Food File: The weekly food news round-up

Reinventing date night, potcheen cherries, Stoneybatter cake and a 25th anniversary party in a kitchen on South Anne Street

Fri, Feb 28, 2014, 12:49

Dinner and a movie
The classic date night gets a makeover later this month when Ketty Elizabeth, a French woman living in Dublin, launches The Foodie Movie Club. Popcorn and a movie in the sumptuous surroundings of the private screening room in Brooks Hotel, complete with giant cinema seats (but definitely no sticky floor), will be followed by a meal, some way connected with the movie, in a nearby restaurant.

The club’s first gathering, on Wednesday, March 19th, sold out almost as soon as it was arranged, so a repeat screening of Julie & Julia (starring Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci, above), followed by wine and Boeuf Bourguignon in La Maison restaurant in Castlemarket, will take place on Thursday, March 27th.

Tickets are €30 and Elizabeth, who also runs French Foodie in Dublin food and wine walking tours, is taking bookings at frenchfoodieindublin.com.


Amazing Amarenas
When Croén Ruttle’s Italian cousins heard that she loved cherries, they said they’d send her some – and 25 kilos of plump, dark Amarena cherries arrived from Sicily. Ruttle and her husband Tom feasted on the cherries, then preserved the substantial remainder in honey from their own beehives, which they’ve been maintaining for 30 years.

“After a few months we took some cherries out, added Bunratty Potcheen and left them for another few months.” The results were so delicious that Amarena cherries in honey and potcheen have been added to the range of preserves, also made with honey, heather honey and honey infused with ginger, that the couple produce in Kinsale, Co Cork.

The Amarena cherries can be eaten as they are – “we have had people buy them and walk away eating them out of the jar”, Ruttle says – and are very good with ice-cream, or chocolate cake, or dropped into sparkling wine. You’ll find them, along with Bee Sensations honey and preserves, at marketdirect.ie. The cherries cost €7 and can be delivered nationwide.


Let there be (more) cake
The Cake Café in Pleasants Place, Dublin 8, is to get a little sister when Slice opens on Manor Place in Stoneybatter, Dublin 7, on March 12th.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served, with Irish craft beers and old world wines to go with an evening menu served Thursdays to Sundays. See asliceofcake.ie.

Complements to the cooks
Kitchen Complements, the baking supplies and cookware shop on South Anne Street in Dublin 2, is celebrating 25 years in business on March 8th, with Buck’s fizz and cocktail sausages for shoppers, and an all-day Thai cookery demonstration that will be free to attend. “When we opened 25 years ago everyone who made a purchase received a gift of a wooden spoon, so on the 8th we will be giving customers a spatula,” says owner Ann McNamee.

There will also be 25 per cent off a selection of goods and a free draw for a bumper hamper which will be on show in the shop (kitchencomplements.ie).

mcdigby@irishtimes.com