Enjoy a fish supper while helping RNLI save lives
Food File: Fáilte Ireland’s ‘Taste the Island’; Savour Kilkenny; Ballykeefe’s Irish gin
Fin Goggin, Ian Sheridan and Fred Connolly, from the Howth RNLI lifeboat crew, and chef, fishmonger and restaurateur Niall Sabongi announcing the RNLI’s fish supper campaign to help save lives at sea. Photograph: Patrick Browne
For the month of October you can support the RNLI’s 24-hour search and rescue service while enjoying a fish supper. Niall Sabongi’s Klaw and The Seafood Café in Temple Bar will add a discretionary €2 to diners’ bills which will go towards fundraising efforts for the RNLI’s 46 lifeboat stations and 1,500 volunteer crew members. Last year their boats went out 995 times, bringing 1,351 people to safety, and they rely on public donations to stay operational.
“In my business we rely on small fishing boats around the Irish coast to bring in our fresh catch and supply restaurants with the best in Irish fish,” said Sabongi. “This time of year we are getting into rougher weather and stormy seas, and it is good to know that the RNLI are there if we need them.”
Members of the public are also being asked to host their own fish suppers in return for donations from friends and family. Anyone interested can sign up at rnli.org/fish-supper.
Boyne Valley taste tour
Fáilte Ireland’s “Taste the Island” campaign seems to be generating one new food experience after another, and food and drink producers around Slane have now come on board to offer autumn tours of the Boyne Valley. The tour includes stops at Mullagha Farm to try Boyne Valley Blue and Boyne Valley Bán cheeses (and meet the goats that make them), Newgrange Gold to taste rapeseed oil and learn about how it’s cold pressed, and then onto The Cider Mill for a tasting of Mark Jenkinson’s traditional “keeved” ciders.
The final stop is at Rock Farm in Slane, an ecotourism destination and organic farm rearing Dexter cattle, Tamworth pigs, chickens and turkeys, and growing organic fruits and vegetables, for a guided tour and tasting. At the end of the tour visitors will get a chance to sit down and share platters of everything from the day, including charcuterie and wood-fired flatbreads from Rock Farm, washed down with Cockagee cider. Tours will run once a month starting on Sunday October 20th, and will leave Slane at 2pm and return at 7pm. Tickets cost €89 per person. For bookings email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 041-9884861.
Culinary celebration in Kilkenny
Savour Kilkenny is back for its 13th year this October bank holiday weekend, with chef demos from Paul Flynn, Clodagh McKenna and Catherine Fulvio, a jam-packed line-up of events and a food market with over 100 stalls. Some of the events taking place over the weekend include an Australian beach barbecue with Kim McCosker, author of the 4 Ingredients cookbooks, a vegan night with Roz Purcell at Harper’s restaurant and a medieval banquet at the Medieval Mile Museum. There are also talks on organic wines, an introduction to beekeeping and a workshop on essential oils with Sharon Hearne-Smith. Savour Kilkenny takes places from Tuesday October 22nd to Monday October 28th, and the full line-up can be found at savourkilkenny.com.
Irish gin with eastern flavours
An Irish gin infused with rare oriental peppers which took gold at a high-profile spirits competition earlier this year is now available to buy. Ballykeefe Distillery’s Lady Desart gin is infused with 12 botanicals including three types of peppers – wild forest and long red peppers from Vietnam, and the Mondulkiri red pepper from Cambodia – and was awarded the top accolade at the 2019 USA Spirits Ratings awards in San Francisco in July. They suggest serving it with some mild red chilli, classic tonic and fresh coriander, and it’s available to buy now in selected retailers and SuperValu stores across the country. ballykeefedistillery.ie