Showing posts with label Culture Night. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Culture Night. 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.


Tapas
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.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Slinging Arrows on Culture Night

Slinging Arrows on Culture Night
Flash. Bang. Boom!
Here’s a bit of culture for you:
I shot an arrow into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where.

I tell a lie. It was at Elizabeth Fort on Culture Night that I let fly. Up and away. Well it would have been away but for the enormous wall of the fort as my first ever shot from a bow flew well above the huge seemingly unmissable target. Got better with the next two though, still no bull’s eye but closer. Well done to the members of the Cork City Archery Club for helping the young and the not so young have a bit of fun.
Bit disappointed though that we didn’t get to fire cannon balls. That would have caused some consternation in the area of the historic fort (early 17th century). Reckon I’d have chalked up a bowl of odds (more Cork culture) up South Main Street!

We did have the red coats on hand though and they were demonstrating their prowess with the muskets. After a couple of technical hitches and malfunctions, the shot went off and, despite being ready for it, we all jumped as the noise echoed around. Great fun and thanks to everyone involved.

Oh, almost forgot. We had a guide to take us around the fort and fill us in on the history. Some great views up there, a great semi-circle of the city visible from the east, to Shandon and other churches of the north side and out to the west. The nearest church of course is the great St Finn Barre’s and you get a fabulous close-up.
The English Market were ready for us now and we were ready for it. After a sample of Tom Durcan’s spiced beef, the first serious stop was Frank Hederman’s: Jazz, Cava (via Bubble Brothers), a chat with the busy Mrs Hederman and a carton of their terrific smoked salmon and smoked mackerel with salad and veg.

The Market was packed. You could hardly move. But it was a terrific atmosphere, good manners and courtesy all around. And simple humorous chats also with complete strangers when you shared a surface to eat. Chats too of course with quite a few that we knew, Cork being both a city and, especially at times like these, a village.
O’Connell’s Fish always contribute on these kind of evenings and they too were buzzing, their menu going down a treat. Here I opted for a tasty crab cake. Just around the corner then to the Olive Stall where a plate of their goodies and a glass of wine cost a reasonable six euro, all put away as the music played, a traditional trio at this stop.

Getting full now and feeling like dessert. Knew Lillie Higgins was operating at the ABC stall and she had a few sweet things at hand: Chocolate Soup with frangelico, softly whipped cream, toasted hazelnuts and a hazelnut sourdough soldier was the first; another was Belgian waffles with salted caramel sauce and Chantilly cream. Both were winners.

And we felt like winners as we headed out of the market, unable though to resist buying some Turkish Delight before getting the bus. The sweets, along with a glass of Chaume (recently acquired at Château Soucherie in the Loire ) provided a sweet end to a sweet night of culture.







Saturday, September 21, 2013

Culture Night Food

Culture Night Food
Some food stops on the Culture trail in Cork's English Market last evening.
Bottom: Chocolate Soup and Belgian Waffle with salted caramel,
 both by Lilly Higgins at the ABC stall. Above: O'Connell's Crab Cake with
Smoked Mackerel and Salmon by Hederman.
Top: Plate from the Olive Stall.
Main pic shows people queuing at Hedermans.
  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

India at the Farmgate


India at the Farmgate

Jaipur Restaurant Dublin came to Cork’s Farmgate for Culture Night and their team of chefs got a surprise. “We’re doing okay but no one told us about these queues,” one said. And they did more than alright as the punters flocked in last night. And so too did the Farmgate team, keeping the flow going and organising seating for everyone.
Jaipur showcased the pan-Indian way of serving a complete meal at the local market eateries – The Thaali. Food is a very communal experience in India and Jaipur applied their flair and expertise to recreate the flavours of India in Cork’s historic food market, The English Market.
And, from all around me, I heard the diners praising the essence of ‘India on a Plate’!
The Plate for a tenner:
Samosa & Chole…Punjab
Gram pearl’s Raita with Cumin & Rock Salt Simla
Old Delhi Style Railway Chicken Delhi
Yellow lentils with young garlic, tomatoes and raw mangoes Jaipur
White Cabbage, crushed peas Foogath.....Chennai
Aged Basmati rice with Tellicherry Pepper & thyme Kerala
Kachumber Calcutta
While, for me,  the Farmgate event was the main one, there was a lot more going on in the Market with lines of people building up at every stall that was serving food. Not to mention drink. Bubbles Bothers reported a mad mad night. Maybe we should do it more often!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

CULTURE NIGHT AT ENGLISH MARKET

The English Market last night.. Click on image to enlarge.

CULTURE NIGHT


Got the pics up early but waited for the buzz to fade a bit before putting the text together, just in case I got carried away!

Still, 36 hours later, nothing but a good feeling about Culture Night in the English Market. Met Austin, Paul and Billy at the busy Bubble Brothers wine stand and, armed with a glass of red, headed into the aisles.

First stop was the Alternative Bread Company. The shelves had been cleared of bread and instead they had a tasty small plate menu laid on. Here, I picked the Welsh Rarebit, nice and warm and decorated with some thyme flowers. Loved it and it came a good price, two for €6.00. Besides, there was a big basket of windfall apples with an open invitation to help yourself. Nice touch.

Indeed, many stalls entered into the spirit of the night, everyone relaxed, smiles and goodies all around, even candles at one. Bought some olives at the Olive Stall. They also had a tasting plate as did Iago’s and many more, including a massive cheese platter at On the Pigs Back.

O’Connell’s Fish always back this type of event and Friday night was no exception with oysters going for a euro each, a “real” prawn cocktail for four and also fish and chips. Up then past the three piece band to the entrance hall and to O’Sullivan’s Poultry in particular.

As well as “grazing”, we were doing a bit of shopping and after a discussion on quail and venison with the helpful staff we bought some of the deer for Saturday night’s dinner. And also helped ourselves to a freebie here: a decent square of bread, loaded with Durcan’s Spiced Beef and Caramelised Onion.

Aside from Bubble Brothers the biggest early queue was upstairs at the Farmgate Cafe where Abraham Phelan from the Silk Road Cafe (at the Chester Beatty) was kept busy serving up Palestinian and Lebanese food with exotic names such as Spanah Fatayer, Fil Fil Mahshy, Musken, Dagaj Bil Lemon and Patingan Mahshy.

This was a really innovative touch by the Farmgate and may well be a pointer to the future direction of the festival. If we are to prevent the feeling of same old same old, which may well build up after a few years (after all we have a limited, if large, number of cultural venues in the city), something like this injection from a different culture will become necessary on all fronts.

Perhaps we could send some of our artists across the county bounds and get up a troupe from Siamsa or swap a local music group with one from Galway or Waterford. On the restaurant front, why not have Gregans Castle come to Augustine’s and vice versa?

Going by Friday night, Abraham Phelan and his dishes would get a big welcome at any restaurant here. Presumably there are other accomplished chefs from other cultures around the country who would welcome an opportunity to showcase their country’s food. So, why not?

Why not, for example, have a Thai evening in Fenns Quay. Tripe and drisheen to Waterford; baps to Cork. Go for it. Food is a huge part of the culture, about the only party for many of us out and about in the Market on a well-fed Friday night.