Food file


Food historian Dorothy Cashman will reveal some of the National Library’s treasures when she delivers a talk called Miss Herbert’s Sponge Cake, an exploration of history through culinary manuscripts.

The talk is free to attend and takes place at the NLI, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, on Wednesday, September 19th at 7pm. A further talk in the NLI’s lecture series, The Kitchen Archive, will be given by Darina Allen of Ballymaloe (October 11th, 7pm), while on November 20th, The Whys and Hows of Food Blogging will be explored in a panel discussion. See

Bringing home the beef

Irish beef will receive a significant boost in international markets having been selected as a key ingredient in the Bocuse d’Or culinary competition, held in Lyon every two years. The high-flying chefs, on 24 teams representing countries in Europe, Asia and America, will have to create a dish using grass-fed Irish beef fillet as part of the final round of the competition next January. Bord Bia believes the selection of Irish beef for the competition, regarded as the culinary Olympics, will be an invaluable endorsement.

Food School

The Politics of Food is the title of an evening class course being given at UCD this autumn by Frank Armstrong, who qualified as a barrister and a secondary school teacher before becoming a food writer and scholar - he previously taught a course on the Sociology of Food at St Clare’s, Oxford. Details of the topics covered are available at, and the course will run over 10 Mondays beginning September 24th (7.30pm-9.30pm). The course fee is €190.

Celtic cook-off

Chefs from Wales, Scotland, Brittany, the Isle of Man, Cornwall and Ireland will contest the Celtic Cook-Off in the West Cork Hotel in Skibbereen next Wednesday, during the Taste of West Cork food festival. Judges include UKMasterChef winner Tim Anderson and Kinsale restaurateur Martin Shanahan, and the competitors feature Jack Stein, son of the more famous Rick, who will be representing Cornwall. Tickets are €15; €20 at the door.

Top food tweets . . .

Elizabeth Auerbach @ElizabethOnFood: Campbell Soup to introduce special-edition cans with labels reminiscent of Warhol paintings.

Maldon Salt Co @maldonsalt:Unusual visitor to Maldon today Rabbi Steiner conducted a blessing of our salt pans. Now has kosher status.

Aoife Ryan @babaduck71:I can confirm that Heineken flavoured sorbet is completely and utterly disgusting. Sorry France, but you really made a balls of that one

Doing it for Dingle

Clogher Strand didn’t know what hit it when chefs and food producers Jean Marie Vaireaux, Kieran Murphy, Jill Burton, Martin Bealin and Mark Murphy (above) launched the Dingle Peninsula Food Festival, which will take place from October 4th-7th. Heritage Food is the theme of this year’s festival, which also incorporates the Blas na hEireann Irish food awards, so you can expect to tastle plenty of Dingle Bay shellfish, Blasket Island lamb and Dingle Peninsula cheese over the weekend. There will be more than 60 businesses taking part in the festival’s food trail, with tasters of local specialities on offer from €2, and the new Dingle Whiskey Distillery will be launched. See