Harry's Restaurant, Bridgend, Inisowen, Co Donegal
With a slake of new openings in the recent past, the Dubs are going Tex-Mex mad for filling cheap eats of all shapes, sizes and strength of chilli pepper hotness. Burritos are the new panini, it would seem, and with this taste-value ratio we can see why. From new takeaway bars such as Burritos & Blues and Pablo Picante to old stalwarts like Café Azteca and Taco Taco that are still doing their good hot stuff for now even keener prices, we’re loving the Dublin Mexican wave.
A trip to Ballymaloe Cookery School any old day is an exhilarating experience; an exhibition of unique culinary tradition based around a passion for real, good food and a zeal for life. But to see the venerable institution play host to the kind of talent and innovation that is the Ottolenghi duo – Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamini – is to see something very special indeed.
14,000 people passed through the doors of the Limerick Milk Market last Saturday. Yes, you read that right: 14,000. It's an astounding figure, but then look at what they were turning up to get: Mari's cheeses; Country Choice terrines and burgers; Paul Cusack's fish; Ponaire coffees, and a host of terrific local specialities and market fixtures, led by the brilliant Theresa Storey with her Green Apron foods. Limerick was always one of the best markets – atmospheric, diverse, with old and new rubbing shoulders together. With the new roof and new arrivals, it's just gone stratospheric.
There is nothing – nothing! – nicer in this world than a glass of Galway Hooker ale in a nice bar like Carrick-on-Shannon's The Oarsman, late on a warm summer afternoon. You've driven to the busy town, rambled around, and then that nice, talkative barman places the glass of Hooker in front of you. You take a sip, and time stops: aaah! And then the barman brings the best bowl of chowder you have had in yonks, along with the best prawn sandwich, the best chicken strips with fries, and the best chicken salad with ginger and soy, and everyone is placated into delighted silence.
Coopershill House, Riverstown, Co Sligo
Matthew Crawford: The case for working with your hands (Viking)
A philosopher who likes to fix old motorbikes muses on modern work. Artful, zen and fun.
Gerry Galvin: No Recipe (Doire Press)
Poems from the great intellectual of the Irish kitchen, and poems that are hard-wrought from a life of experience, yet filled with wonder. Funny, too.
“Eating is more important than sex – we do it at least three times a day at all ages and yet it merits little planning and insufficient time both in the preparation and partaking”.
Gerry Galvin isn't just one of Ireland's best know chefs. He is also a poet – his debut volume, “No Recipe”, was lunched in Galway recently by Michael D. Higgins – and being a serious writer may explain Mr Galvin's ability to come up with unforgettable lines like: “Eating is more important than sex”.
We are celebrating our twenty year association with Bridgestone tyres tonight at a special dinner cooked by Thomas Haughton.
Steak Frites is the quintessential French Bistro dish. Whenever I am in France this is the dish I order more than any other as I can be fairly certain they will get it right - or at least less wrong. The chips might be cooked from frozen and the steak underdone (to some Irish palates) but I have come to trust in the simplicity of this dish.