pastry tower decorated with pommes d’amour, or toffee apples. Chestnuts, pumpkin, chocolate and citrus fruits will provide the inspiration for further themed weekends at the bakery this winter. See

Start at Chapter One
Chapter One: An Irish Food Story is due out in early November. The Dublin restaurant celebrates 21 years in business this year, and you can join chef Ross Lewis with his co-proprietor Martin Corbett for a kitchen party on Monday, November 11th. It’s one of four events “for people hungry to learn”, called The Finishing School, organised by Gill & Macmillan in association with online publication, Le Cool. It starts at 7.30pm and there are only 25 tickets available – €20 and redeemable against books purchased. See Other events include a workshop on How to DIY Your Christmas, with the ICA at An Grianán.

Mad for mushrooms
Have we gone mad for mushrooms? Fionnuala Fallon is writing about a scheme to encourage us to grow them at home, in recycled coffee grinds, on page 26; there’s an international mushroom festival taking place in Co Leitrim next weekend, and next month you can learn how to pick them in the wild, safely, at a foraging and wine weekend at the Park Hotel, Kenmare.

The Killegar International Mushroom Festival (October 12th-13th) has attracted experts from six countries for a weekend of talks, guided forages and cookery demos at the Killegar estate, located between Carrigallen, Co Leitrim and Killeshandra, Co Cavan.

Mushroom expert Bill O’Dea, chef James Coffey and Gregory Alken of Febvre wine, are collaborating on a foraging weekend at the Park Hotel (November 8th-10th). O’Dea will lead foraging excursions into the woods surrounding the hotel. Coffey will be cooking up the spoils out in the wild, as well as at a themed dinner in the hotel dining room. And Alken will have the task of selecting fine wines to accompany the feast. The two-night package includes B&B in a deluxe room, foraging tuition and excursions, and dinner with wine, including tasting notes. The cost is €345 per person, see

Have the banter
Pull up a chair at the Black Pig Wine Bar in Kinsale next Saturday at 2pm for a discussion on ‘What’s On Your Plate?’ – one of a series of talks organised by This Is Banter ( at the Kinsale Arts Festival. Darina Allen will be joined on the panel by her former pupil and fellow food writer Caroline Hennessy, and by broadcaster Gerry Godley, frontman for Hot Potatoes, which has been described as ‘a pop-up pow-wow exploring our complex, often contradictary relationship with food’.

Say cheese
During October, the Discover Farmhouse Cheese campaign will be highlighting the unique qualities of these Irish cheeses and introducing consumers to the people who make them. Details of the farm visits and how to book are available at, where you’ll also find a good variety of new recipes, such as goat’s cheese ravioli with tomato fondue, and bacon, courgette and blue cheese soup.

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