Slow Food Events in Dublin, Ireland and Christchurch, NZ

Durrus Irish Farmhouse raw milk cheese Whether you’re in Dublin or Christchurch, New Zealand this weekend, there are plenty of Slow Food-organised events taking place. The Christchurch branch have their second “how to survive when ship-wrecked” morning by the sea taking place on Saturday 23 September. Led by Slow Food member, amateur botanist, professional fishing guide and enthusiastic forager Peter Langlands, participants will spend the morning gathering seaweeds, shellfish, crustaceans and fish from Canterbury’s shoreline at Port Levy. Information on species identification, harvesting and cooking techniques will be combined with some cautionary notes. Car pooling will take place from the CPIT car park at 9:30am. You can email Convivium Leader Bill Bryce for directions and hopefully you’ll avoid what happened to me last year – a frustrating hour spent waiting in the wrong CPIT car park!

Also in Christchurch, on Sunday 24 September, The Bicycle Thief restaurant will host a family-style meal cooked by chef Nik Mavromatis to raise money for Nik to attend the Slow Food Terra Madre conference and Salone del Gusto in Turin in October. The dinner will be at 6pm on the Sunday of September 24th and the cost will be $70 per person for five courses, including wine. I’ve eaten Nik’s fantastic food at the café in the Mediterranean Food Company and he was the inspirational teacher for classes I attended there on Tapas and pasta-making. I can tell you where I’d be on Sunday night, were I in New Zealand, especially with a menu like this…

Canapes and cocktails at 6pm, followed by:
Bagna Cauda with witloof, cardoons, baby vegetables and organic rye
bread. Wine – Cracroft Chase Pinot Gris 2005
Trio of shared pasta dishes: Gorgonzola Gnocchi, Buckwheat Pasta with
Salmon Roe and Crème Fraiche, Butternut Pumpkin and Sage Ravioli. Wine – San Silvestre 2003 Barbera D’Alba
Roast Porchetta with Cavolo Nero and Puy Lentils. Wine – Pegasus Bay 2004 Pinot Noir
Masticha-infused Rice Pudding with Rhubarb Compote. Wine – Lombardo Sicilian Moscato NV

On this side of the world, at Sunday’s Farmleigh Food Market in Phoenix Park the Irish Raw Cow’s Milk Cheese Presidium will launch a new label which will be used by the producers to designate cheese made from high quality raw Irish milk. The cheesemakers will be there to give tastings and talk about their cheese and Kevin Sheridan, one of the co-ordinators of the Presidia, will be giving a talk at 3pm on Irish raw cow’s milk cheeses as a part of the Farmleigh culinary month. Kevin, of Sheridan’s Cheesemongers, is passionate – some might say evangelical – about good cheese and about Irish raw milk cheese in particular. At a recent Slow Food Dublin evening he talked us through samples of Drumlin, Cooleeney Raw, Mount Callan Cheddar and the stunning Bellingham Blue.

The cheeses which are a part of the Irish Raw Cow’s Milk Cheese Presidium are:
Drumlin made by Silke Cropp in Cavan
Cooleeney Raw made by Breda Maher in Tipperary
Mount Callan Cheddar made by Lucy Hayes in Co Clare
– Dilliskus made by Maja Bindler in Dingle, Co Kerry
Bellingham Blue made by Peter Thomas in Co Louth
St Gall made by Frank and Gudrun Shinnick in Co Cork
Durrus made by Jeffa Gill in Co Cork
More information on the Irish Raw Cow’s Milk Cheese Presidium is online here and the Cáis (Irish Farmhouse Cheesemakers Association) website is at

Also watch out, the following weekend, for the Temple Bar Food Market’s 10th Birthday Party on Saturday 30 September with talks and demonstrations in Meeting House Square and at the Cultivate Centre at SS Michael & John’s Church.



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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2 Responses

  1. Jo says:

    Hi Caroline,
    I just read your posting today after having attended the dinner at “The Bicycle Thief” last night.As you expected, it was a very nice dinner night. The food was very good, the wine extremely varied and the conversations stimulating.
    Interesting enough, it was the smallest dish (one of the appetizers, the polenta canapes) that was the most memorable to me. The “Main Divide Pinot Noir” with the Roast Porchetta was just divine.
    I thought I’d let you know since you couldn’t attend.

  2. Caroline says:

    Thanks for that Jo – you’re making me even sorrier that I’m not in NZ now! It sounds like you had a lovely evening. My mother-in-law-to-be sent me Peta Matthias’ last book – A Cook’s Tour of New Zealand – for my birthday and between that and Cuisine magazine, Kiwi food is kept very much to the forefront of my mind.

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