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The Workshop

Pairing Teas and Desserts!

Had an unusual pairing exercise at the lovely Workshop Tea Rooms near Cork Airport on Tuesday. In the “gap” after the mains, I was trying to match teas with desserts. That’s a new one! It worked out well though and indeed the excursion into the narrow country road at the rear of the airport proved well worthwhile overall.

The Workshop itself, in an old carpentry workshop, is a little bit unusual.  Continue reading »

Down with the kids

A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

The strand of British brewing I’m looking at in the last of my posts from Bristol is the one that mostly ignores what has gone before, taking its cues from the brewing practices of other places.
The company at the forefront of that movement is BrewDog, whose rapidly spreading pub estate eschews cask ale and cosy fittings, going for a much starker style-conscious vibe.  Continue reading »

Scenes from around the park at the Big Grill FestivalIn terms of the quality of the food I must say I was quite pleased. I knew I wouldn't be able to sample everything but I did want to try the Pitt Bros pulled pork bun, when my sister suggested it and boy, am I glad I did. It was priced at 10 tokens and included a side of your choice - I went for the corn on the cob and E chose the potato salad. Delicious! And you must take a peek at Kate's photo on Kates Kabin - it shows this tasty delight off to its best allure. I also tasted their homemade lemonade which was yummy and well priced at 2 smokins.

I had been looking forward to this food festival for some time. It’s been a long time since I was at a food festival, Bloom in Phoenix Park last year springs to mind…in any case, I was all set for a day of good food and entertainment. The entry fee into the Big Grill Festival in the lovely setting of Herbert Park in Ballsbridge was €15. There were early bird prices and I did get my ticket for a little less than this price.  Continue reading »

Strawberry Cake

A post by A Cookbook Collection at A Cookbook Collection

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NEW RHONE SUPPLIER SAINT COSME’S ‘LITTLE JAMES’ GRENACHE (whose jaunty label appears below) is unique in that – unlike the vast majority of table wines – it is not the product of one harvest but is instead a blend of wines from a number of years. This is done through the use of the traditional solera system, a method of ‘fractional blending’ that is most associated with Sherry. (Relax!  Continue reading »

EVERY NOW AND THEN we unearth a new supplier that really excites us and this is the case with Château de Saint Cosme, a Gigondas-based wine farmer whose ancient property features 25 perfectly-preserved Gallo-Roman fermentation vats, carved into rock.  Continue reading »

Make Friends with Karwig’s Gru-Vee!

In the vineyard: Das Grüne Heupferd

Winzer Krems, Kremser Goldberg Kellermeister Privat, Kremstal DAC

Vintage: 2013, Grüner Veltliner, 12.5%, €18.10, Karwig Wines
It is always worth a call to Karwig Wines in Carrigaline. Even more so when they have new Austrian wines in, as they have now. Picked up a few the other day and this Grüner Veltliner is my standout favourite. 

Colour is a pale honey, micro bubbles clinging to the glass.  Continue reading »

Taste of the Week

This week’s Taste of the Week is a delicious Spicy Lentil Pie by Gan Gluten. Clare O’Brien is an excellent baker and the pastry here is top notch. The filling is full of flavour and not overly spicy at all. Just a lovely snack at lunch-time or add a few bits and pieces to it and you’re well on the way to a tasty dinner.  Continue reading »

The facility to use long haul travel to visit  family in China and Australia is a privilege but it is also tiring and takes its toll. At least once a year I get the urge to do something closer to home, to hop on a plane that will get me to my destination in a few hours, no jet-lag to contend with, no lost days of recovering from exhaustion, just a week to unwind, away from it all, to while away the days with long walks, good books, great food and local wines.  Continue reading »

Single Origin Coffees

East Timor – Assui Craik

Mexico – Finca Muxbal

Coffee cherries on the tree.Each cherry produces 1, 2, even 3 (rarely) beans.

I’ve been sipping some really great coffee the past few days, thanks to Hancock and Abberton    who recently introduced me to their Brands of Distinction line. The two above are each a limited Edition Coffee and also a Single Origin speciality.  Continue reading »

Traditional matters

A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

From my previous post you might get the impression that British beer these days is all new world hops, weird ingredients and unfamiliar styles, but that’s far from the case. On my few days in Bristol last month I found the home fires to be very much still burning.
The nearest pub to my hotel was The Shakespeare Tavern, a homely little traditional boozer with big screen sports sports and lager for the regulars down the back, and a cosy front parlour for tourists like me.  Continue reading »

Courgettes or Zucchini, whatever you like to call them, are one of the easiest veggies to grow. The problem is when they start growing, it’s kind of hard to keep up with them. We have four plants in our garden, and they are monstrously big and producing at a rapid rate. Every day, I try to harvest as many as I can, but somehow I always seem to miss the marrows that are stealthily growing underneath the big leaves.  Continue reading »

Feta and Chickpea Salad

A post by sheila kiely at Gimme the recipe

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Ballymaloe Garden FestivalMarking Ballymaloe’s 50th Anniversary


Naturally enough, there will be quite a focus on food when the second annual Ballymaloe Garden Festival is held on 30th and 31st of August. Klaus Laitenberger will show you how to grow organic vegetables, Debbie Shaw will tell you all about raw food while Michael Kelly will present his guide to growing your own food.  

If you feel hungry after all that gardening, you’ll have choices.  Continue reading »

Left - the church; Right - Duomo Restaurant

We chose the 'gourmet rapid lunch', which suited me down to the ground in that it is a chef's surprise menu. Being a food lover, something like this is one of the best kind of surprises. Another happy surprise, for us leisurely tourists, was that it wasn't one bit rapid. It is supposed to include three courses, when in fact, between the little welcome course, petits fours etc., I think I counted nine distinct courses! We could happily graze and take our time over the delicious food and fabulous wine.

There is a strong focus on seafood and the authentic food of Sicily. Every course was well presented, carefully cooked and well thought out by the chef, who made an appearance on two occasions to say hello to diners, which I thought was a nice touch. Highlights were the pork served along with pork heart. It almost looked and tasted like beef - it was an extraordinary dish. The pasta with sardines was also very tasty, the cannoli as dessert was scrumptious and the homemade breads, in their simplicity, were fantastic. 

A little visual selection of some of our dishes at Duomo...

I have eaten in a couple of restaurants I would class as very high standard; Neven Maguire’s MacNean Restaurant in Cavan stands out, as does the beautiful gourmet getaway, The Old Convent in Tipperary. L’Écrivain, with its one Michelin star in Dublin didn’t fully wow me as I thought it would. So, I was certainly excited but also had some mixed feelings about what to expect in Duomo, a two Michelin star restaurant in the spectacular UNESCO baroque town of Ragusa Ibla in Sicily.  Continue reading »

I was pretty saddened when the Diep restaurant in Ranelagh closed. I loved their creamy, rich curries and would often stop there for a meal on my way home from my weekly commuter flight. A major kitchen fire in 2011 closed the restaurant, and that was the end of my late night curry jaunts. 

Disappointed as I was, I looked forward to a restaurant opening in Ranelagh, but surprisingly it took until 2014 for a new venture to reopen the doors at 19 Ranelagh.  Continue reading »

Danish Wine … Yes, Really

A post by themotleycru at the motley cru

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Asian Minced Pork

A post by Aoife - Babaduck at Babaduck

Last weekend, Lulu and the fluffy dog were down on their holidays.  After much moaning from Lady Muck (Lulu) in the back to her chauffeur (me) about how long we were taking to get there, the small talk turned to thoughts of food.  I had already planned Friday night's dinner which was burgers and Italian Potato Nuggets (fried gnocchi to you and I, but if I mention the "G" word to Lady Muck, her perfect little nose would be turned up).  Saturday evening's dinner was still to be finalised so when I mentioned Chinese, she was very excited.  When I told her it was the nice stuff that her mum gets in the restaurant with all the lettuce to make a wrap, she smiled.  But then insisted that she would only eat noodles and not rice.  No way.  Oh, and a box of milk lolly icepops would be just the thing for a pre-dinner snack.  Pester power ruled the roost, let me tell you.  Continue reading »