Foodfile: Gastronomic stories at Galway Food Festival

Sample brewer’s paste, make your own wholefood snack bars, visit Val’s Kitchen

 

Festival of Food
Ross Lewis of Chapter One in Dublin – seen above with fellow chef JP McMahon – heads west to launch the Galway Food Festival (March 24th-28th). The chef and restaurateur will also present a food demo, Tale of an Irish Food Story at 11am on March 25th in the festival’s food village at Spanish Arch, and will join Wade Murphy, Jess Murphy, Gavin McDonagh and Michelle Kavanagh for a discussion on 100 Years of Irish Food at noon on the same day in the Mick Lally Theatre.

Model Roz Purcell, author of Natural Born Feeder, brings her style of healthy cooking to Brasserie on the Corner, where you can join her for a five-course menu on March 25th.

Food tours will leave the city daily over the Easter weekend for Clarinbridge oyster beds, an artisan brewery, Kilcolgan apiary, a wild salmon fishery, and an abalone farm in Connemara; and Sheena Dignam will lead two-hour walking food tours of the city. For the programme of events, see galwayfoodfestival.com

Brew Up a Treat
This jar contains Brewer’s Paste, a Marmite-type spread made with malty porter by the Meantime Brewery in Greenwich, London – as well as yeast extract, porcini mushrooms, roasted garlic and molasses. M&S suggests using the umami-rich concoction in a chicken glaze, or added to Welsh rarebit.

But Lorna Kernan has come up with the perfect way to use it – spread thinly on a tortilla wrap, topped with finely grated strong Cheddar and a sprinkling of sesame seeds, toasted under a grill.

The Brewer’s Paste costs €2.99 for a 125g jar.

DIY Snack Bars
Wyldsson, the Dublin company that makes healthy snacks for Tour de France cycling teams, Premier League football teams and Ryder Cup golfers, as well as mere mortals, has launched a bake-at- home wholefood snack bar mix, to which you add egg, banana, and nut butter.

Raw food snack bars, energy bars, and protein balls are a massive growth area – but they do seem pricey. The Wyldsson DIY option, in original, coffee and berry flavours, sells for €3.99, plus the cost of additional ingredients, and they say you’ll end up with a 500g batch of bars. You can buy them at wyldsson.com

Real Easy Food
“Val’s Kitchen”, written by Limerick’s Valerie O’Connor, was one of the first Irish food blogs and now, 10 years later, it has become a book. O’Connor is the mother of two teenage boys, so her recipes feature lots of filling, economical and healthy suppers. But perhaps the most interesting section is the pantry chapter, where you’ll learn how to easy it is to make cream cheese, paneer, yoghurt and fermented vegetables. Val’s Kitchen: Real Food, Real Easy, by Valerie O’Connor, is published by O’Brien Press, €19.99.

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