Although clouds threatened, the sun shone continued to shine all day on Sunday at the inaugural Taste of Cork as crowds gathered to eat and drink in the atmospheric surroundings of the Cork City Gaol. What would the former inmates have thought if they looked out the bars of their windows at the thousands of people swaping their florins for delicious satay at Jacobs on the Mall, devouring Flemings‘ layered foie gras dish, eating seasonal mackerel with a fresh gooseberry sauce from Ballymaloe House, pulling apart the Ivory Tower’s Venison Chimichurri with Chocolate and Chilli Sauce and queuing for the popular Fish and Chips with Minted Pea Purée at the Club Brasserie stand? Urru was there with pâtisserie from Richard Graham-Leigh, particularly his rich Chocolate and Raspberry Tentation and an array of fruit tartlets, Jack McCarthy brought a selection of his wares and there were tastings aplenty from a variety of stalls, including plenty of offerings in the chocolate and wine side of things.
Category: Eating Out
Thursday night we spent at a sumptuous banquet of Indian food, courtesy of Green Saffron, in a marquee on the lawn of the elegant Ballyvolane House. We were treated to an assortment of curries made with Green Saffron spice blends, served on fragile-looking yet surprisingly long-lasting leaf plates, and accompanied by Bubble Brothers‘ wines and bottles of Tiger Beer. Live Indian music soundtracked the evening, punctuated by Green Saffron founder Arun Kapil talking about how the dishes were made and the spices used in each one.
The perfect birthday? Take a day off work – this is always nicest if done midweek! – and book a night away in Gort na Nain, a vegetarian guesthouse near Nohoval outside Cork city, run by the welcoming Lucy Stewart and Ultan Walsh, vegetable growers and suppliers of vegetables to Café Paradiso, amongst other Cork restaurants. Drive there after work the day before your birthday, picking up the Husband en route, and arrive just in time for your pre-booked three-course dinner. Relax and savour Lucy’s fabulous cooking, using fresh-picked vegetables and fruit grown by Ultan, with the other (very entertaining) couple that happen to be staying there that night. Take a long walk to see the sea before tucking yourself into a large, comfortable bed in an bright and spacious room.
Just heard from a reader that the café at The Glebe Gardens in Baltimore is well worth a visit. Liz writes:”Just wanted to let you know of a café I happened upon last weekend. It is the Glebe Café, in Baltimore, West Cork, and it is one to rave about. The produce comes straight from their garden on to the plate and it is just spectacular. The website is www.glebegardens.com. I think they are only open at weekends right now but I think they start a weekly thing in the summer. I had Organic Beef Stew….yummy simple great food, it just excited me so much that I had to tell someone.”Last June, while the new Husband and I were honeymooning in West Cork (along with eight of his family, six English Engineers and an Irish terrier called Bridie) we visited the Glebe Gardens and loved it. Unfortunately the café wasn’t opened while we were there – although the Husband did meet the owner of the house and almost secured me a job while talking to him about me doing the course at Ballymaloe – but all the ingredients were present in the garden, just waiting to be used. Great to hear that it’s doing well – I’ll have to plan a trip back to the West this summer!
With Irish cheeses and handmade terrines, fresh-shucked oysters, champagne and plenty of spiced beef, the launch of the Taste of Cork festival took place last Thursday in the English Market and it’s shaping up to be something well worth checking out.Although I was rather underwhelmed with my experience at the first Taste of Dublin, the teething problems – portion size, rain shelter, muck underfoot – seem to have been ironed out and, for the event’s Cork debut, the organisers have chosen the historic surroundings of the Cork City Gaol (or Jail, depending on where you grew up!) for the weekend of Friday 27 to Sunday 29 June. The restaurant line up includes Jacobs on the Mall, Seamus O’Connell’s Ivory Tower, the very familiar Ballymaloe House, and Mallow’s representative – Longueville House. We’re planning on a family day out – time to book those tickets!
Just a reminder that the Festival of World Cultures kicks off tonight in Dún Laoghaire. It is taking place all weekend with lots of free music and plenty of good eating. Slow Food has a stand in the Cool Earth eco-fair in the Town Hall so, if you’re interested in learning about SF – and tasting some products from artisan producers! – call in over the weekend.
After discovering a leak in the ceiling of our bedroom in the Dublin flat on Monday and subsequently having to spend the night on the floor in the kitchen, neither the Husband nor myself were in any particular hurry to get back there on Tuesday evening. Heavy rain plus no umbrella (the Husband) and flip flops (me) didn’t help morale on our walk home so we decided to meet in Ranelagh and try out the recently opened wine bar – Wine Upstairs – over Tribeca. The restaurant is always buzzing, as it was last night, but, after we had shaken our bedraggled selves off, stashed my umbrella and walked up the stairs, we arrived in an airy room, with lots of tables, plenty of bottles of wine on display – and no other people. Stashing ourselves in the corner by the New Zealand wines, the Husband looked at wines while I devoted myself to a perusal of the short, but well formed, menu.
For anyone who is interested in the relationship between food and farming in Ireland, the annual Euro-toques National Food Forum and Fair – entitled Reconnecting: Farming, Food & Rural Communities – will be taking place at Brooklodge Hotel in Macreddin Village, Co Wicklow on Sunday 2 September. On this year’s panel are Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Trevor Sargent; UK organic movement pioneer and champion Helen Browning; Gerry Scully, the programme manager for Rural Development with Teagasc; Irish Farmers Journal columnist and farmer Peter Young; and Ross Lewis, chef/proprietor of Chapter One Restaurant and Commissioner of Euro-toques Ireland.