Food File: The weekly food news round-up

Ireland to host 2016 World Barista Championships, a Northern Italian feast, new ice-cream flavours and knife skills to be proud of


Caffeine fest
Ireland is to host the 2016 World Barista Championships, an annual event involving participants from more than 50 countries. Pete Williams (above) of Dublin coffee company 3FE made it to the semi-finals of this year’s championships in Rimini. These events are for professionals, but if you think you make great cappuccino, you can enter the National Home Barista competition at the first Dublin Coffee & Tea Festival at the RDS, Dublin 4 from September 12th-14th. See


Eat like an Italian
Homemade pasta, risotto and panna cotta feature on the menu for an Italian cookery evening at Clodagh McKenna’s Blackrock restaurant on Thursday, August 21st. McKenna, who lived in Italy for several years, will demonstrate all three classics – while guests enjoy northern Italian cocktails and canapes – and then they’ll form the backbone of a four-course dinner. The pasta will be served with butternut squash, pine nuts and mascarpone; the risotto with tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and basil, and the panna cotta will be accompanied by roasted peaches. Dinner and the demonstration costs €55, and can be booked by telephoning 01-2122981.


Ice-cream atelier
When the owners of Dublin chocolate shop Cocoa Atelier decided to add ice-cream and sorbet to their range of handmade filled chocolates, bars and spreads in the stylish Drury Street premises, they looked to their best sellers for inspiration. Boulaban Farm, an ice-cream producer in Co Tipperary, then created six ice-creams and two sorbets using some of Cocoa Atelier’s trademark ingredients, including Venezuelan chocolate, chestnut honey, orange rind oil and pistachio paste. The frozen treats are on sale in small and large pots (€3/€7.50).

The best cut
Remember that scene from Julie & Julia where Meryl Streep as Julia Child addresses her lack of knife skills by chopping her way through a giant sack of onions? There is an easier way: take advice from an expert. An evening class at The Kitchen in the Castle Cookery School in Howth, Co Dublin next Monday (7-9.45pm, €65) covers choosing the right knife for the job and sharpening it correctly on a steel, before progressing to the finer points of brunoise and chiffonade. You’ll get to cook and eat a three-course dinner as well as work on your knife skills. And if you want to keep your knives in peak condition, have them professionally sharpened at Kitchen Compliments on South Anne Street in Dublin 2. See

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