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Archive for July, 2015

Amuse Bouche


“Jefferson’s an American saint, because he wrote the words all men are created equal – words he clearly didn’t believe, because he allowed his own children to live in slavery. He was a rich wine snob who was sick of paying taxes to the Brits. So yeah, he wrote some lovely words and aroused the rabble and they went out and died for those words, while he sat back, and drank his wine, and f****d his slave girl.”

from The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs by Greil Marcus.  Continue reading »

The Atrium is the Plaza to be

Tapas in the Clarion

Enjoying the Tapas with Alice (@fabfoodcork)

The well known Atrium in the Clarion is transformed into a Spanish Plaza. Spanish chef Maria is dishing up the Tapas of her homeland here every Tuesday to Friday (5.30pm to 8.00pm). And it is not just the food that shouts Viva Espana. A new range of Spanish wines, accompanies the tapas and intensifies that relaxing feeling of being on holiday right in the middle of the city.  Continue reading »

Strawberries and cream are the quintessential summer treat but why stop there! These strawberry & cream cupcakes combine my love for the traditional summer treat with the ever popular cupcake and if you ask me, it’s a match made in heaven!  Continue reading »

Shaking my confidence daily

A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

Gluten-free beer seems to be where it’s at these days. More and more brewers appear to be going after a slice of the intolerance dollar and, whereas once gluten-free beers were very much a compromise option not tasting convincingly like beer, more recent offerings like Wold Top Against The Grain and the quinoa beer UCC presented at Franciscan Well last Easter, have been closer to the mark.
The latest exhibit is Celia, a lager brewed in Žatec with, predictably, Saaz hops.  Continue reading »

Teeling Single Malt
Dare to be different!Teeling Whiskey Single Malt 46%

Teeling Whiskey, The Spirit of Dublin, say they “dare to be different”. And yet the first words that came to my mind when first tasting their Single Malt are “This is Whiskey!”.

The words are, of course, a compliment. For this smooth and beautifully crafted spirit is not just of Dublin but of Ireland, the character of hand selected casks bottled just for you. And me!  Continue reading »

Taste of the Week
Mr Tyner’s Patés

Think I may have mentioned (more than once!) the marvellous patés that Barrie Tyner sells at his market stall, especially that palate pleasing one made with Hennessy and Garlic.

That was my first thought as we approached Barry at Mahon Farmers Market (he also operates in Midleton on Saturdays). But, as usual, Barry was dishing out generous samples. The Cognac one was again a delight but then so too was the Caramelized Onion and Mustard Seed offering.  Continue reading »

Homemade Brown Bread

A post by Wholesome Ireland at Wholesome Ireland

I used to bake soda bread about once a fortnight but we did buy a lot of sliced pans. My hubby was partial to a slice of batch and while I didn’t always eat it, we’d buy about 2 loaves of bread a week. The boys would have sandwiches, and then there was toast with melted butter, which is of course the stuff that food dreams are made of.  Continue reading »

I’ve groused about the current brunch trend in previous blog posts, as I’m feeling completely overrun by the brunch-mania that’s sweeping over the capital. But like all good things, you don’t really realise how good you have it until you no longer have it. And while brunch may be two-a-penny in Dublin city, it’s still got some way to go in Cork City.  Continue reading »

Keohane’s of BantryTheir catch to your plate

Hake with oregano and garlic

When I was growing up in the fifties and sixties, Catholics abstained from meat on Fridays. Fish was the preferred alternative. Preferred is hardly the right word as the bony little white fish dished up religiously was regarded, not as food, but as a danger, a nuisance (all those bones) and a penance. Fish, wrongly, got a bad name in this island, a bad name from which it is now almost totally recovered.  Continue reading »

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Fish tacos are one of my absolute favourite recipes and if I see them on a menu, I order them every time without fail! They are a Californian classic and take inspiration from all things Mexican including spice and heat! I like to layer my spiced, flakey cod with lashings of cooling guacamole, tomato salsa and crisp, shredded cabbage. Taco perfection! They make a truly different feast to serve for friends.  Continue reading »

Dillon’s of Timoleague
The 2015 Version

Let me start with the desserts. Not with the changes at Dillon’s of Timoleague, not with the old abbey, not with the 18th century tsunami, not with the earthquake of 2013 (2.6 magnitude), not even with the earlier courses.

All was calm along the estuary and in the deserted village streets when I arrived in Dillon’s, where West Cork chef Richard Milnes now reigns, at the weekend.  Continue reading »

Siren call

A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

There are more Siren beers coming into Dublin than I can keep up with, a phenomenon which delights me. The importer is also the management of The Beer Market so that’s where I’ve encountered most of them, including…
Siren and Omnipollo Life’s a Peach, a 6.4% ABV IPA which tastes like the union of a marijuana bud and a pineapple: heavy and resinous in texture and flavour, but with a breezy tropical fruit zing bursting out of the oils.  Continue reading »

Parmesan Roasted New Potatoes

A post by Aoife - Babaduck at Babaduck

It's new potato season and my default setting is steamed with heaps of butter and a bit of salt.  But there's so many other ways to eat these tender tasty beauties. One of my favourites is Hasselback Potatoes which look so impressive but are incredibly simple.  I can't believe I wrote that recipe 5 years ago so it's time to do something a little different.  Continue reading »

Soil at Cloughjordan Community Farm (c) Oliver Moore

Soil part 1
Soil part 2

Pat Lalor, Jim Cronin and Klaus Laitenburger all spoke at the recent soil symposium in Galway.

I asked Pat Lalor about whether conventional farmers can learn anything about soil from their organic counterparts. Lalor, organic since 1999, was the first Secretary of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Association, which he was instrumental in founding in 1993.

“I see very little relevance.  Continue reading »

Amuse Bouche


They called James, the brother of Jesus, “James the Just”…….. He himself owned nothing, not even the clothes he wore….. He drank no wine and ate no meat. He took no baths. No razor ever touched his face, nor did he smear himself with scented oils.

from Zealot (The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth)  by Reza Aslan (p. 2013).  Continue reading »

The poet, Paul Valéry, said that a poem is never finished, only abandoned. I have that same feeling about recipes. From time to time, I can’t resist making just a tiny edit or two to an old favourite, on the hunch that it will make the dish even better.

Simply irresistible

I have revisited the first dish I ever did on Alchemy in the Kitchen – Cherry Clafoutis – and I’ve made a few edits, one of which was the addition of chunks of white chocolate.  Continue reading »

St Patrick’s Distillery Launch

At Coughlan’s (l to r): Andrew Desmond (Whazon), Cyril Walsh andBarry Fitzgerald (both St Patrick’s)

The team at St Patrick’s Distillery in Douglas could hardly have picked a better venue for their recent launch than Coughlan’s Bar in Douglas Street and will be hoping that some of the pub’s longevity will rub off on their new venture.  Continue reading »

Lavelle’s in the Well

Lavelle’s is the new name in Sunday’s Well (Cork). The restaurant, with pub, long known as Annie’s, was taken over last January and the new name is just going up on the menus and sandwich board.

The huge blackboard, that used give me a crick in the neck, is also gone along with its very long menu. The replacement is the more usual paper menu, much shorter now but covering all the main bases as we found out on a recent visit.

 They do have specials.  Continue reading »