Watch out for The True Cost of Cheap Food on Channel 4 tonight at 8pm as Observer food critic Jay Rayner looks into the realities of cheap pre-prepared supermarket food. With sales of organic food dropping and an ever-increasing rise in the purchase of supermarket value ranges, Rayner asks if supermarkets have a responsibility to feed their customers properly. Judging by the profits made by Tesco alone in the last year (£1.8bn in the UK), it doesn’t look like they’re going to want to do anything that might eat into their shareholders gravy train. Surely pre-made food – be it from the cheapest or the most expensive supermarket ranges – can’t be as good for you as something made from scratch at home? Wonder do they actually look at that side of things. Should be worth a look – I’ll be downloading it from 4oD tomorrow.
Category: Food Events
* Ice Cream Ireland have a video of Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini talking at the Organics Conference.* John McKenna, involved in the hotel food forum on Friday, writes about some of the suggestions posed to the Ministers on the Bridgestone Blog.* Amanda Bankert of La Petite Pâtissière (and pastry chef at my favourite Cake Café in Dublin) writes about an eventful trip down to Waterford and her attendance at the Edible School Garden workshop with her three-year-old.* Trevor Sargent’s speech to Terra Madre Ireland 2008.* Fishermen’s Federation leaders at Waterford Terra Madre Slow Food conference from BYM Marine & Maritime News.Also, more updates on the Terra Madre site, including:Gourmet Food And Education At Terra Madre Ireland 2008Terra Madre All Island Policy Conference A Huge SuccessLaunch of Terra Madre 2008Harvesting Our Thanks to Nature – Irish Times
Thanks to Marco and Marcello, my hosts at the Italian School of Cooking, where I attended a class on pasta making last night. As well as learning how easy it is to make pasta without a machine – I was dead proud of my attempts at orecchiette! – I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening, eating and drinking, meeting people and being serenaded over dinner by a very enthusiastic Marco. The school, which is centrally located in Rathmines, is definitely worth checking out. Time to pick up a bag of durum flour from the Italian shop in Ranelagh for some pasta-making experiments down at the cottage!
I’d be the first to admit that, despite my frequent use and consumption of the fruit of the vine, I don’t know much about wine. This is something that I’ve been meaning to remedy by doing a wine-tasting course but life, somehow, always manages to get in the way. Perhaps a resolution for 2007? I’ve already missed the first night of the La Cave Wine Tasting Programme but, should I be organised enough, there’s plenty more to savour in the coming weeks – must see if I can get there for the evening that features New Zealand Pinot Noir! These events take place in the small French wine bar on South Anne Street from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Each tasting costs €30, which includes all wines and a light meal of cheese, salami and pâté.
I’ve often intended to but never quite got round to getting involved in Sugar High Friday. It’s a reoccurring blog event that was originally, once-upon-a-long-time-ago, started by Domestic Goddess Jennifer. This round is being hosted by Ruth, who is physically situated in Toronto – virtually at Once Upon A Feast and the theme she has picked for this month is ginger. I love this spice in all its incarnations, ground and used in a delicious little Ginger Gem, chunks of crystallised ginger studing a moist, sticky slab of Gingerbread or – at the other end of the spectrum – slices of the fresh root simmered in a savory chicken stock for soup.
Watch out next month for Taste of Dublin 2006, running from 22 June to 25 June in the gardens at Dublin Castle and described in the press release as Dublin’s “first outdoor gourmet food and drink festival”. Ha! There’s a reason why there aren’t more outdoor events in Ireland – talk to the shivering, drenched stallholders at any of the markets around the country and see why. Anyway, festival visitors can expect signature dishes from a selection of the city’s restaurants, including a few of my favourites – the lovely Silk Road Café in the Chester Beatty Library and the more sophisticated Cellar Restaurant at The Merrion.
Having missed the first Winos and Foodies Hay Hay, It’s Donna Day – and you all know about my love of Donna Hay! – I had every intention of making a real effort for the second episode in what looks like becoming a long-running series of worldwide bake-ins. Glutton Rabbit at Pearl of the Orient chose Macaroons for Hay Hay It’s Donna Day #2 but I’m not a huge macaroon fan. Besides, I was down home and my little sister took one look at the recipe that I’d printed off from Pearl of the Orient and went “ugh! There’s coconut in it.” I have memories of making coconut macaroons when I was a child and they were never a great success – unlike anything involving chocolate. Then I remembered a recipe for Chocolate Almond Macaroons that I had come across in Taste: Baking with Flavour by Dean Brettschneider and Lauraine Jacobs. Although the book is back in New Zealand, there’s still the internet and the Cuisine website came up trumps with just the recipe that I had noted in the cookbook.