Food File: Culinary Connemara and a feast for foodies

As well as new premium chocolate bars from Lily O’Brien and the Campo Viejo Tapas Trail returns to Dublin

ALL THINGS CULINARY IN CONNEMARA

Delphi Resort in Connemara has an interesting series of culinary events running each month until the end of the year. June, July and September's events celebrate the bounty of local seafood in the area, with collaborations with Connemara Smokehouse (June 12th), Killary Seafood Farm (July 2nd) and Stephane Griesbach of Gannet Fishmonger (September 2nd). James Nicholson Wines (August 10th), Tindal Wine Merchants (October 14th) and The Black Donkey Brewery (November 18th) are also taking part, and the series culminates in a two-day Christmas tasting menu dinner and cookery demonstration given by Delphi's executive head chef Stefan Matz, (December 9th-10th).

As well as drinks receptions and dinners with accompanying beverages, there are ancillary events such as artisan food producer tours and a picnic lunch at Killary Harbour. The events take place at The Chef’s Table by Stefan Matz; the 814 Restaurant, and Aasleagh Lodge, all managed by Delphi Resort. For details see delphiadventureresort.com.

TURN ON THE TAPAS

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The Campo Viejo Tapas Trail returns to Dublin, Cork and Galway this summer. Dublin events run on Tuesdays and Sundays, June 7th-July 3rd. Cork takes over on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, July 12th-27th, and Galway’s dates are Wednesdays and Sunday, August 24th, 28th, 31st and September 7th.

The guided trails begin with a glass of Cava and continue to three further venues, each offering a glass of Rioja reserva wine and signature tapas. Dublin restaurants taking part are the Market Bar, Zaragoza, Salamanca and Drury Buildings. Cork venues are Arthur Maynes, Brick Lane South, Bodega and Fenn's Quay. In Galway, it's Cava, 56 Central, Bite Club and The House Hotel. Tickets, €30 plus booking fee, are on sale at campoviejotapastrail.ie

RAISING THE BARS

I am rarely without a bar of good chocolate in my bag, but by the time I get to eat them, they’re often battered and bashed. New premium chocolate bars from Lily O’Brien’s come in smart cardboard envelopes and have a thick golden foil wrapper, so they should fare better. There are seven flavours in the range, personally designed by company founder Mary Ann O’Brien, with orange and bergamot ganache and malted chocolate crunch, in particular, offering something a bit different.

Harvey Nichols in Dundrum has also welcomed a new addition to its chocolate range with the arrival in the UK and Ireland of Compartés bars. They are handmade in LA in small batches by a chocolate house that opened in the 1950. Campfire S’mores (dark with graham crackers and marshmallow), Coney Island (milk with caramelised waffle pieces), and California Love (dark with salted pretzels) give an idea of their style.

A FEAST FOR FOODIES

It's one of the most family-friendly events on the food festival calendar, and Sheridans Cheesemongers has some great events planned for its Irish Food Festival at its HQ at Pottlereagh in north Co Meath next Sunday, May 29th. Junior food enthusiasts can learn to make sausages with Ed Hick; milk a cow and taste the milk from goat, sheep and buffalo; make butter and cheese; and get their hands dirty in a chocolate class. For the adults there will be 80 food stalls to peruse; breakfast, lunch and dinner food offerings, and a foraging walk with Kate Flood of Meath Eco-Tours. Admission is €5 per car (there is plenty of parking), and free to those arriving on foot or by bike. See sheridans.ie.