Food file

Mini chefs invited to take the stage

Mini chefs invited to take the stage

Some of Ireland’s top chefs went back to school recently to take part in the Euro-toques Schools’ Food Workshops, and there will be a further opportunity for young people interested in cooking to get involved with Euro-toques Ireland when the organisation stages mini-chefs food workshops in the Food Pavilion at the Volvo Ocean Race finish in Galway (June 30th-July 8th). The workshops are open to children aged 10-12 years and there are 10 places available daily.

If you would like to take part, email, stating in 50 words or less why you’d like to be up on stage with some of the country’s best-known chefs. Also include your name, age, where you’re from, a parent’s contact telephone number, and the dates you are available to be in Galway.

* The beautifully packaged Manakao chocolate bars drew murmurs of appreciation from the Magazine's notoriously hard-to-please chocolate testers. No wonder, the Manakao range is made from Madagascar-grown cocoa beans, processed in their country of origin, so they're an authentic bean-to-bar product. They are available from The Chocolate Shop in Cork's English market (€3.95). See


Persian nights in the kitchen

Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes by Ariana Bundy (published by Simon Schuster, £25)

Ariana Bundy, the Iranian-American former head pastry chef at the Mondrian hotel in Los Angeles, wrote this book as a means of understanding and connecting with her family history. She gets to the nub of things in her opening sentence when she says: “While Persia conjures up images of nightingales, roses, poetry and gardens, Iran makes most Westerners uneasy.” Her book documents the elegance and sophistication of this troubled country’s ancient culinary heritage, and explains how to achieve its delicate spicing, marriage of fruits and meats, and elevation of rice from mere side dish to star of the table. Unani, or the balance of “hot” and “cold” foods is central to Persian cooking and has its roots in ancient medicine. So you’ll find, for instance, pomegranates, a “cold” food, teamed with walnuts, deemed to be “hot”, in a well-balanced chicken stew. People are classified either as hot or cold too, relative to the foods they favour naturally, and are advised to eat more of the opposite type to achieve balance. It’s all rather exotic, and just the thing to cheer up a jaded palate.

The food tweets

Bitten Written @bittenwritten:A restaurant listing an espresso martini amongst their tea coffees, really is my kinda place...

Poulet Bonne Femme @pouletbfemme:Our @Pat_Whelan rotisserie cooked beef sandwiches were such a success today we will be offering them @avocaireland every weekend now.

Grant Achatz @Gachatz:Takazawas took us to pork restaurant 2nite. Thats fine, except it was all raw. Sashimi of liver, brain, throat, womb, etc. Please help me.

Marie Claire Digby

Marie Claire Digby

Marie Claire Digby is Senior Food Writer at The Irish Times