Guinness is flavour of the month
Food File: Chef Sessions popping up in Cork, while Lidl offers European Kick Start opportunities
Ian Doyle, head chef of Oaxen Krog in Stockholm, is designing an Irish food and beer menu which will be served at the Guinness Storehouse during the St Patrick’s Festival. Photograph: Andres Poveda
Irish chef Ian Doyle, who heads the kitchen at Oaxen Krog in Stockholm, and previously worked at Noma in Copenhagen, is collaborating with the Guinness Storehouse on a menu for two Irish food and beer supper clubs, which take place during the St Patrick’s Festival on March 15th and 16th.
The supper clubs will be open to the public, and will feature a five-course menu paired with beers. Doyle recently visited the Guinness Storehouse to work on the menu and taste the range of beers available.
“I was really impressed by the depth of flavour tones and taste in the Guinness portfolio. Originally, I would have only been familiar with traditional Guinness draught but this experience has opened my eyes to a whole new variety of beers,” he says.
“Exploring the theme of Home, I wanted to showcase the best Irish ingredients paired with some great beers. Beer has earned its place at the table. It’s exciting and fresh.”
So what came first in designing the menu, the food or the beers? “It was a mixture of both. Beers can pair with any food, acting to complement the flavours present or take them on a different journey. As a result, there are many beers that can be paired with the same dish, each taking the palate down a separate avenue.
“Working with Justin O’Connor, head chef at the Guinness Storehouse and Ian Colgan, beer sommelier, we tried and tested different beers and ingredients to create the menu.”
Tickets for the supper clubs cost €75 and can be purchased online at guinness-storehouse.com/en/event-tickets/spf-supperclub.
Chef Sessions are what the Market Lane group of restaurants in Cork call the occasional pop-ups run by chefs working at Market Lane, Elbow Lane, Castle Cafe Cork and Orso Kitchen & Bar. The events bring together younger members of the four kitchen teams, who collaborate on the menu and work together to deliver it.
The third Chef Session takes place on Monday, March 5th, at Orso, with food waste as the theme for the nine-course menu which will feature little used cuts of meat and fish, and parts of vegetables often discarded such as cauliflower stems. Coffee grounds from the restaurant, and pulp from the juicer, will also be utilised. Micro herbs and leaves from the group’s urban farm, Green Space, in Ballyvolane, will also feature. These are grown hydroponically and on cococa coir matting.
Head chef for the night is 23-year-old Aishling Moore, who is sous chef at Elbow Lane. She will be joined in the kitchen by Lorenzo Luzzani, chef de partie at Market Lane, Janos Schmidt, chef de partie at the Castle Cafe and Liam Flynn, grill chef at Market Lane.
The Sessions are part of the group’s training programme, and each group of chefs works together for between four and six hours a week over a six-week period to develop and refine their dishes. They are encouraged to work with ingredients they do not usually use, and to experiment with different techniques and styles of cooking.
Tickets for the dinner, which starts at 7.30pm, are €75, to include drinks pairings, and can be booked online at orso.ie.
Kick Start with Lidl
Lidl is expanding its Kick Start programme, which offers Irish food and drink manufacturers a chance to get their produce on its shelves. For the first time, three products will earn the opportunity to be sold in Lidl stores across Europe, as well as in Ireland.
Last year, 71 products from 54 suppliers were selected from the 450 presented for consideration, and went on sale in 153 Lidl stores Ireland during a Best of Ireland promotion in September.
Two of these – PowCow high protein frozen yoghurt and Broghies multi-grain wafers – subsequently earned a permanent listing with the retailer.
The Kick Start supplier development programme for this year is now open and can be entered at lidl.ie/kickstart. The producers selected will be invited to take part in a series of free seminars covering areas such as quality control, packaging, marketing and PR and brand building. Lidl places a value of €200,000 on its investment in the programme, which is supported by Bord Bia.