From Indian brunch on Baggot Street to miracles in Cork

Food File: Competition time as honey goes head to head and the Battle of the Blaa takes place

 

Indian brunch is the hot new take on the weekend meal, and there is not an avocado or a poached egg in sight. Inquisitive eaters have been beating a path to Daata in Greystones since it started serving this take on brunch to locals – and the cliffwalk contingent – earlier this year.

Now the popular south Indian spot, Kerala Kitchen, on Upper Baggot Street in Dublin 4, has got in on the act with its weekend Biryani Brunch, served noon to 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays. According to Grainne Flynn, who runs Kerala Kitchen with her husband Lewis Cummings, “Traditionally, biryani was made by layering and steaming aromatic fluffy rice, spices, herbs and meat or vegetables in huge communal pots, to feed the whole village.”

The giant pots will be packed full of lamb, prawn, chicken and vegetable varieties of biryani for the Kerala Kitchen brunches, which will also include a choice of side dish, plus raita, mint chutney, red onion salad and bottomless chai, for €15.95.

Kitchen miracle in Cork

Banish November blues with a food-focused week in west Cork learning how to cook with Carmel Somers. Her “Kitchen Miracle” programme has been running for 12 years, and got its name from the repeated comments from participants, who marvelled at the ground covered in the Sunday evening to Friday afternoon programme.

This will be the final opportunity to embark on this course, which is run from a kitchen above the Glebe Gardens restaurant at Dillon’s Corner in Skibbereen, on November 11th-16th. “After November, I will be taking Good Things on the road, where I will be going to people’s houses to teach them a new way of shopping, cooking and eating,” Somers says.

Starting with a welcome dinner on Sunday evening, and continuing until Friday at 3pm, this course is a full-on immersion in Somers’s style of cooking. Visits to Brown Envelope Seeds and Lisheen Organics, talks on seaweeds and on nutrition, a natural wine tasting and a workshop with a kinesiologist/craniosacral therapist, are also included.

The course fee is €950, which includes all materials, course notes and recipes, the talks and outings, and dinner for the participant and a guest. Accommodation is not included, and Somers says that self-catering has worked best for those taking part, as they will also have food to take home for their evening meal, as well as lunch provided.

Glebe Gardens also has news, with the return to Skibbereen of Northern Irish chef Danni Barry, who did a residency during the West Cork food festival and will cook dinner there again on November 2nd and 3rd, and Sunday lunch on the 4th. Reservations are being taken by phone, 028-20579.

Battle of the Blaa

The Waterford blaa, a soft, floury white bread roll that traces its origins back to the arrival of the French Huguenots in the city in the 1690s, has Protected Geographic Indication (PGI) status, awarded by the European Commission. But there will be precious little protection offered when the Battle of the Blaa takes place in the city’s Apple Market on Sunday, October 28th.

It is part of the Imagine Arts Festival in the city, and children, adults and family groups can register to take part in the battle by registering in advance by telephoning 087-1961923. Inquiries about the flour to be used in the battle brought forth the answer that it is waste flour, collected from baking trays, and donated by bakeries.

Honey show

The busy Co Dublin Beekeepers are gathering for their 75th annual honey show in Christ Church, Rathgar, on Saturday, November 3rd (10am-4pm). Talks on bee keeping, local honey for sale in all its varieties, craft stalls, and photography and poster competitions are all part of the buzz. There will also be the opportunity to buy wax products, including candles, face creams, lip balm, furniture polish and wax blocks.

The entries in the 30 honey and honey product classes will be on display and the judging process will be done in full view of visitors to the show.

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