Food file


MARIE-CLAIRE DIGBYwrites about food

Web watch

This is farmer David – better known as David Lebovitz, former Chez Panisse pastry chef turned cookbook author and Paris-based food writer. Lebovitz, an early adopter of social media, has more than 40,000 Twitter followers, and his website and blog are similarly well-read. So, it was a bit of a coup on behalf of Kerrygold to have him join a recent US journalists’ food tour of Ireland. You can read about his impressions on his website. Lunch with Rachel and Isaac Allen appears to have been a highlight, and a cookery demo with Paul Flynn at the Tannery in Dungarvan ended up with a singalong in a local pub. But Lebovitz seems to have been most taken by Mary Burns, whose Kanturk farm the group visited to see how her Ardrahan cheese is made. He’s “ready to serve her with my adoption papers”, he writes. The group also called in at Midleton farmers’ market, and Lebovitz’s photos from there are superb.

High octane juicer

You may not have a Bugatti in the garage, but you can still have one in the kitchen. This stylish Vita electric juicer (€150) is part of an ultra-cool range of kitchen equipment that includes a toaster, coffee maker, kettle, weighing scales and blender, made by the Italian design company. Once you have juiced your fruit, the unit tips up so you can pour the liquid straight into the glass jug that comes with it. From Brown Thomas, Dublin and Cork.

Throw the book at it

Tired of cooking the same old dishes? Longing for a bit of excitement in the kitchen? The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit (Bloomsbury, £18.99) is a really clever concept – a book that explains why certain foods go really well together and suggests successful flavour partnerships that you might never have though of. Pork and apple, chocolate and chilli, cucumber and dill – so far so predictable. But would you have thought of teaming lemon and beef (big in Italy, the author says), or chocolate and black pudding (blame the Italians for this one, too)? This quirky book is great to dip into for occasional inspiration and education, as well as broadening your culinary repertoire.

Win €25,000 to set up a food or drink business

Do you have an idea for a new food or drink business, and if so, would €25,000 help you get it up and running? Bord Bia and the Southeast County and City Enterprise Boards are backing a new food innovation competition, open to existing small food or drinks business, or start-ups, based in counties Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, Carlow or Wexford.

The winner will receive €15,000 for consumer research and €10,000 for design, branding and packaging costs. An Ideas and Inspiration seminar open to anyone interested in applying for this award will be held at Lawlors Hotel in Dungarvan, Co Waterford next Wednesday, October 6th, hosted by Helen King, senior business analyst with Bord Bia. Pre-registration is essential and places can be booked by tel: 058-44811. Full details of the food innovation competition, which closes on November 15th, can be found at