The Dublin chef who wants honest feedback
Food File: Hot coffee, a guide to dairy and a day out with Sheridans Cheesemongers
Brioche in Ranelagh wants to know what you think of your dinner.
Have your say at Brioche
When a restaurant customer is asked “How was it?” by a server – the answer is usually a bland, “fine thanks”. But when Wednesday-night diners at Brioche in Ranelagh, Dublin 6 are asked the question, their opinion, comments and suggestions are eagerly awaited and will be taken into consideration in fine tuning the menu.
In a collaboration between kitchen and front-of-house, Gavin McDonagh, chef/patron at Brioche, has introduced the Brioche Taste Experiment offering diners a cut-price five-course tasting menu at €29, in return for their feedback.
The tasting menu price for the rest of the week rises to €55 (carnivore) and €45 (vegetarian).
McDonagh says the initiative will have the dual aim of making tasting menus more accessible and also gleaning valuable feedback on customer preferences. brioche.ie
Coffee just as you want it
If, like me, you order your coffees to go extra hot, and the ones you make at home are never quite steamy enough, you may be tempted to raid the piggy bank and buy the new Creatista machine from Nespresso.
Designed by Heston Blumenthal in partnership with kitchen appliance brand Sage, the new Creatista machines offers adjustable milk temperature, and automatic or adjustable milk texturing, so you can top your coffee with just the right foam – perfect latte art too.
There are two models, Creatista (€449) and Creatista Plus (€499), which offer greater variety of milk temperatures and textures. The machines are beautifully designed and come in stainless steel, black and Champagne finishes.
The Modern Dairy
Is butter good for us again, and is whole milk or skimmed the optimum choice for health? The science behind dairy is complicated – and there can be conflicting guidelines around its consumption. So, it’s good to be able to recommend a new cookery book by an established writer who has just had a whole new set of letters added to her name.
Annie Bell, whose Baking Bible is a core text, recently completed an MSc in human nutrition and she has put it to good use in her latest book, The Modern Dairy.
Setting out to “overturn the myths and misconceptions surrounding dairy” is a good starting point. And you can delve into the more than 100 recipes, using milk, yoghurt, cheese and cream, secure in the knowledge they have been written with the aim of keeping saturated fat levels at the lower end of the recommended intake. The Modern Dairy, by Annie Bell, Kyle Books, £16.99.
On your bike
All roads lead tomorrow to the Sheridans Cheesemongers’ HQ at Virginia Road Station, in Pottlereagh, Co Meath for their eighth Irish Food Festival.
More than 100 food stalls from all over the country will be taking part in the festival which runs from 10am to 6pm.
“Only Irish food on the tables and only producers behind the tables”, is how Seamus Sheridan explains the ethos of this festival which last year attracted 6,000 visitors.
Entry is €5 per car, and free to those arriving on foot or by bicycle. See sheridans.ie/sheridans-annual-irish-food-festival.