Food File: the weekly food news round-up

A new gourmet academy, win a wine night at Ballymaloe, restaurant offers for November, Mexican cuisine

Kinsale Gourmet Academy, a new cookery school in Ballinacurra House, Kinsale

New gourmet academy in Kinsale
Kinsale Gourmet Academy is the latest addition to the cookery school line-up in Ireland, and it's based at Ballinacurra House, a private events property that is a popular wedding venue. David Rice is executive chef and head tutor, a title he also held at Cooks Academy in Dublin for two years. Prior to that he held senior positions in the kitchens at Chapter One and the Mustard Seed.

The class schedule covers the usual demonstration and hands-on options, and there's a very good programme planned for a four-day, four-night masterclass that combines practical sessions with fun activities including a cocktail class in Ballinacurra House's Cuban Cocktail Lounge. The €1,050 fee covers accommodation, breakfasts, lunches and two dinners, with time left to explore Kinsale's restaurants. For the full line-up, see

Wine a wine night at Ballymaloe
John Wilson, whose new book, 120 Top Wines, an Irish Times Books publication, will be under the best trees this Christmas, is doing a wine talk and tasting, followed by a wine dinner, at Ballymaloe House in Co Cork on Thursday, November 13th.

We have a wonderful prize to give away, courtesy of Ballymaloe House, that includes lunch at the cookery school followed by an afternoon demo (above), John’s wine talk and tasting in The Grain Store, the wine dinner and overnight accommodation in Ballymaloe House, for two, sharing.

The Chameleon Indonesian restaurant in Dublin, one of many restaurants with special offers for November
Win a night at Ballymaloe Cookery School including a wine demonstration and wine dinner

To enter, email your name, address and telephone number to before noon next Wednesday, November 5th. Please put the words “Wilson On Wine” in the subject field.


Places at the wine talk and tasting can be booked for a fee of €15; dinner with matched wines is €65, and a package including both events plus B&B at Ballymaloe is €177per person sharing. See to for more details and to book.

Great restaurant offers in November
November is a great month for dining bargains as restaurants drum up business in the lean days before the Christmas party season begins. The Wild Goose Gill in Ranelagh is offering a three-course lunch for a tenner in McSorley's, the pub underneath the restaurant, until mid-December. A recent menu offered chicken terrine, Irish stew and crème brûlée.

In Temple Bar, Dublin 2, The Chameleon Indonesian restaurant (pictured right) is celebrating 20 years in business with a month long series of events, including a birthday lunch next Thursday, November 6th (12.30pm-2.30pm) when a platter of three of the restaurant’s most popular dishes will be available for just €9.

In Galway, restaurant week kicks off on Monday, November 3rd and runs until Sunday, November 9th. There are significant discounts being offered in 28 restaurants around the city – 20 per cent off the tasting menu at Aniar, for example. For the list of offers see

Whirlwind tour of Mexican cuisine
When Phaidon commissions a cookery book that has a whole country's cuisine as its inspiration, you can bet it will be a well-researched and richly documented affair. Mexico, by Margarita Carrillo Arronte, doesn't disappoint. It's a whirlwind tour of this ancient cusine via 650 recipes. Carrillo Arrontewas the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture's chef, and organised Mexican food festivals all over the world during her decade-long tenure there.