COOKERY LESSONS AT KELLYS
Laura Kelly, the eldest of hotelier Bill Kelly's six daughters and the manager of Kelly's Resort Hotel in Rosslare, welcomes Italian food specialist Catherine Fulvio to the hotel on December 1st and 2nd as part of a four-day cookery activity week that will also feature demonstrations from the hotel's executive chef Eugene Callaghan and pastry chef Stephane Rochard.
Laura, who attended the same hotel management college in Switzerland where her parents met – “but I didn’t come back with a husband!” – has plans to extend the hotel’s food and wine events and perhaps develop a club that would meet regularly.
A recent innovation that has proved popular is the provision of a bus to drive diners home (within a 15km radius) on Friday and Saturday nights.
She’s off to Burgundy with her father, who she refers to as her mentor, on a wine-buying trip next month, and the cookery week is the final hurrah before the hotel closes for a winter break, reopening February 12th.
The five-night cookery package, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus the classes, which run from 11am-1pm, costs €580 per person. Daily midweek rates are from €130 per person. See kellys.ie
WAY DOWN IN MEXICO
It’s Taste of Mexico time again, and the fifth year of the gastronomy and culture festival (November 17th-22nd) features three experts in their field.
Chef Helma Honda, tequila specialist José Torres-Diaz, and agave and mezcal expert Silvia Phillion are conducting tastings, workshops and masterclasses over the course of the festival. Once again there will be several opportunities during the festival to win trips to Mexico.
For the full programme of events, see tasteofmexico.ie.
GRAHAM DRAWS A BLANC
What do Graham Norton, Sam Neill, Mick Hucknall, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have in common? They're all winemakers or vineyard owners. Actor Sam Neill's Two Paddocks vineyard in Central Otago, New Zealand, is known for its Pinot Noir wines. Hollywood power couple Brangelina have teamed up with French wine maker Marc Perrin to make a highly rated Côte de Provence rosé on their Château Miraval estate. Singer Mick Hucknall put his Il Cantante (the Singer) vineyard in Sicily up for sale last year, having produced wines there for a decade.
TV presenter Graham Norton has joined the fray, having become involved with the Invivo Winery in New Zealand. For the 2015 vintage, Norton personally blended his limited edition Sauvignon Blanc, with help from Invivo winemaker Rob Cameron. It’s now on sale at SuperValu (€12), and Norton’s proceeds from the venture are being donated to the Dogs’ Trust charity.
SuperValu’s Blackrock branch was relaunched this week after a revamp aimed at positioning it as a premium level food store. The deli counter is back, with a new “dipping counter” where you can try before you buy a variety of oils and vinegars. There’s a juice bar, an in-store chocolatier, and a self-service pick and pix in the vegetable section, where you can choose between a variety of tomatoes and mini vegetables.
Today is the final day of a three-day celebration at the store, kicking off its Christmas campaign with cookery demos, tastings and entertainment.