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Welcome to August’s Food and Drink Club newsletter

Win tickets to The Big Grill Festival, this weekend’s must-see celebration of cooking over fire

What a scorcher it’s going to be. Have you got your tickets for The Big Grill Festival, which is back in Herbert Park in Dublin 4, after a three year gap? It’s an all-star, `greats of grilling’ line-up, with some stellar restaurants and food vendors taking part, and all of them cooking over fire. If you’d like to see the team from Lignum in Galway flex their culinary muscles on the grill, or see how Scott Holder and his Los Chicanos Taqueria truck adapt to live fire, this is the place to be. Hot ticket of the weekend is Hometown Bar-B-Que’s New York x Cork cheesesteak, a woodfired tri tip, with caramelised onions and smoked Gubbeen cheese sauce, which is a collaboration between Billy Durney and Fingal Ferguson.

The festival continues until Sunday, and tickets are still available. You can read about what to eat, drink and see, here. The organisers have given us two pairs of Sunday day tickets, including tickets for the Offside dining experience with Karl Whelan and two pairs of Sunday evening tickets including the Offside experience with Nick Solares, to be won by subscribers to the Irish Times Food & Drink Club. To enter click here. But you’ve got to be quick, the competition closes at 5pm today, and the winners will be contacted by The Big Grill Festival team this evening to receive their tickets.

The prizes keep on coming ...

This month, one lucky member of the Irish Times Food & Drink Club will win an overnight stay for two people, with a nine-course tasting menu, at the Eccles Hotel and Spa in Glengarriff. Another will get to enjoy a three-course meal for four people with wine and welcome cocktails, at The Red Bank Restaurant, in Carrick-on-Shannon. Congratulations to Ann Murtagh from Dublin, who won last month’s prize of a case of wine and membership of Wine Spark, and Nuala Brennan, also from Dublin, who won a day out at the Totally Terrific Tomato Festival and an overnight stay at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dún Laoghaire.

Read all about it

In this weekend’s Irish Times Magazine, Catherine Cleary has written a sobering piece about how 4 million disposable coffee cups are thrown away each week in Ireland. But there’s a bright side too, with sustainability champions working to offer an alternative that people will actually use. In the kitchen, Paul Flynn is cooking an impressive one-pot chicken, potato, vegetable and salad platter, perfect for the sunny weekend. Aoife Noonan is baking a Persian Love Cake, with lime, yoghurt and rose. Lilly Higgins has a recipe for Indian spiced sweet potato cakes with green chilli and coriander chutney. And as the temperature soars, JP McMahon’s chilled courgette and mint soup might be just the ticket.


Check in with us regularly at for all the latest food and drink news, features and great dishes to cook. If you would like to invite family and friends to join the Irish Times Food & Drink Club, they can do so here. You can also follow us on Facebook here, and on Twitter here.

Thanks for reading.

Marie-Claire Digby