This weekend sees the start of the eighth annual Food Month at The Irish Times. Throughout November, you'll find a wide range of food news and features across all sections of the newspaper, and online at irishtimes.com. There will also be some mouth-watering offers, fantastic competitions and exclusive virtual events to participate in.
As the national lockdown continues, you can bring Food Month into your kitchen as we help you answer the eternal question: What’s For Dinner?
Our food writers Paul Flynn, Aoife Noonan, Lilly Higgins and JP McMahon have been creating recipes to keep you busy in the kitchen all month. There will be a recipe of the day slot at irishtimes.com, in which chefs, food writers, stylists and media personalties share how to make their favourite midweek meals.
We have guest chefs lined up too, with Neven Maguire, Catherine Fulvio and Sabrina Ghayour taking up residence in our virtual kitchen. John Wilson will be on hand too, with drinks suggestions to banish the November chills, and restaurant reviewer Corinna Hardgrave will be seeking out the very best meal kits and takeaway options.
Our very own Celebrity MasterChef finalist Conor Pope will be embarking on a weekly culinary challenge, and you can read about his triumphs and tribulations as he tackles various tasks from making fresh pasta for lobster ravioli, to turning out the perfect souffle. Cooking with Conor will demystify some of the kitchen's trickiest challenges, as well as providing a few much needed laughs – as you can imagine, not everything goes to plan.
We are inviting you to connect with our writers online too. Starting this weekend, join us on Sunday at 3pm as Aoife Noonan kicks off the month of activity when she hosts the first of five weekly Facebook Live interactive masterclasses on How to be a Better Baker – see facebook.com/irishtimesfood.
Lilly Higgins will also be inviting you into her kitchen throughout the month, starting on Monday, November 2nd, when she hosts the first of four weekly Food Month Monday Cook-Alongs on her Instagram IGTV channel at 6pm – see instagram.com/lilly_higgins_. Check out their columns in tomorrow's Irish Times Magazine to see what ingredients you'll need. (Hint: Aoife is baking a fabulous sponge cake and Lilly is making delicious chicken katsu curry.)
Next Friday, November 6th, the Irish Times Winter Food + Drink magazine will be distributed with the newspaper. In it you will find Beyond Lockdown: 100 Great Places to Eat in Ireland, a guide to be held on to and referred to over the coming weeks and months and into next year. We hope it will give you something to look forward to when restrictions ease and it is also a tribute to the courage and determination shown by those involved in the hospitality sector.
There is also an interview with newly-engaged Clodagh McKenna. Aoife Noonan has created three fabulous chocolate showstopper desserts. Sunil Ghai shares his family's Indian pickle and condiment recipes. John Wilson matches winter food and wine, and Paul Flynn tells us what he is looking forward to in 2021.