Food File: The weekly food news round-up
Farm-fresh pickles, Knockranny gourmet night, Mothers’ Day cake, Ireland’s top food town
Pickled baby vegetables, relishes and chutneys made by Margaret and Brendan Guinan
Nicolas Faujours, sommelier and restaurant manager at Knockranny House Hotel & Spa. Photograph: Michael McLoughlin
Farm produced pickles, chutneys and relishes
You’ll find Brendan Guinan’s micro salads and baby vegetables in many of the country’s top restaurants, which appreciate their concentrated flavour and freshness (they’re picked and delivered on the same day). Now they can also grace your dining table as Brendan’s wife, Margaret, has developed a range of In Season Farm pickled vegetables, relishes, chutneys and ketchups. The pickled spiced baby beetroot is a winner. You’ll find them on sale Kieran’s Deli in Drogheda; H2G Market, Glasnevin; Donnybrook Fair; The Village Butcher, Ranelagh; Ardkeen Quality Foodstore, Waterford and Hereford and More, Tullamore.
Wine and dine event at Knockranny House Hotel
Chef Seamus Commons and sommelier Nicolas Faujours reimagined the tasting menu when they hosted a 12-course dinner at Knockranny House Hotel recently at which the wines were chosen first, and dishes created around them.
The event marked Faujours’ reign as Ireland’s sommelier of the year, and the Parisian, who came to Ireland when he was 17, threw a few tough challenges the chef’s way as he uncorked some unusual wines from the hotel’s cellar. Faujours’s particular skill is in steering diners in the direction of unusual wines they might not otherwise have tried. You can put him to the test at Knockranny’s next wine tasting and tasting menu dinner on April 5th – seven courses preceeded by a tutored wine tasting (€139 including B&B).
And don’t miss the cocktails expertly mixed by Owen Walsh, including a “breakfast cocktail” made with gin, lemon juice and marmalade, garnished with a triangle of toast. See knockrannyhousehotel.ie.
Say it with cake
Of course you’ll be buying her a nice big bunch of flowers too, but what mother wouldn’t appreciate this very pretty iced cake on Mother’s Day (next Sunday)? The ultra-soft sponge has a jam and vanilla filling. It’s made in Ireland by The Cottage Bakehouse and is on sale in Aldi nationwide (€3.99). Graham Herterich, who calls himself “The Cupcake Bloke” and has a stall at the Coppinger Row food market on Thursdays and a pop-up shop in the Powerscourt Town House, is selling beribboned boxes of extravagantly decorated cupcakes for Mother’s Day. The icing and decoration is very prettily done, but the cakes themselves are the stars – white chocolate and raspberry, Bourbon vanilla, and grapefruit and tangerine varieties.
Top town for food
The Restaurants Association of Ireland is looking for the country’s premier food town. The winning town will receive a prize package worth €5,000 including an Admailer.ie postcard marketing package and mentoring. To nominate your town, see foodietowns.ie. Entries close April 9th.