Food File: The weekly food news round-up

Rapid rise of The Natural Bakery, tasting menu from the Airfield gardens and farm, Super Miss Sue is having a party, and sweet cake story


The Natural Bakery keeps on growing
Queues outside a bakery aren’t just a French thing – they have been a feature of the rapid expansion of The Natural Bakery, which has four outlets in Dublin and a fifth on the way, in less than a year. Since opening in Kilmainham in August last year, branches of The Natural Bakery have spread to Donnybrook, Rathmines and Ranelagh, and a fifth store will open next month in Stillorgan. “We’re looking at a city centre location, as well as heading north of the Liffey,” says founder Luke Creighton, who also has two Spar shops and two Eurospars, each with Insomnia coffee shops. Arthur Kuling, who has 15 years experience in bakeries, is head confectioner for the chain which bakes a selection of breads, cakes and pastries seven days a week. Only the macarons, which are from Armelle’s Kitchen in Kilcullen, and the gluten-free bread from Pure Food in Blackrock, are made elsewhere. Diana Hrivnakova is manager of the Ranelagh store. See

Get a taste of the farm at Airfield
The lovely light-filled Overends restaurant at Airfield farm and gardens in Dundrum, Dublin 14 is offering a new tasting menu on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as two- and three-course dinner menus. Up to 80 per cent of the produce used in the tasting menu, a seasonal six-course feast,will come from the 38-acre farm at the heart of the venture, which was recently redeveloped at a cost of €11 million. The kitchen is in the hands of Matt Fuller, formerly of the The Ice House hotel in Mayo and The Fitzwilliam hotel in Dublin. Dinner costs €25 (two courses), €31 (three courses), and €39 (tasting menu). Tel: 01-969 6666.

Super Miss Sue’s Summer Soiree
How could you resist an invitation to go “on the batter” with Super Miss Sue on Drury Street in Dublin?The seafood cafe now has Karl Whelan, who worked at Chapter One and assisted Ross Lewis with preparations for the State banquet for Queen Elizabeth II, as head chef. His new menu is being launched at a “summer soiree” on Saturday, August 9th. For €60 a head, guests will be offered three Prosecco cocktails each and a sampling of the menu including oysters, tuna tostadas, sirloin and gambas kebabs, seafood platters, grilled fish platters and of course the signature Cervi fish and chips. It will be a party atmosphere, with what is described as a “standing dinner” followed by music and dancing. It’s limited to 70 guests, and tickets can be booked at 01-679 9009.

Time for cake
There’s a lovely story behind the continuing success of O’Hara’s of Foxford, the Co Mayo bakery that now employs 180 people making bread and cakes that are sold nationwide. The original oven that set the business on its way was purchased in 1951 with the proceeds of a win in the Irish Sweepstakes by Michael O’Hara for his wife Maureen. The company recently added three new varieties to its loaf cake range – ginger, cherry and chocolate (with sticky toffee pieces). These join a range of different fruit cakes and a spicy ginger cake. They cost between €2.49 and €2.99.

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