Andrea Keogh and her partner Pete Dowling have been running KD Food Co since last October, having moved from Dublin to Keogh's home town of Kilkenny in August. Her background is in music promotion and production management, while Dowling is a chef. Initially the couple began selling cheese and charcuterie grazing boxes in a variety of sizes, for collection or delivery.
They are now expanding to offer complete banqueting tables, suitable for special occasions, when regulations allow. The team assemble the food, which can include Irish cheeses, cured meats, olives, seasonal fresh fruit, nuts, raw honey, homemade hummus, chutney, bread and crackers, on boards supplied by a local carpenter. These are delivered to the party location and the table is dressed with leaves and wild flowers to create a delicious centrepiece to a celebration.
The grazing boxes cost from €20 to €68 for a deluxe selection to serve four to six people, and the table set-ups are priced depending on location, guest numbers and specific requirements. Truffles from The Truffle Fairy, Flowers from Thanks a Bunch and wine from Le Caveau are optional extras.
Delivery is in Kilkenny and surrounding areas, Thursday to Sunday, with courier drops to Dublin, Waterford and Kildare also available, and collection points in Kilkenny city and Thomastown. See kdfoodco.ie.
Hot dogs in Waterford
Paul and Máire Flynn’s Tannery restaurant in Dungarvan doesn’t have any outdoor dining space, but that hasn’t stopped them planning ahead for a busy summer. While awaiting news on hospitality reopening, the duo have come up with two new takeaway concepts.
"I've managed to get my hands on a proper, bona fide New York hot dog stand. My career is coming full circle as I started out in a chip van when I was 15," Paul says. "I'm calling it Diamond Dogs after you know who. I might even dress up as a rather plump Ziggy Stardust from time to time. I'm going to put it opposite the Tannery on a grassy space beside the castle."
In addition to the hog dog stand, the Flynns will also be operating a takeaway hut serving chowder, sausage rolls, toasties, seafood rolls, and click and collect picnic boxes. Both should be up and running next month, says Paul, who recently enlisted Damien Derwin, formerly of The Pig's Ear, as his Tannery restaurant head chef.
Feeling the heat
Barbecue season is well and truly underway, and it might be time to stock up on a few new sauces and rubs. Gaz Smith has come up with a hot sauce for people who don't like hot sauce. "I'd often avoided hot sauces as they were just too hot," the chef and restaurateur says. "So we developed one that's balanced; something that would have you going for the second bite instead of going for the glass of milk." A spiced grape syrup is the secret to the sauce, which he calls Rumpy Pumpy.
Smith has also developed a sauce called The Big Butt that can be used as a condiment, marinade or glaze. Both are available at Michael’s in Mount Merrion, Co Dublin and Higgins Butchers in Sutton, Co Dublin.
Maeve O’Malley created a tomato and habanero hot sauce for her Meltdown toasted sandwich shops in Leeson Street and Montague Street in Dublin, and customers asked to buy it so often that she started making small batches to sell. “I have found the consistency of other hot sauces to be too watery; this product is denser and richer,” O’Malley says. You can buy Meltdown Hot Stuff online at meltdown.ie (€27 for six 300ml jars), or from independent food shops nationwide.