Food file: New chef at Fallon & Byrne, baking classes in Sligo, tea time hotel treats

The weekly food news round-up from Marie-Claire Digby

Dervla James. Photograph: Andrea Flanagan

Dervla James. Photograph: Andrea Flanagan

 

BACK TO (COOKING) SCHOOL

Dervla James and Johnny Conlon’s well received Pudding Row cafe in Easkey, Co Sligo, now employs nine people, having opened its doors on July 17th. After a busy first summer, the couple has plans to run baking classes and workshops through the winter to keep busy.

James, who was one of the founders of Dublin’s much-loved Pepper Pot Café, spend three years training as a baker at the National Bakery School of Ireland, as well as studying at the Weinheim Baking Academy in Germany, so she is well versed in the craft.

The first class takes place next Wednesday and will focus on white yeast breads and seasonal bakes, such as barm brack. This one already has a waiting list, but there will be further classes on November 4th and 18th, when a demonstration will be followed by a hands-on class, and places can be booked by telephoning 096-49794. More yeasted breads, including focaccia and brioche tearing rolls, will be covered at these classes which run from 6-10pm and cost €55, including a Pudding Row tote to carry home your baked goods.

Anita Thoma, formerly of Il Primo restaurant in Dublin, is doing a one-day Winter in Italy hands-on class with Paul Flynn at The Tannery Cookery School on Saturday, October 24th.

Thoma, who left Il Primo at the end of June, plans to share the secrets of how to make her signature crab, lemon and leek lasagna, as well as “a few different handmade pastas paired with slow-cooked dishes, such as duck and smoked pork belly”. Chianti braised oxtail is also on the menu “and plenty of risotto”, Thoma says.

Since parting ways with Il Primo, Thoma spent some of the summer travelling, “eating delicious food and gathering inspiration”. The full-day course (10am-4.30pm), includes lunch and costs €165. See tannery.ie.

BACK TO REAL SCHOOL

Given the surge of interest in healthy cooking and eating, there’s bound to be lots of interest in the master’s in applied culinary nutrition at IT Tallaght in Dublin. The first students following this programme – some with food science backgrounds, along with some teachers and chefs – began their course of studies last month, and applications for the next academic year open in January. 
The course will be delivered on a part-time basis, two evenings per week over two years. Chefs Derry Clarke, Domini Kemp and Neven Maguire are supporting an official launch of the programme next Wednesday, and further details can be found at ittdublin.ie.
 
NOSE TO TAIL
 
Fallon & Byrne has a new head chef in its Exchequer Street restaurant in Dublin 2. Joe Rumberger, who began training at 16, has worked at Restaurant Nora in Washington DC, the first certified organic restaurant in the US, northern Italian spot Fiola, Zagat’s number one rated restaurant for this year in DC. He professes enthusiasm for nose-to-tail cooking and that “what grows together, goes together” are words he lives by. His menu features a gnocchi dish with raw milk ricotta made in-house every day and he says he is excited to be working with Caor Acla lamb and Skeaghanore duck. See fallonandbyrne.com
 
GLENLOABBEYAFTERNOONTEA350MM_WEB
 
TEA TIME AT THE ABBEY
 
Glenlo Abbey Hotel in Galway is marking the completion of its recent refurbishment with a week of events devoted to the ritual of afternoon tea. Beginning next Saturday with a Bollinger champagne afternoon tea in the hotel’s Pullman Dining Cars – two former Orient Express carriages – the week’s activities include a family tea with fairytales by the fireside, a vegetarian tea, Downton Abbey meets Glenlo Abbey, a Taittinger tea, a Wild Atlantic Way fishy tea and a Hallowe’en themed one too. See glenloabbeyhotel.com for details and to book. 
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