Showing posts with label Crawford Gallery Cafe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crawford Gallery Cafe. Show all posts

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Culture Night. Paintings and Plates

Culture Night

Paintings and Plates
Silvia of La Cocina
The Crawford Gallery was the first stop on Culture Night (18.09.15) with particular attention paid to two paintings. The first encountered featured Hugh Lawton, a direct ancestor of current Bordeaux negociant Pierre Lawton, who was Mayor of Cork City in 1776, and his enormous portrait hangs above the main staircase in the Crawford. Hugh would have quite a few more visitors later on as the L’Atitude 51 Wine Walk had the painting marked as one of their stopping points.

My second painting of interest was another large one, the Men of the South by Sean Keating. This features a group of rather good looking IRA men who, but for the rifles and pistols, could be on their way to a match or a dance even. But you can see the tension as they patiently wait to carry out an ambush. Perhaps I gave this painting more attention than usual because of the state funeral, earlier that day, for executed 1916 rebel Thomas Kent.
Hugh Lawton

For me, there is always a food call or two during Culture Night, usually to the English Market. But the Crawford Gallery Cafe were offering an intriguing menu, with a touch of Swiss and Spanish, and here we stayed for a pleasant while.

My fondue was based on a humble cheddar from East Cork but, enhanced by the kitchen, it proved a gem. Meanwhile CL tucked into a plate of Tapas that featured Rosscarbery Black Pudding and Gubbeen chorizo among other interesting flavours.

And La Cocina proved a very sweet ending indeed, “not too much sugar” though. From quite a selection we picked and shared a wedge of No Flour Almond and Lemon and a luscious custard cake (almost like a profiterole). Believe it or not, each went well with the last of the Biohof Pratsch Riesling.

More art and food next at Nash 19. Indeed, both are always on the menu since Claire Nash opened the Sternview Gallery about a year ago. Rebecca Bradley’s Provisional View is the current show (until October 15th). The Irish Times critic Aidan Dunne summed it up as “Outstanding textural paintings based on landscape”. It is just that the landscape - suburbs, coastlines, fields and bogs - is never quite the same, “our sense of place not certain” as the handout says.

Time then for more food and with a goodly group of her producers on hand, there was no shortage. Got some lovely tastes of Hederman’s pate and Ardsallagh cheese from Claire. More cheese from Tipperary with Cashel Blue and Crozier Blue (my slight favourite) on hand.

Restaurant manager Mairead was handing out samples of the outstanding Longueville House cider and nearby the O'Connell’s were generous with their spiced beef, now in demand all year round.

All smiles: Champion pudding and spiced beef

 Kanturk’s Timmy McCarthy, not for the first time, had mixed booze and blood to great effect.This time the Premium drop was Teeling Single Malt and the result was top class. We also tasted the Jack McCarthy Smoked Air Dried Beef that last week won the Supreme Champion Award (and a lovely trophy) in the Speciality Foods Competition and the McCarthy’s were similarly awarded for the White Pudding in these Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland awards.

Timmy is rarely puzzled but he did have a quizzical look on his face as he spoke to three Danish visitors. They didn't know what black pudding was, saying they don't have blood puddings on Denmark, once the leading producer of bacon. Different cultures on culture night!

  • If truth be told, our first stop of the evening was at a No. 208 bus stop. It turned out to be a long wait. Two scheduled bus times came and went, without a bus in sight, before we finally set out some forty minutes later, very poor service for around four o'clock on a Friday. It was no much better coming home, with two arriving together after another forty minute wait.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Clodagh’s Homemade. A Book for All Seasons

Clodagh’s Homemade. A Book for All Seasons.
Homemade! Not much good having a great cookbook unless you put it to good use. CL couldn't wait to try Clodagh's Baked Ricotta Cake on page 92. And not just any ricotta. The cheese for this came from Friday's visit to the remarkable Toons Bridge Dairy near Macroom. The few raspberries were salvaged after the raids of the greedy back garden blackbirds. Clodagh says this cake lasts for ten days. Wanna bet? Yum!

Top chef Clodagh McKenna presented a full meal of dishes from her recipe book Homemade at a packed Crawford Gallery Cafe last Thursday evening. From the delightful opening dips to a sweet tooth satisfying dessert, the meal was gorgeous. Great company and great food. What more would you want? Well, maybe a copy of the book. No problem, as that was included in the fee.

In these well illustrated pages, you’ll find everything from the everyday snack to the special occasion meal. Here too you’ll discover a great variety of styles drawn from Clodagh’s experiences from living, cooking and eating in Italy, France, New York, Cork and Dublin.
Originally from Kerry Pike (County Cork), she is now of the leading Irish chefs (two restaurants of her own), and also one of the leading food writers (four books of her own, guest editor and columnist in prestigious magazines). In addition, she enhanced her burgeoning reputation recently by revamping the Aer Lingus food offering, designing all their menus.

Pesto Ricotta Tart at The Crawford
The very pleasant evening started with three dips, the spicy Egyptian Dukkah, the Moroccan Zaalouk (aubergine based) and my favourite the Tuscan influenced White Bean Dip (Cannellini beans).

Moved on then to the Pesto Ricotta Tart, beautifully presented. She learned this in Italy. This is “also great for lunch or as a starter served with a green salad. Seasonal too as you can use different vegetables in the autumn”. By the way, many of you can now get your hands on that delightful buffalo ricotta by Toons Bridge Dairy and yes Clodagh has quite a few ricotta recipes included in the book!

Next course was her Spicy Crab Linguine. Looked innocent enough but it did pack a good punch of flavour, the spice provided by red chilli. “It’s fantastic if you can get fresh crab, but there are also great companies selling vacuum-packed cooked crab.”

Dessert at The Crawford Gallery Cafe
The Apple stuffed loin of pork also went down well and then it was time for the eye-catching dessert of Rose Water and Raspberry Jellies. Conversation were getting livelier all the time as the enjoyable evening drew to a close with a cup of excellent Golden Bean Coffee.

Just time then for some book signing by Clodagh. It is quite a comprehensive book and includes a section devoted to the Divine Dinner Party. But there is also a Simple Everyday section that includes how to make a homemade ketchup, jams, and tips for your lunch-box. The main section covers Food for Family and Friends with everything from a Relaxed Sunday Lunch to a Cosy Fireside Supper covered. Lots of tips too on buying food, this practical book costs €19.99. Read all about it here.

Well done Clodagh. And well down too to Sinead and her team at the Crawford Gallery Cafe. If you're in town and looking for a snack or lunch, why not check them out.

Clodagh, Yours Truly and CL

Friday, June 27, 2014

Clodagh McKenna's "Homemade" Cookbook Dinner at The Crawford

Clodagh at the Crawford Gallery Café
Homemade Cookbook Dinner
Thursday next 7.00pm

Clodagh McKenna is in Cork City next Thursday for the local launch of her book "Homemade". The launch, in the Crawford Gallery Cafe, takes the form of a dinner, five courses no less, and you get also get a  signed copy of the revised book, all for forty five euro. We got our hands on a copy of the menu and I've booked my ticket.

Reservations essential email 021 4274415