Food File: Oyster season, Indian pop-ups and Gulliver-inspired tea

The latest food news from around the country

Sean Smith, head chef at the Cliff Townhouse, giving an oyster masterclass

Sean Smith, head chef at the Cliff Townhouse, giving an oyster masterclass

 

OYSTER TIME
Oyster season has arrived and with it the launch of two festivals, at The Shelbourne hotel and The Cliff Townhouse. Pearls of Wisdom, a series of masterclasses, is at The Cliff Townhouse. Jewellery expert and gemmologist Natasha Sherling hosts an evening dedicated to pearls (Monday, September 12th, 6pm); Annette Sweeney explores the nutritional aspects of the bivalve (Tuesday, September 13th, 6pm) and head chef Sean Smith (above) has a lunchtime masterclass (Saturday, September 17th, 1pm). These events are limited to 10 places (tickets €20, include Champagne and oysters), so early booking is advised on 01-6383939. At The Shelbourne, a five-course oyster tasting menu will be available in The Saddle Room each day during September (€65, or €89 with wine pairings by sommelier Nisea Doddy). The popular jazz brunch on Sundays (noon-4pm) will also have an oyster flavour for the month. shelbournedining.ie & theclifftownhouse.com

IYER’S POP-UP
Gautham Iyer, whose name is over the door of his restaurant in Cork, brings his southern Indian vegetarian cooking, influenced by Ayurvedic principles, to the Waterford Harvest Festival, which runs from September 9th-11th.

“I was introduced to Iyer’s restaurant by my daughter when she was studying in Cork,” says Christine Theze, proprietor of La Boheme restaurant in Waterford, where Iyer will run a pop-up on Sunday, September 11th. “He is an utterly compelling man, at one with nature and with himself and his food is outstanding.” Some of Iyer’s ingredients are imported from India but, for this menu, he is planning to use as much local and foraged produce as possible.

Tickets for the five-course tasting menu, served at 1pm, are €39.50 and can be booked on 051-875645. Details of the programme can be found online. waterfordharvestfestival.ie

A SWIFT CUPPA
Lemuel’s lounge and bar is the latest unveiling as part of the Conrad Hotel’s €8 million renovation, joining The Coburg brasserie. Gulliver’s Travels is the inspiration for the new lounge, where a themed afternoon tea will be one of the attractions. The Lilliput Lollipop, strawberry sponge with white chocolate ganache, and Up in the Clouds, passion fruit puree and chocolate mousse with chocolate “rocks” and candyfloss clouds, informed by the flying island of Laputa, feature on the afternoon tea, which is available for €40, or €54 with Champagne. lemuelsdublin.com

NO PLACE LIKE LOAM
Loam restaurant in Galway has been awarded a three-star rating by the Sustainable Restaurant Association in the UK, which runs the Food Made Good Awards in the UK and Ireland. Loam is the first independent restaurant in Ireland to achieve the three-star rating, which was awarded after a review of the restaurant’s practices. Loam’s sustainability activities include using only ingredients that are native to the west of Ireland, growing their own herbs and table decorations, reducing food waste by using all parts of the animals and vegetables they cook with, and sending whatever they can’t use or recycle back to the fruit and veg supplier, Lead and Root Farm, for composting.

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