Compiled by MARIE-CLAIRE DIGBY
Walk on the wild side
BrookLodge Hotel in Co Wicklow hosts a Wild Slow festival on November 19th and 20th to celebrate the foraged wild foods that this hotel really excels in exploiting. The image below is of a selection of autumn bounty in the hotel kitchen, including elderflower champagne, sloes, wild blueberry jam, dried ceps and chanterelles, rose hips and penny bun mushrooms. It’s going to be a big event, with wild food tasting, talks and demonstrations, a wild fish workshop, a winter market with wood-burning braziers to gather around and mulled wine and roast chestnuts for sale. Ross Lewis of Chapter One will be doing a parallel tasting of pheasant hung for one, two and three weeks; Martina Delany, sommelier at l’Ecrivain, will be doing a workshop on wines to match with game, and there will be an opportunity to join a hike, to stalk and photograph wild deer and game. See wildandslow.com for more information.
If you think vegans don’t have much fun when it comes to desserts, look at this gorgeous chocolate Frangelico mousse gateau made by Debbie Walsh, who blogs as Maple Spice. Walsh, who is from British Columbia, met her Irish husband Kieran in London, and they moved to his home town of Watergrasshill, Co Cork with their son Finn just over a year ago.
This cake relies on soy whipping cream for the mousse, and vegetable oil is the fat used in the chocolate cake. You can just see a layer of candied hazelnuts separating the moist cake base and the creamy mousse topping, adding a crunchy dimension. Walsh’s savoury recipes are just as accomplished and she recently wrote about these rosemary and smoked sea salt pull-apart bread rolls that looked gorgeous, and read like a complete doddle to make.
Supper and snaps
The idyllic setting is home to one of Ireland’s newest supper clubs . . . and the pony in the foreground is a clue to who your hosts will be. The Barn at Fellowsfield in Kilcock, Co Kildare is home to Louise and Tony Parkes. Louise is equestrian correspondent of the Irish Independent and Tony is a professional photographer. Together they run photography and journalism courses, as well as hosting a regular dining club, at which much of the food comes from their own farm and garden. Dinner is for up to 12 guests, and if you don’t fancy driving home you can book one of the six en suite bedrooms in their converted barn. The next dining club evenings take place on November 18th and 24th, and December 16th. The cost is €29.95 per person and you can book by calling 087-2611465.
On January 13th-15th, Tony is running a two-day residential photography course dedicated to food photography, a specialised skill which is a lot harder than it looks, as legions of food bloggers will concur. The cost is €390, including full board and tuition, and gift vouchers are available. See thebarnatfellowsfield.com.
Come into my kitchen
The kitchen at Dunbrody House in Co Wexford has been given an impressive revamp and chef proprietor Kevin Dundon is keen to show off his shiny new toys. He’s been inviting dinner guests into the kitchen to chat to the chefs, take a look around, and enjoy pre-dinner canapes.
On Saturday, November 19th, guest chef Richard Corrigan will bring a selection of specialities from his Mayfair restaurant to the Dunbrody menu, and will do a meet and greet, pre-dinner, in the kitchen (you may also find him holding court in the Dunbrody champagne bar post-dinner). You could take the opportunity to ask him what went wrong with his plans to purchase Woodstown House, the 30-acre country estate in Dunmore East he was reported to have spent €3 million on this summer, and where he planned to grow vegetables and fruit to supply his London restaurants. A recent tweet from Corrigan revealed that the deal had fallen through (see the buzz, opposite).
The dinner, bed and breakfast package, including live jazz in the bar after dinner, costs €165 per person. There will also be a Sunday lunch featuring dishes from Corrigan’s other restaurant, Bentleys, and Dundon’s Orlando restaurant, Raglan Road. See dunbrodyhouse.com for booking details.
Tune in to Twitter . . . the buzz
Richard Corrigan @CorrigansFood: I am hugely disappointed to say that Woodstown House is not going to happen unfortunately.
@HuffPostFood: Michelle Obama reveals cookbook plans
David Lebovitz @davidlebovitz: Am thinking of calling a bakery in Dublin and ordering one of their lemon or chocolate tarts, just to compare it to mine . . . especially since the recipes and pictures are from my site. (And they’re my hands as well)