Food File: the weekly food news round-up


Home Grown

“All homemade; nothing frozen” is the promise made at The Castle Café in the courtyard of Blackrock Castle Observatory. The cafe and Cork Institute of Technology are working together on a project to grow herbs and salads using a hydroponic system. Conrad Howard encountered the system, which uses no soil, on the roof of a restaurant in New York, and saw the potential for his own business. “We started off small, and intend to invest in a larger outdoor system which will be able to provide crops from March to October,” he said. “We started with a crop of mint in March and the latest crop to hit our plates in the cafe is rocket.”

Come to Dinner

Sarah and Peter Baker are opening up their lovely Cloughjordan House for a Long Table Dinner for 80 guests next Saturday evening (June 29th) as part of the Gathering celebrations. The table will be set up in the ballroom, but it will be an informal occasion, followed by 1960s and 1970s music from Susannah de Wrixon. You can go along earlier, from noon, and help prepare the banquet in the on-site cookery school, or just turn up and take your seat. Tickets, €50, can be booked by phoning 087-9690824.

Rasam at 64 Wine

Indian food can be difficult to match wines to, but there’s a great opportunity to sample a range of top-notch Alsace wines with dishes from Rasam restaurant in Glasthule, Co Dublin, at a tasting in 64 Wine, also in the Co Dublin village, on Wednesday July 3rd.

Jean Trimbach will present six of his wines to be tasted alongside Rasam chef Anubhav Srivastava’s Punjab trio of chicken; Goan fish curry; Belgal mango prawns; kulfi and peshawari naan. It starts at 7.30pm and tickets, €25, should be booked in advance by telephoning 01-2805664 or sending an email to

Olive Saga

Actor and writer Carol Drinkwater, who readers may remember as the vet’s wife in All Creatures Great and Small, has written several books and made a documentary series about restoring and running an olive farm in France. She is coming to the West Cork Literary Festival to talk about her olive farming adventures in The Mariner in Bantry on Monday July 8th at 6.30pm. Tickets, €18, from or by telephoning 027-52788.