We look at London's Noma and its head chef René Redzep (pictured), and saddle up with The Shelbourne Hotel's Garry Hughes for Me, My Shelf & I...
It was a rum old do the other night when Tasty Tuesday was treated to a fabulous meal and specially-created paired cocktails at Pichet as part of Bacardi’s 150th birthday celebrations. It’s like choosing a favourite child but we were particularly taken with the Royal Velvet, which went with the awesome raspberry soufflé. If you’re into DIY, shake 1 shot of Bacardi Superior with ½ shot of Bacardi Oakheart, 1 shot of fresh lemon juice, a whole egg, ½ shot sugar syrup, 2 bar spoons of fresh raspberries and dusted with dried raspberry powder. Et voilà, sex in a tall glass!
Earlier in the night we were treated to a Pioneers’ Port to accompany the Roast Fermanagh Lamb Rump, Lamb Sweetbreads, Spinach & Aubergine, which underlined Pichet head-chef Stephen Gibson’s winning way with (mainly) local produce. The recipe for this little beaut is 1 shot Bacardi 8yr, ¼ shot ruby port, ¼ Frangelico, 1 bar spoon sugar syrup, 2 bashes Peychaud’s bitters and 2 dashes grapefruit bitters, all stirred and garnished with an orange twist.
Meanwhile, Horse Meat Disco, Big Dish Go, Stevie G, Scribble Sound System and Today FM’s KC are among those gracing the Bacardi Oakheart Arena, which pitching up this weekend at the Indiependence festival in Mitchelstown, County Cork.
TASTY TUESDAY'S TOP 10
1. Noma – AKA “The best restaurant in the world now that El Buli’s closed” – has opened a £195 a head pop-up in London’s Claridge’s Hotel for the duration of the Olympics.
Dishes include live ants, which go a treat with the hazelnut, rye, malt, beer, butter and crème fraiche “soil”, all served in a plant pot!
Pictured is René Redzep, the two Michelin-starred head chef who believes in food as theatre. [link]http://www.claridges.co.uk/atasteofnoma[/link]
2. “Food, insanity, brilliance & love.” New Scandinavian food magazine Fool aims to do for modern gastronomy what Wallander has done for gritty crime drama.
Their first cover star is Magnus Nilsson, Iron Maiden fan extraordinaire and the enfant terrible of Nordic cooking. [link]http://fool.se[/link]
3. We’re hearing only good things about Blake’s Bar and The Brasserie On The Corner, new conjoined establishments, which can be found on the junction of Galway’s Eglington Street and Mary Street.
The latter is presided over by Joe Flaherty who seems to have taken part of his cue from Dylan McGrath at The Rustic Stone.
4. O’Connor’s multiple award-winning Seafood Restaurant has re-opened following a facelift in Bantry, with its famous lobster tank as piled high as ever.
Their signature Monkfish & Smoked Venison Risotto with Roasted Pepper Sauce is another reason to make the pilgrimage to West Cork. The daily 6pm to 7pm Early Bird at €25 for three courses is stupidly good value. [link]http://www.oconnorseafood.com[/link]
5. Darina Allen, Sally McKenna, Mei Chin, Caroline Hennessy from the Irish Food Bloggers’ Association and Milleens Cheeses’ Veronica Steele are among the familiar names gracing the Theatre For Food, which is happening this weekend in Skibbereen as part of the Liss Ard Festival.
With Chic, Lisa Hannigan, Bob Mould, Chromatics, Mick Flannery, Toots & The Maytals, Paul Buchanan, Roy Harper and Joan As Police Woman – to mention just nine – providing musical sustenance it promises to be quite a bash. [link]http://www.facebook.com/LissArdFestival[/link]
6. Food bloggers are being invited to give cookery demos at the National Ploughing Championships, which take place from September 25 to 27 in New Ross.
Put us down for Coq au Vin and Spotted Dick. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org of you’re interested.
7. There’s music as well as food on the menu at The Olive Grove, a fabulous Athlone eatery whose Custume Pier premises overlook the Shannon.
Set up in 1997 by Gael Bradbury and Garry Hughes, their monthly gig + dinner combos have recently featured such habitual hit-makers as Jerry Fish and Declan O’Rourke. [link]www.theolivegrove.ie[/link].
8. Tasty Tuesday doesn’t want to be accused of traitorous behaviour but Tayto and King have some serious competition in the square shape of Boxerchips, the gourmet crisp that having taken the UK by storm has now landed in Ireland.
Handcooked by the folks from Spudmucker Farms, the range includes Crackpot Pepper & Salty Salt; Cheesed Off Red Onion; Savagely Salted; Salty Malt Vinegar; and Various Veggies, which eschew normal potatoes in favour of the sweet variety and also include beetroot and parsnip among their strangely multi-coloured wares. See [link]www.boxerchips.com[/link] for the current list of Irish stockists.
9. Raspberry Brûlée Tart & Basil Syrup, Chocolate Pasta Ravioli With Cointreau Sauce and White Chocolate & Coconut Fondant are just three of the deliciously decadent desserts rustled up by Rachid Zaouia in his beautifully illustrated Simply Pastry cookbook.
The Frenchman switches word processor for food processor at Cork’s 5-Star Fota Island Resort. [link]http://www.fotaisland.ie[/link]
10. The former head chef at Bridge Bar & Grill, Robert Sabongi, has taken up residence at The Library at 130 St. Stephen’s Green West, D2. Part of the Dandelion Bar complex, its star performers include a Ham Hock & Pistachio Wellington served on a plate of apple puree and horseradish cream. [link]http://thelibrary.ie[/link]
ME, MY SHELF & I
First thing you rustled up on your own as a kid?
Chocolate chip biscuits in home economics
At home I would make risotto – roast red pepper, tomato and scallions from the garden
Good olive oil and a good balsamic
What's been lurking in there unused the longest?
Favourite places to food shop?
I don’t get out shopping too much but Avoca in Rathcoole and the Shelbourne Shop.
Cheeses of choice?
Love Smoked Knockanore or Bellingham Blue.
Tipple of choice?
Veuve Clicquot or New Zealand Vidal White, Corrs Light and Bombay with tonic.
Guilty food pleasure?
Has to be chocolate fondant – had one this morning at 8am and oysters with Bloody Mary shots!
Can't do without cookbook?
My favourite one is Savoy Grill.
Anything to declare?
Have to drink milk with loads of ice when I’m eating chocolate!
Garry is Executive Chef in The Saddle Room at the Shelbourne Hotel
THE REAL DEAL
There’s yet another reason to visit D2’s Exchequer Bar; the introduction of their €5 Bar Bites which include a Chinese Chopped Pork Belly so succulent and full of flavour we were forced to have seconds. The fried squid and potato skins are no slouches either, and available as a trio with the pork for just €13 – very lucky for some! [link]http://www.theexchequer.ie[/link]
NICE & CHEESY DOES IT
Great minds think alike! This week’s Me, My Shelf & I star Gary Hughes picked Bellingham Blue as his cheese of choice at exactly the same time as we were adding it to an ultimate Irish cheese board that already includes Cooleeney brie, Bluebells Fall goat, Coolattin cheddar and the camembert-y Milleen. Made from raw cows milk – the best kind! – this County Louth native is a former silver medalist at the World Cheese Awards and goes from chalky when young to total goo when ripe. A halfway house between Roquefort and Gorgonzola, we love ours with plain crackers, grapes and honey. Also keep a foodie eye open for its new goaty Boyne Valley Blue counterpart. Contact Peter & Anita Thomas at (087) 277 8538.
DON’T WORRY BE HOPPY APPLY!
Tempted? – there really is no need for the question mark! – is Northern Ireland’s first artisan cider made with apples from Davy and Janet Uprichard’s orchards in Lisburn. Comprising of no less than 35% juice, the 5.7% ABV tipple is available in Medium Dry and Medium Sweet and is more than a match for the Somerset and Normandy ciders that have inspired the Uprichards to go the craft route.
It’s also great to cook with, as evidenced by the Cider-Braised Pork with Cream & Mushrooms that was rustled up the other day in Tasty Tuesday Towers. See [link]http://www.temptedcider.co.uk[/link] for the list of current stockists who are sadly all in Nordy Ireland.
UP THE AISLE
A doff of the Tasty Tuesday hat to Cork’s Derrynaflan Foods for having the smarts to start importing the La Vera Pizza Italiana range of hand-stretched, stone-baked pizzas which are as close as you’re going to get to home/parlour made. The Mixed Mushroom, Ham & Mozarella is superb with the provided sachet of olive oil splashed over it, and being par-cooked needs just seven minutes in a 220° oven. We found ours (400g/€4.50) in the local Spar, but Derrynaflan have hundreds of stockists all over the country.
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