Food File: the weekly food news round-up

Tapas trails in Dublin and Cork, new menu at Merrion Inn, Burren Slow Food Festival, and win a place on three-month course at Ballymaloe

 

On the trail of tapas
It’s back, and we can’t wait to head off on the annual Campo Viejo tapas trail (June 4th-29th in Dublin; July 6th-30th in Cork). Dublin restaurants taking part this year are Drury Buildings, The Market Bar, Baggots Hutton and Zaragoza, while in Cork the pitstops on the trail are at Arthur Moyne’s, Electric, The Cornstore and Oysters. The €25 ticket includes a glass of wine and tapas at each venue, and this year there will be the added incentive of admiring the artworks that illustrator Steve Simpson has created for each venue. The first four Dublin trails are already sold out, but tickets for June 18th and 22nd go on sale on May 29th, while June 25th and 29th will be released on June 6th. There is availability for all of the Cork dates (at time of writing).
See campoviejotapastrail


Great food in a pub
We Irish love pizza, but we’re also fond of fish and chips, and this version from the Merrion Inn in Dublin 4 is up there with the best, and great value at €14. The pub always had a good name for food, however the fire that gutted it and resulted in a 17-month total rebuild, gave the management team a chance to expand its dining space and develop a new menu. It’s very family-friendly, and the portions are extremely generous. You’ll also find a huge selection of craft beers and ciders from all over the world, a personal interest of Fearghus McCormack, an engineer by profession, who joined the management team at the family-owned pub in 2009.


Burren Slow Food Festival
Seaweed is a recurring them at the 2014 Burren Slow Food Festival which takes place in Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare next weekend (May 24th-25th). Prannie Rhatigan and Sally McKenna, who have both written books on seaweed, will demonstrate and discuss the benefits and uses of this valuable natural resource. There will also be cooking demos given by chefs Jess Murphy (Kai), John Sheedy (Sheedy’s) and Aidan McGrath (Wild Honey Inn). For details, see slowfoodclare.ie

Go back to school at Ballymaloe
If you’re bitten by the Ballymaloe bug while attending Litfest this weekend, don’t forget to buy a ticket for the raffle Grow It Yourself is running, which has a place on the 12-week certificate course at Ballymaloe Cookery School, worth €10,695, as a prize. The raffle is a fundraiser for Grow HQ, the food education centre GIY is developing in Waterford, which will open next year, and the prize has been donated by the school. Tickets are €50 and are now available from giyireland.com. The winner will be drawn at the GIY Gathering in Waterford on September 13th.

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