A pub full of hungry punters and a shared love of cooking over fire launched Fowl Play, a "live fire chicken joint" on the Dublin dining scene. Trev O'Shea and Andy Noonan were already collaborators on The Big Grill Festival, which takes place in Herbert Park every August, when they teamed up and brought Fowl Play to the Square Ball pub at Hogan Place in Dublin 2.
They imported a smoker from Houston, Texas, installed a custom-built charcoal rotisserie and sourced free-range chickens for the venture. The birds are served by the quarter, half or whole, with sides including charred kale with toasted sunflower seeds and onion caramel; baked spiced chickpeas; charred vegetables with saffron oil and a house slaw with crushed peanuts and lemon yogurt dressing.
New menu dinner specials include half a smoked Irish duck with moonshine orange marmalade and house-made kimchi, and a turkey dog with sauerkraut in a brioche bun. The bar snacks are a cosmopolitan selection including grilled padrón peppers, smoked chicken and chicken croquetas, Filipino pork belly skewers and cherrywood-smoked chicken wings.
The edibles on offer at The Pantry at Cliff, the new crafts, artisan products and accessories shop in Dove Square at Cliff at Lyons, Co Kildare, are a lot more interesting than the standard offerings found in many hotels that prepare goodies for guests to buy and take home with them.
On the well-stocked shelves you’ll find interesting salt and herb mixes and a variety of vinegars that will shake up your cooking. There are specially blended seasoning mixes for poultry, fish, game and meat, as well as smoked Hawaiian sea salt with wild dill and wild mushroom salt. There is also an exotic choice of sea buckthorn vinegar, wild fennel vinegar and apple and sorrel vinegar, as well as a useful summer pantry addition, lemon oil.
The spice and salt mixes are €6 and the vinegars and oils are €8, with delivery costing €5.35 for orders within the State. The Pantry shop is open 10am-6pm daily, and you can have drinks and snacks there while you shop, or order online at cliffhome.ie.
Chefs without titles
Chad Byrne, head chef at Danu at The Brehon hotel in Killarney, has established Chef Collab, a project aimed at giving young chefs a platform to showcase their skills, learn from others and make contacts within the industry. It also aims to highlighting the opportunities to work in the sector that are available in Kerry, where kitchens often struggle to fill vacancies.
The idea is to bring together groups of four chefs, working at the same level, to cook a four-course meal for industry peers at a pop-up restaurant. “There are no titles in this kitchen. It is all about passion,” Byrne says.
The first event, held at Courtney's Bar in Killarney on May 28th, was a huge success and for the launch Byrne was joined in the kitchen by other head chefs: Noel Enright (The Lake Hotel); Dylan Kelly (The Rustic Pantry) and John O'Leary (Muckross Park Hotel).
It will be followed by a second at the same venue on Monday, June 25th, at 8.30pm. Chefs de partie will be taking over the kitchen on that night, and all four of them have worked in Killarney at some stage of their career. They are James O'Sullivan (L'Ecrivain) on starters; Jason Nolan (Gregan's Castle) fish; Jordan O'Donoghue (The Europe Hotel) main course; Dan Moynihan (Danu at The Brehon) dessert.
The pop-up is open to the public as well as those involved in the industry and tickets for €25 can be booked by emailing email@example.com or phoning 089-4447904.
Entries close on June 15th for the 2018 Blas na hÉireann food awards, which will be judged at the Dingle Food Festival in October. So if you make or produce something really great in the Irish food and drink sector and haven't already entered, now is the time to do so. See irishfoodawards.com