Mid-course pastry class, sea salt caramel bars and some of the best cheeses in the world

Another year in Irish cuisine that will remain somewhat of an ‘unfinished business’ for The Menu, as the Dingle Food Festival, which also hosts the prestigious Blás na hÉireann awards, is downsized for the second year in a row to an online-only event . predations of the pandemic. This annual beano is poised to be The Menu’s most favorite event in the Irish culinary calendar, one that ends another year of saddling Neidín to roam the highways and paths tasting the country’s best food.

Champion food producers

Blás na hÉireann’s work continues unabated, however, as Artie and Fallon Clifford and their team have once again done a Trojan job to ensure that the awards across Ireland recognizing the best food producers across the board. from the 32 counties resulted in another magnificent call for winners, including 40 winners from County Cork alone.

Wildabout’s Malcolm and Fiona Falconer celebrate winning the title of Supreme Champion at this year’s Blás na hÉireann Awards.

This year’s Supreme Champion is the Wexford-based food family that The Menu first met in a very early incarnation at the Dungarvan West Waterford Food Festival a few years ago, as Fiona Falconer and her clan set out for themselves. in the culinary journey which ultimately led them to this most worthy distinction. Working from their small, sustainable permaculture farm, they grow and harvest a range of products to create a wonderful line of dressings, syrups, chutneys and other snacks. The menu will feature their winning starter, a delicious So Sloe jelly, in the coming weeks.


Award-winning sea salt caramel bar

Sisters Kate and Ruth O'Hara of Temptation Patisserie won the award for best artisan product at this year's Blás na hÉireann awards
Sisters Kate and Ruth O’Hara of Temptation Patisserie won the award for best artisan product at this year’s Blás na hÉireann awards

He will also run Temptation Patisserie’s Sea Salt Caramel Bar, as two younger sisters, Kate and Ruth O’Hara, achieved an extraordinary feat by winning the award for Best Handcrafted Product just 12 months after their first installation. young business, in Mountmellick, Co Laois. In addition, the siblings are completely self-taught, producing luxury artisanal chocolates and pastries made from premium, ethically sourced ingredients in small batches, specializing in hand-painted chocolates, bars and candies. Temptation Pâtisserie also won the Blas na hÉireann prize for best start-up this year.


Food on the edge

The hugely popular Food On The Edge (October 18/19) manages to return with more than a hint of the bodily to its schedule with a co-ed symposium that mixes live speakers with others joining online, and the venue for those who come to the flesh is very beautiful. Airfield Estate, in Dundrum, Dublin.

Confirmed speakers include Garima Aurora, the first Indian woman to win a Michelin star, and Mark Best, the Michelin-starred Australian chef featured on the Netflix show, Chef’s Table. The event also includes an on-site artisan village. Tickets (virtual and on site) on the website.


Mid-course pastry course

Graham Herterich is organizing a virtual Bake-Along this Halloween.
Graham Herterich is organizing a virtual Bake-Along this Halloween.

Dublin-based The Cupcake Bloke Graham Herterich is offering a Halloween Virtual Bake-Along (October 30), a mid-course fare ideal for young families. The first 100 to register receive a free cooking kit.



Le Menu is a huge fan of the goat, a wonderful animal, criminally underutilized in this country, making, as it does, a most wonderful source of delicious and sustainable meat and, best of all, superlative dairy products, by especially cheese. The menu is of course nothing without its Irish farmhouse cheese board and any chance to add another name to its appeal of one of the best cheese lines to be found in the world is always welcome.

Larry and Anne Maguire produce fresh goat’s milk, yogurts and cheeses at Galway Goat Farm, in Dunmore, near Tuam, Co Galway. And the recent sampling of The Menu kicked off with superb goat yogurt, balanced, a sweet citric flavor balanced by sweet lactose sugars and a rich, creamy mouthfeel that The Menu instantly paired it with wild blackberries from the freezer, honey and almonds for a breakfast. it would also serve well as a dessert.

Their range of cheeses begins with a number of fresh, light, citric goats and a workhorse perfect and ready for all kinds of recipes requiring, without risking overloading pies, pasta fillings or even cheesecakes for those who beware of the more outraged, funky flavors sometimes associated with goat cheese – absolute ambrosia for The Menu but inexplicably difficult for certain delicate types whose The Menu secretly despairs!

With An Rolla Dubh (La Bûche Noire), we are now entering the privileged territory of true converts, for this log of aged, ashy and grated goat cheese, handcrafted from pasteurized goat milk from a single estate in small amounts, although light and fresh when young, well worth the wait until it reaches its peak (three to six weeks) and matures to a firmer, slightly chalky texture that dissolves in seconds in a rich and peppery cream.

Several years ago The Menu tasted an aged Tomme de St Tola style cheese that was quite divine and it would welcome a lot more from any goat cheese producer in the country – a ripened cheese hanging over in the past. at least three months. . Galway Tom, that’s it, a three-month ripened Tomme-style round cheese with a wonderfully generous fat content (28%), it melts on the tongue, its goat flavor, enhanced by flavors of hazelnut and a pronounced sweet finish. The Menu had to hand over a jar of poached figs in PX sherry: accompanied by An Rolla Dubh, it was rather like a dessert; married to Galway Tom, it was actually a dessert!


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