Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Looking for gorgeous artisan Irish food this month?


Decent Irish grub alert: 
my This Edible Life column for April from The Gloss magazine, Irish Times. 
enjoy!

As nose-to-tail eating and local sourcing is where it’s at, I’m very pleased to have already chosen my Spring Lamb for slaughter from the farm next door. Once I get past the “heart-meltingly cute” phase, I coolly assess hind ends from my kitchen window, noting which lovely has the meatiest loins for my Easter table.

In London the trend, driven by Fergus Henderson of the nose-to-tail eatery St John, knows no bounds, with two hotels, several restaurant and a bakery now under the St John name. If you’re really on the food pulse, Gram Bangla on Brick Lane is the place to be. Serious nose-to-tailers flock there for liver, kidney and brain which on the menu almost every day. 

St Johns in London
Named after the old Hatch dairy in the centre of Dublin, Hatch and Sons offers local sourcing in a gorgeous new dining spot in the basement kitchen of the St. Stephens Green home of Trevor White’s Little Museum of Dublin. With serious foodie firepower with the involvement of Domini and Peaches Kemp and food writer Hugo Arnold, it’s an inviting room with big wooden tables, enamel jugs straight from my nana’s farmhouse and a relevant, well sourced menu featuring Tom Durcan’s spiced beef on Waterford’s famous blaa bread .

Wine Note: The Hatch and Sons April supper club on the 18th features a talk by Gerard Maguire of 64 Wine in Glasthule on the exploding world of biodynamic wines, with a menu of Daube of beef, parsley and mustard mash, and St Gall cheese from Fermoy

Bluebells Falls Goats Cheese
You’ll also find local sourcing and blaas on the menu at Farm on nearby Leeson Street, (also a branch on Dawson St) which has lovely tables on the pavement for people watching. I loved their gorgeous tart made with Paul Keane’s Bluebell Falls organic Irish goats cheese and butternut squash with red onion marmalade. Or try their Chicks in Town - marinated breast of Irish chicken on a Blaa with beef tomatoes, crisp leaves and homemade garlic mayonnaise.

Firehouse Bakery, Heir Island
Close to my neck of the woods, Emma Stone tells me the new Romany Stone cafe, restaurant and food store at the Delgany Inn will open early this month. I’m very fond of the original Romany Stone restaurant in Kilbride Wicklow, which morphed from an interiors shop into a swanky but comfy stop-off for anyone heading South on the N11. I frequently made excuses to drive there for their Brie and Hazelnut sandwich alone. The new venture also features a patisserie from The Firehouse gang who run the gorgeous bakery and bread school using wood-fired clay ovens on Heir Island in West Cork and will sell fresh foods from The Grocer Foodstore.


At the end of the month I’ll be holding forth at the Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine with a gathering of some of the world’s best food writers and chefs - Joanna Blythman, Thomasina Miers, Stevie Parle, Darina Allen and Alice Waters, owner of the home of modern America food - Chez Panisse in California. Can’t wait for the gossip over dinner and lunch. I just may not come home.



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