The food file: The weekly food news round-up

Fully Irish in Ballsbridge; fantastic al fresco in Dún Laoghaire; glass zapable from Tesco; and all pig all day in Kilkenny

ALL PIG, ALL DAY

There’s always strong demand for “Pig in a Day” classes that teach the rudiments of butchering a pig and putting every bit of it to good use, and the School of Food in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny has pulled in a big name to headline its first such class.

Steven Lamb, part of the River Cottage HQ in Dorset headed by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, is visiting the community project to run a one-day class on Saturday, April 11th (10am-5pm).

The €120 fee includes a pork and bacon lover’s lunch. As well as learning the basics of butchering a whole carcass, there will be instruction and hands-on tuition in making sausages, air-dried ham, brawn, bacon, chorizo and salami.

Participants will be cooking devilled kidneys and paté, and taking home some of the pig parts they’ve worked on. Book now at townoffood.com or 056-7754397.

HIGH PRAISE FOR F&B

Fallon & Byrne's People's Park pavilion in Dún Laoghaire found favour with the Michelin Guide people, one of whom took to Twitter on a recent visit: "I could happily have had breakfast, lunch and dinner in this delightful Victorian shelter in the park."

The restaurant, prime al fresco dining territory once the sun comes out, has introduced a fixed-price evening menu, with one course a little steep at €19, but two looking better value at €24, and the whole hog for €29. fallonandbyrne.com,01-2303300.

A GLASS OFFER

Plastic isn't great for storing leftovers destined to be reheated in a workplace microwave, so the Pyrex storage range that's Tesco Ireland's current in-store token offer are a great alternative. Health concerns aside, it feels more civilised eating your desk lunch from a glass container. They do have plastic tops, however, which means they can go in the freezer.

The promotion runs in Tesco branches until April 12th. Prices start at €4 (plus 10 tokens) for a 0.8l rectangular container, perfect for lunch.

THE FULLY IRISH

When we were asking readers to tell us about the Irish foods that they particularly liked, one comment from a hotelier stood out.

Fiona Teehan is the manager at Pembroke Townhouse in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, where, she told us, you won't find anything on the breakfast menu that isn't Irish (beverages aside). So, no croissants on the buffet, for example, but plenty of scones, cakes, and traditional breads, all made in-house, as are the preserves, compotes and granolas.

There was one exception made, when French rugby supporters were in town for the Six Nations. “We arranged some pastries and croissants for them,” Teehan says, “but they loved our brown bread and that went first, though they did eat the croissants too.”

The guesthouse’s hot breakfasts are legendary as well. And, in keeping with the spirit of generosity of the house, you can order as much as you’re capable of eating.

The boiled eggs and ‘soldiers’ are a constant source of amusement with foreign visitors, Teehan says. – “I think many of them wouldn’t have seen an egg cosy before.” Fried mushrooms with Cashel Blue cheese and thyme, and smoked salmon and poached eggs on soda bread are popular orders. Even the tomato relish with the bacon butty is homemade. Porridge loses its penitential aura with the addition of Baileys and caramelised bananas.

Teehan, who is compellingly enthusiastic about her hotel’s very Irish breakfast offering, has launched a promotional price of €45 per person bed and breakfast that will run until the end of April. See pembroketownhouse.ie, tel 01-6600277.