Food file: eat without cooking and edible creativity

Marie-Claire Digby rounds up this week’s food news

EAT WITHOUT COOKING: Food stylist and writer Sharon Hearne- Smith, rarely spotted without perfectly coiffed hair and an elegant retro-style dress, is the perfect person to write a cookbook that doesn't involve turning on the oven, hob or microwave. She's a demon at turning out elegant, no-fuss meals that look like they involve slaving over a hot stove, but in fact can be pulled together without any actual cooking.

You will be relying on buying some cooked ingredients – make sure they’re good quality to get the best results – and Hearne-Smith’s food-styling artistry will transform them. These retro smoked-salmon mousse and cucumber cups, for example, are given a modern look by the addition of the pretty radish roses. The No-Cook Cookbook is published by Quercus, £20.

EDIBLE CREATIVITY AT KILDARE VILLAGE: Food: From the Isle is the edible strand of the celebration of Irish talent and creativity running at Kildare Village shopping outlet this summer. Next Friday and Saturday, June 24th and 25th, you can join a long table dinner there hosted by chef Cliodhna Prendergast and writer and photographer Imen McDonnell, who together run Lens & Larder. The pair run what they describe as "creative learning retreats", and the Kildare Village pop-up will be a "multi-sensory, interactive" celebration of Irish food today. A four-course dinner, drinks including a Bertha's Revenge gin cocktail and a Teeling Whiskey Irish coffee, and transport to and from the venue (leaving central Dublin at 6pm, returning at 9pm) are included in the ticket price of €45. Reservations for both nights can be made at

Additional Food: From the Isle events, curated by food writer Aoife Carrigy, will run at the centre throughout the summer. Highlights will include a baking class at Le Pain Quotidien (Thursday, July 21st, 6-8pm, €60) and kids cookie-decorating classes at the same venue (August 2nd-5th, free).


FARMHILL CAFE: Chef Anita Thoma, mistress of the perfect risotto and the signature crab lasagne during her tenure at Il Primo restaurant in Dublin, has been appointed head chef at Farmhill cafe restaurant in Goatstown, Dublin. Since leaving Il Primo in June of last year, she has been working part-time with Eunice Power Catering as well as "travelling a lot and taking time to smell the roses".

“I am here at Farmhill to lead and shape the kitchen,” she says. “I have a big commitment starting in September when it’s back to school for me as I embark on my masters in advanced culinary nutrition. I hope to fit in up to 30 hours a week at Farmhill as well as studying.”

COFFEE FORUMS: More than 10,000 visitors are expected in Dublin for the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe World of Coffee event at the RDS (June 23rd-25th) and the Re;Co coffee symposium(June 21st-22nd). In addition to the World Barista Championships, in which Ireland will be represented by Natalia Piotrowska, World of Coffee will have industry exhibitors showing the latest machines and products, a sustainability forum, and two seminar rooms. Tickets cost €20 (or €30 for a three-day pass).