Scenic farmer’s market opens for summer
Food File: Irish asparagus, edible flowers and Dublin’s food history also on the menu
Ballyvaughan Farmer's Market, Co Clare - which is open for the summer season
It’s Irish asparagus season at Seasons restaurant in the InterContinental Hotel, Dublin
The most scenic of farmer’s markets
Ballyvaughan Farmers’ Market in Co Clare has reopened for the summer season, with a range of food demonstrations and competitions to tempt shoppers to visit its scenic location. You can also pick up a copy of the Ballyvaughan Farmers’ Market Cookbook, a cute, ring binder-style book written by the stallholders. Many of the recipes are tried-and-tested family favourites, such as Tubber Curry, and The One Pot Wonder.
The market takes place from 10am to 2pm every Saturday from now until October, at St John’s Hall. Admission is free, and there is outdoor seating so you can enjoy the lunch you have bought from the stallholders.
On May 20th you can watch a raw chocolate demonstration with crepe chef Diana Rogerson. Burren craft butcher Neil Hawes will prepare prime meat cuts on June 17th. Beekeeper Frank Benson of Burren Bees takes over on July 29th. Authentic Thai Cooking with Boo is the theme of the August 5th demonstration, and Síle Hayes will turn cream into butter at her From Churn to Table session on September 2nd.
Asparagus and the Wee County
Drummond House in Baltray, Co Louth, best known for its home-grown garlic crops, is celebrating its first commercial asparagus season. You can buy it, while stocks last, at the Honest2Goodness market in Glasnevin on Saturdays, or you could join the celebration of asparagus season at the InterContinental hotel in Dublin 4, which runs until May 20th.
Executive Chef Alberto Rossi is serving the Irish asparagus with truffled egg ravioli, and the vegetable also pops up alongside smoked salmon, steak Béarnaise and John Dory.
Flower eaters’ paradise
The blooms won’t be just behind the crowd-control ropes at the Chelsea Flower Show this year, you’ll also find them on Clodagh McKenna’s menu at Cheyne Walk Brasserie.
The Irish chef is taking over the kitchen at the west London restaurant on May 22nd-27th and has designed a set lunch and dinner menu inspired by the “colours, smells and seasonality” of the annual floral extravaganza.
Roast carrot soup with wild garlic pecan pesto and violets, and Dorset crab cakes with avocado, fennel aioli and an edible flower salad, are among the dishes she has created featuring edible flowers.
“I am so excited to be working with Cheyne Walk Brasserie and creating a menu inspired by one of my favourite events of the year,” McKenna said.
Dublin’s food history
Dublin’s Culture Connects: The National Neighbourhood is a project that connects communities new and old across Dublin city centre, with artists working in different disciplines to explore their own and the city’s food history.
A short film, Around the Table, follows on from the lovely book that accompanies the project. Free screenings of the film will take place at the National Library of Ireland on Kildare Street, May 17th and 24th, at 1.15pm.