Food File: Your weekly food news round-up

Jamie’s ‘Comfort Food’, Cava Week comes to Ireland, beautiful wedding cakes, a Netflix chef show, meet the makers

 

Sparkling addition
Next week is Cava Week in Ireland, according the Freixenet brand, which is participating in a seafood and cava promotion at some of our tapas restaurants. For the rest of this month you can order a portion of seafood paella and a glass of cava for €10 at any of The Port House restaurants in Dublin; Zaragoza and Salamanca, also in Dublin; and Bodega Cava in Galway.

Seduced by Jamie
hIt happens every year. I say I really don’t need another Jamie Oliver book and then along comes one that’s hard to resist. It was the toastie with the crispy crown of lacy, melted cheese that featured in a recent episode of the accompanying Channel 4 TV show that sucked me in this time. But happily there’s a lot more to Jamie’s Comfort Food (Michael Joseph, £30) which is substantial and attractive, the sort of cookbook it’s hard to put back on the bookshop shelf once you’ve opened it.

“This book is the opposite of 15- or 30-Minute Meals,” Oliver says, and indeed there are recipes here that involve multiple steps over considerable time, days even – in the case of his bouillabaisse. Although the 100 recipes that made the edit are described as classics – with a twist – there’s a cosmopolitan feel to it too. Gado-gado, feijoada, nasi goreng, bun cha, daal and ramen all feature, alongside the tongue-in-cheek “cassoulet de Essex”.

Marriage of style and substance
hCaroline Goulding of The Wedding Cake Boutique makes stunning wedding cakes that use all the skills she learned during her sugarcraft training in London. But the former science teacher pays just as much attention to making her cakes taste good as she does to decoration. She attributes her insistence on using the best ingredients – free-range eggs, Irish butter, Valrhona chocolate, Green & Blacks cocoa and home-made curds, purees and syrups – to her Ballymaloe Cookery School training. She works from her HSE-approved kitchen in Ranelagh, Dublin 6, but is on the lookout for a shop in the vicinity. “Fondant icing is on the way out and being replaced by Italian meringue, which can give a very sharp look or a more rustic appearance. Simple designs, with one large flower or cluster of flowers down the front or on top of the cake, are popular at the moment,” she says. See theweddingcakeboutique.ie

Behind the scenes
Netflix has commissioned Chef’s Table, a six-part docu-series which will be available to subscribers next year. The series is being made by David Gelb, the filmmaker responsible for Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

The series will take viewers inside the kitchens of six internationally-known chefs – Magnus Nilsson, (Faviken in Sweden), Dan Barber (Blue Hill, New York), Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana, Modena), Francis Mallmann (Patagonia Sur, Buenos Aires), Ben Shewry (Attica, Melbourne), and Niki Nakayama (N/Naka, Los Angeles)

Makers and shakers
Keith Bohanna’s Meet the Makers series of evenings with the people producing the very best bread, coffee, cheese, cider and beer, moves on to chocolate for its next gathering. Mary Teehan of Truffle Fairy in Thomastown, Karen Keane of Bean and Goose in Wexford and Alyssa Jade McDonald, a bean-to-bar chocolate maker who is based in Germany, promise to bring plenty of free samples to the event which takes place at Highbank Farm, Cuffesgrange, Kilkenny at 6pm on Saturday, November 8th. For tickets (€8), see biabeag.com

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