Food File: The weekly food news round-up

Smokin’ hot idea, afternoon tea to go, and learn to cook at a Thai masterclass . . . or just open a jar


Up in smoke
Smoking is still hot in culinary terms, and if you’d like to learn how to make your own smoker, as well as pick up tips on what and how to smoke, an event run by The Workshop People in Dublin next Saturday, April 12th, might be of interest. Food stylist Jette Virdi and interior designer Alex Carberry will be running the class. You’ll get to keep the smoker you make (bring an old biscuit tin with you), and taste the food that will be cooked, along with craft beers and wine. The fee is €45, with a second ticket half-price if you bring a friend. It starts at 11.30am at Wall & Keogh tea shop, 45 Richmond Street in Portobello, Dublin 8. To book, see

Afternoon tea to go
Isn’t this a smart idea – afternoon tea that can be taken away in a stylish box? They’re from the Atrium Lounge in the Westin hotel in Dublin and cost €19.95 per person, to include sandwiches, cakes, tarts and scones. Order 24 hours in advance by telephoning 01-6451324 or email

Thai taste sensation
The new range of Thai sauces from Tastefully Yours in Dunhill Ecopark, Co Waterford blew me away – quite literally. There are five in the range, and heat in the Thai green curry one in particular is right up there in terms of authentic levels of heat. There are also red curry, massaman, lemongrass curry and satay varieties.

They were created by Audrea Hassett and Norbert Thul, who run Tastefully Yours. They’re surprisingly low in calories, between 52 and 76 per half pot, despite their richness. (With the exception of the satay, which has 440 per half jar). “We had the nutritional analysis done on them when we had them shelf-life tested. I was delighted it was so low. The reason apparently is that we use coconut milk whereas other products they have tested used creamed coconut or coconut oil,” Hassett explains.

You’ll find them in shops including Ardkeen Quality Food Store in Waterford, James Whelan Butchers in Clonmel, Get Fresh in Rathfarnham, Bradley’s in Cork and Kilkenny Design Centre, rrp €5. For more stockists, tel: 051- 396590.

Mix it up and learn from the masters
Saba Thai restaurant in Dublin is celebrating Songkran or Thai New Year (April 13th) with a 10-day festival starting next Thursday which will see new dishes on the menu, competitions and giveaways, and a Thai food masterclass. You can join Saba executive chef Taweesak Trakoolwattana (Tao), and mixologist Karim Medhi for a two-hour food and cocktail class next Saturday, April 12th at noon. Four traditional dishes will be cooked and cocktails created to complement them. It costs €60 and places can be booked by telephoning 01-6792000.

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