Food file: Your weekly food news round-up

Put your barbecue skills to the test, meet Trish Deseine, cooking for kids

 

PUT YOUR BARBECUE SKILLS TO THE TEST

So you think you can grill, and you fancy yourself as a pitmaster, or mistress? You can put your barbecue skills to the test when Ireland’s first barbecue centre of excellence opens today at The Orchard Garden Centre in Celbridge, Co Kildare.

It’s a Weber World initiative and to celebrate today’s store opening there will be cookery demos (noon-6pm), a hands-on cooking area, free tasting sessions, and a chance to win a barbecue worth €390. Those with loftier grilling ambitions might like to enter the competition to find Ireland’s best barbecue recipe, the winner of which will receive a Weber Genesis worth €2,300. weberbbq.co.uk

NOT JUST FOR THE KIDS

Louise Lennox, the pastry chef from TV3’s The Restaurant, and home economics teacher Aisling Larkin, have launched an online food network aimed at children aged between six and 14 years. Foodoppi. com is a colourful and engaging site where you will find some really original recipe videos, such as sponge cakes cooked inside egg shells, and cheese and onion burgers made with quinoa and butterbeans, as well as games, kitchen science, food art and competitions.

Lennox and Larkin describe foodoppi.com as “a creative online platform which educates, entertains and empowers children all through the wonders of food”. They trialled the site with two schools – 4th class at Rutland National School in Dublin city centre, and fifth class at St Patrick’s in Greystones – involving more than 50 children, as well as getting feedback from parents. “We want children to love us and parents to trust us,” says Lennox, who brings her cooking expertise and bubbly personality that children warm to to the venture. Larkin’s teaching experience keeps the project on track to become a resource that schools will subscribe to. It is, she says “teaching through food as well as teaching about food”. Discussing food miles, for example, supports maths and geography learning. It’s well worth a look. foodoppi.com

GET IT DOWN PAT

The first thing you will notice about Pâtisserie: Master the Art of French Pastry by Mélanie DuPuis and Anne Cazor (Hardie Grant, £30) is its size – it’s enormous. It’s also beautifully photographed and lavishly produced. DuPuis is a pastry chef and tutor. Cazor has a PhD in molecular cuisine and specialises in how and why recipes work, or don’t.

All of the classics are there, with step-by-step instructions, photographs and details on how and why things are done such as the importance of “evacuating the air” during the baking of choux pastry. Every type of pastry, dough, sponge and meringue you

can think of is here. Fillings and icings are also covered in forensic detail and then all the theory comes together in recipes for everything from millefeuille to macarons.

HOME IS HERE

Food writer Trish Deseine will be in conversation with fellow foodie Aoife McElwain at Ard Bia The House, in Galway on Sunday, April 10th, talking about her life and love of food, her career in France, and of course the making of her most recent book, Home, which celebrates traditional Irish food.

The talk takes place at 4pm and will be followed by a traditional, but more lavish than usual, high tea featuring rare roast beef, cooked ham, poached salmon, salads and pickles, with mandarin cream flan and rhubarb and apple tarts for dessert.

Tickets, €65, from ardbia.com/events

SUCESS BREEDS SUCESS ON SCREEN

RTÉ’s food entrepreneur show, The Taste of Success, is going global this year. Entries have just opened for the on-screen competition to find a new food product to go on the shelves of 140 Lidl stores nationwide, and this time there’s an opportunity for one Irish contestant to be flown home from anywhere in the world to compete. The winner’s prize package is worth €100,000. You can enter at rte.ie/thetasteofsuccess and the closing date is May 5th.

Roz Purcell joins the show this year as the Leinster mentor, and Eunice Power takes on Munster. JP McMahon is Connaught/Ulster mentor and Domini Kemp will be looking for top new food products in Dublin.

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