Showing posts with label FEAST. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FEAST. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Sunil Ghai at SAGE

Sunil Ghai, Master of PICKLE, at SAGE

Take A Break! Halfway through, we were invited to try
 the cucumber with three salts: black (mildest), lemon and chilli.
Sunil Ghai, of Pickle Dublin and one of Ireland's top chefs, was guest chef at Midleton's SAGE Restaurant last Saturday as part of the fantastic FEAST Cork festival, bringing together the best of produce from the area and featuring local and visiting chefs and a whole lot more besides.

Sunil, relaxed in the kitchen and dining room, went down a treat as did his food. It was an unmissable  opportunity to enjoy a feast by one of the foremost Indian chefs in Ireland, to sample his bold, contemporary cooking style. And we enjoyed an array of dishes inspired by his hometown of Gwalior in central India.
Sunil in Sage kitchen. Pic courtesy of Sage.

Kevin Aherne, chef patron st Sage, introduced Sunil and welcomed him, saying that the focus of FEAST 2019 was very much on the multiculturalism of food. Indeed there was a very successful 13 nation get-together in Midleton on the following day and, in my own case, I had attended a Polish dinner in Surf and Turf (Midleton) on Thursday night, an Argentinian BBQ at Barnabrow on Friday before heading back to Midleton on Saturday.

Kevin explained that both Sunil and he are members of Eurotoques. He said Sunil had surprised the chefs in the Sage kitchen with the variety of amazing aromas and flavours of his food and he would surprise us too. There was a surprise for Sunil himself. He told us he could hardly believe the way the local farmers brought their produce direct to the back door of the Midleton restaurant. "I don't know when this will happen in Dublin."

The Gupshup Gwalior Platter was our starter. On the left is the Semolina Puff with chickpea, pomegranate and tamarind chutney; in the middle, the Crispy fried kale leaf in carom infused gram flour batter with chilled yogurt and mint chutney; and finally the Grilled Artichoke marinated in PICKLE spice mix & smoky chilli yogurt. The kale was outstanding but each was delicious.
The Fish Course. But first we were invited to bite into the dark piece on top: a pickled lemon. Just bite in and you get an amazing explosion, like a concentrated lemon drink but with none of the sourness. Sunil told us that this Amritsari Fried Fish (cod in this case) is a very traditional Punjabi dish and he served it in Sage with a warm raita and charred asparagus.
Looked inviting and tasted even better.

The Gwalior Goat Keema Pao is the signature dish at Pickle. It is a Special goat preparation from Sunil's hometown: goat mince, diced and marinated liver, marinated for 24 hours in reshampatti (Rajasthani chillies) then slow cooked with shallots and yogurt. Served with Maska Pao (buttered Pao). Maska also means to "butter someone up, to flatter them".

Our dessert was Gulab Jamun: fried milk doughnut poached in saffron and cardamom flavour sugar syrup. Yumil!
Also at Feast

Patryk Serves A Feast of Poland At FEAST Dinner In Surf & Turf


Patryk Serves A Feast of Poland
 At FEAST Dinner In Surf & Turf

Smalec: home comforts
“We got all those spices before France did,” said a smiling Patryk Suchojad, chef/patron at Midleton’s Surf and Turf, as he welcomed his guests to a Feast from Europe’s East, an event in this year’s FEAST.

He explained that Poland is a big country, the cooking in the north mainly fish based, while that is the south is mainly from the produce of the land. That's probably a bit too simplistic; he went on to tell us that there are many regions, each with its own profile on the table.

“That Pierogi dish on this evening’s menu, for instance, is stuffed with potato and curd cheese, but can really be stuffed with anything you like, varies from region to region. We have a long culinary tradition and indeed we did get those spices, via Iraq and Iran, before they found their way to France!”
Pickled, cured, brined, smoked...

“There are a lot of similarities between Irish and Polish food, cabbage for instance,’ He said with a broad smile. “We both love our food.”  “Polish food is basically a humble food, home cooking and you’ll see that in the Pork Lard on your table. That lard may include onions, garlic, spices. Sometimes it is smoked, may be kept for a long time. Very popular and many restaurants serve it”. We certainly enjoyed it, especially on the delicious bread that came with it.

Vodka was then poured for the guests and Patryk, who has been operating Surf and Turf on Distillery Walk (MIdleton) for the past two years, told us a bit about the śledzik. “We usually use herring but I couldn’t find any around here - maybe I didn’t try hard enough - but got the mackerel from Ballycotton. White wine and vinegar was used in the process. I love smoking stuff and I did the mussels for you.”
Stuffed dumplings

That śledzik by the way was an amazing plateful (a generous one too and that generosity was repeated throughout the very enjoyable evening). It consisted of Kombu pickled mackerel, cured mackerel with horseradish apple and sour cream, gin and juniper brined sea trout, and those smoked mussels.

On then to the Chlodnik, a chilled beetroot soup, with quail’s egg and prawn. A cold and delicious soup, seasonal too of course. Wasn’t really looking forward to the dumplings of the Pierogi (apparently well-known “around the world”) but, stuffed with potato and cured cheese and served with some very tasty crackling and lovage oil, I had no problem at all and enjoyed every little bit of the threesome.
Beef roulade

Apple Pie. Paired with a glass of sweet wild strawberry wine
Now, as we sipped the last of a trio of different Polish beers, it was time for the main course, the Zrazy. This is a beef roulade, hunter’s sauce (mushroom mainly), Silesian dumplings, braised red cabbage. Quite a plateful and that roulade was outstanding. The beef had been “hammered” and rolled, packed with veg (including onion and carrots) and covered with smoked bacon (“proper bacon, not the injected stuff”). As you can imagine, this was full of flavour, a really worthy main course, crowning all that had come before.

And there was still time for an impressive finalé. The Szarlotka is a Polish style apple pie, baked uncovered, and made, not by Patrick, but by the lady of the house and served with Bison grass ice-cream. There’s a story about that ice-cream. I’ll tell you when I meet in the pub some night!
Also at Feast





Distillery Walk
Midleton
Co. Cork
0214634071
 (353) 21 463 4071




Sunday, September 8, 2019

Lobster & Sushi at Granary a Highlight of Midleton Sunday Stroll

Lobster & Sushi at Granary a Highlight of Midleton Sunday Stroll. FEAST 2019
Lobster from the Lobster Man
Food was left, right and centre in Midleton last Sunday as FEAST 2019 reached its finalé. Restraint was called for as there so much on offer. The Lobster and Sushi offering at The Granary had been pinpointed earlier as a likely lunch plate and that was where we found ourselves in the early afternoon.

A big warm welcome and soon we were sitting at our outdoor table awaiting one plate with lobster, the other with sushi, and both also packed with a range of delicious salads. Oh, and not forgetting the glass of wine, all for twenty euro per person. The tables were communal and we like that on these occasions, even more so when on Sunday we were joined by two young gentleman and we went on to have a lovely chat before heading out to all those stalls on the sunny main street.
Okawari supplied the sushi.
Our first stop on Sunday morning was to the demo area where Ballymaloe pastry chef JR Ryall and Ali of Ali's Kitchen were baking a "Raspberry Beret". They had to match their cake to a song and they choose the Prince number. Lots of fun as they got this part of the show on the road and they would be followed by a series of top names in the Irish food community.

Local hotels and restaurants were represented in the many stalls on the main street
and here we see Patryck of Surf and Turf greeting customers.

This bad boy would get busier and busier.

The bees came too! No shortage of wasps either.

Children were very well catered for, especially in the farmers market area.
Here they are busily painting their own tea towels.

We got our dessert from the Bite Size stall, very nice too!
Also at Feast



Saturday, September 7, 2019

Asado at Barnabrow House. FEAST’s Argentinian BBQ


Asado at Barnabrow House. FEAST’s Argentinian BBQ
Chefs in the smoke
The Argentinian BBQ (Asado) at Barnabrow, part of the series of the week-long FEAST Festival in East Cork, was sold out early on, the punters keen to see how Barnabrow’s resident Argentinian chef Mariano Sosa would introduce his homeland’s BBQ. Mariano, who has worked with celebrity Argentine chef, Francis Mallmann*, was assisted here by Barnabrow’s Head Chef Stuart Bowes. 

Together Mariano and Stuart built a fire pit which was lit early on Friday morning. When we arrived about six in the evening, the cooking and smoking was in full swing over the slow burning hot ashes. No beef here but the eye-catching centrepiece was a whole lamb being cooked in the traditional way. 
There was much more to see as pineapples and Midleton chickens, hanging from a  simple frame over the heat, were being smoked. Trays of stuffed peppers (eggs) were on the heat. Potatoes were cooking in the ash and organic leeks from the garden were being grilled. 
Chickens and pineapples swing over the heat. Lamb cooks in the centre.

Appetites were being sharpened as the audience watched from a wooden terrace overhead, wine and beer at hand, lots of soft drinks too as there were quite a few families attending in the lovely evening sunshine.The heat of the sun wouldn’t linger for much longer - the blue sky did-  so Barnabrow had wisely prepared the restaurant and soon we all headed there along with all that delicious food. 
Then we tucked in as the platters arrived at the tables, packed with the various meats and all those vegetables along with simple Argentinian salads and their chimichurri sauce. Not too much talking now as we savoured the mix of smoky flavours. Not too smoky, mind you, that element was very nicely judged indeed. All delicious though I must admit I really enjoyed those potatoes and also the leeks.

A couple of platefuls later each and it was time for a walk. A little one, just across the walkway to a room where a splendid array of desserts were temptingly arranged. Didn’t think I'd manage that Valrhona Chocolate so settled for the juicy Cranachan Irish Raspberries.

The BBQ Menu
Whole Roast Midleton Lamb
Smoked Chicken
Smoked Pineapple
Grilled Garden Leeks
Stuffed Peppers
Salsa Criolla
Chimichurri
Ash Cooked Potatoes

Dessert Buffet
Lemon Posset with Rhubarb.
Valrhona Chocolate Mousse with Chantilly Cream.
Cranachan Irish Raspberries, toasted oats, whiskey cream, honey.

 * Mallman (who you may have seen on Chef’s Table on Netflix), by the way, did a similar exercise next door in Ballymaloe at LitFest a few years back.
Also at Feast
Barnabrow in the sun


Barnabrow is famous for its Sunday lunch and its wedding receptions but there are many other events here too, some coming up soon.

Santa is coming to Lunch on 8 and 15 December and there's an Afternoon Tea there for Women's Little Christmas on 4 January.

And you may need to start thinking about ordering their superb Christmas hampers, ranging in price from €30 to €80.

Tel: 021 4652534
Email: info@barnabrowhouse.ie


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Ingenuity & the Bounty - the Seafood & Wine Dinner at Ballycotton’s Bayview Hotel.


Ingenuity & the Bounty - the Seafood & Wine Dinner at Ballycotton’s Bayview Hotel.  FEAST 2019 is up and running!
Razor clams.....

From the Norrie Rancheros via the Octopus’s Garden to the Slocked Apples and Blakas, and all that delicious aromatic Albarino in between, we had quite a ball at Ingenuity & the Bounty - the Seafood & Wine Dinner at Ballycotton’s Bayview Hotel in association with Rias Baixas Spanish Wines and the first major meal of FEAST 2019.

Norrie Rancheros
Leslie Williams pointed to the harbour down below as he introduced the wines from the rias. “I love this part of the world. Ballycotton is a perfect place to serve Albarino. It is the most marine wine.” The fruit is grown in the lower estuaries of the long rias (sea inlets) that penetrate this north western region of Spain. Just spread out your fingers with the back of your hand upwards. The gaps between your digits are the rias, the rest (the low ground or baixas) is where the vines, tended mostly by women (the men away in the cities working), grow.

Dessert
You can see the amazing menu in the photo: so many types of fish included - Crab, Razor Clams, Hake, Eel, Octopus, Mussel, Lobster, St Peter and The Stoner. And from the sea too came Dillisk (for the mayo), Sea Purslane, Samphire and Sea Beet. St Peter’s fish is the John Dory while The Stoner is the rock bass.

A superb meal then with a sweet finish - on the double. The dessert was the Slocked Apples (I know this practice of “hobbling” apples from an orchard as slogging) and Blackas (the local name for Blackberries). When the coffee arrived, so too did some substantial treats as you can see from the photo!

Leslie’s three wines went down well. We started with the Bago Amarelo 2018 by Adegas Galegas. Think we’d all have been quite happy to carry on with that. As a wine expert of my acquaintance declared at a recent tasting: there is no such thing as a bad Albarino.

But, at the Bayview, we found out some Albarinos are better than others! Certainly, the Santiago Roma Albarino 2018 from Bodegas Santiago Roma, while having the typical acidity, was more intense in all aspects than the Amarelo, including texture, aromas and flavours.

I had been expecting the Terras Gauda O Rosal 2018 to be the top wine. But had my doubts after the first sip as the Roma lingered strongly. But soon the O Rosal began to assert itself. It may not have had the forward intensity of the Roma but this more rounded, more sophisticated wine proved itself once again in the long run. No wonder Leslie declared it his favourite Albarino.
Octopus Garden

This was the first major event of Feast (which started impressively at the Castlemartyr Resort Hotel on the previous day). And Stephen Belton, who manages the Bayview along with its big sister across the way, the Garryvoe, was in fine voice despite cheering on Dublin in Croke Park 24 hours earlier. “I’m delighted with the evening. Thanks to everybody for coming. We’re into our food here but not pretentious about it, very relaxed with our well sourced well cooked offerings. And great to see Feast expanding. There is so much to offer in East Cork now. A fantastic offering that can compare with any other place. East Cork is still emerging and Kevin and company are putting it up on the national stage.”
Lobster.....

The Kevin he mentioned is Kevin Aherne of Sage in Midleton and he was next to speak and acknowledged that there was a business element, of course, to the festival, the hope being to attract more visitors to the region. “But this year we want the community of East Cork itself to enjoy it. There are now 40 events, spread over 7 days and it is growing, getting national, even international, press attention. Great for the growers, producers, chefs who enjoy it themselves.”
..with the coffee!

“Ireland is now a benchmark of world food and Cork is the best of that. East Cork is a part of it too and we want you to enjoy yourself. Taste the food. Have a drink. Have a laugh.” Not a bad motto at all and there is loads more to do from here until Sunday. Check out the events here at FEAST 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

A Feast of Small Plates at Ferrit & Lee. The Dynamic Duo of Distillery Walk.


A Feast of Small Plates at Ferrit & Lee

The Dynamic Duo of Distillery Walk.
Salud
Small was beautiful at Ferrit & Lee on Wednesday night when the Midleton restaurant used local produce to skilfully illustrate the theme over three plates, Chefs and owners, Pat Ferriter and Stephen Lee humbly took a bow at the end of delicious meal, enhanced by wines from Liberty Wines and served with a smile by the totally efficient front of house team.

It was a full house when we started at 7.30 with a welcoming glass of the very drinkable House Sangria. In keeping with the festive aspect of the event, Clare and her crew were quite flexible with the wines. If you didn’t fancy the Sangria, you were offered wine instead and if if didn’t like white wine, you were offered red (and vice versa).

The first plate had four elements. The crisp Calamari rings were cooked to perfection and came with a very impressive spiced tomato sauce. The Ballycotton Crab with Jameson, Ginger and lime cured salmon was served on lettuce leaves, another well considered treat.


Plate 1
They kept coming. The Ardsallagh Feta was accompanied by the most flavoursome Beetroot tartare. And then the Beef and Organic Ballinrostig Smoked Cheese croquette looked small but tasted big, terrific beef and a major contribution from the local cheese.

Soon we were tucking into Plate No. 2, again with four offerings. The first, well the first I tried, was the East Ferry Farm Confit Duck Leg Spring Roll. Don’t think you’ll find better. Courgettes are very much in season as I know from the back garden and they featured with Ardsallagh Goat’s Cheese, Red Pepper and Pine Nut Bruschetta in a delicious combination. Jane Murphy (and her goats) has to be one of our top food heroes!

The second quartet

Next up was the Ballycotton Smoked Mackerel and Horseradish Croquette. The flavour here was outstanding. And we finished the savoury bites with the excellent Ham-hock and Rosscarbery Black Pudding Terrine, served with an outstanding Apple Chutney.

It was all good really and the high standard was  maintained right to the sweet end, three not-so-mini desserts! I began with the Strawberry and Custard Cream Shortbread, a little stack of deliciousness.  The Lemon Posset with Foraged Blackberry Compote was a lovely combination and that was followed by the knockout Royal Chocolate Mousse with hazelnut praline.
The sweet ones!

Tapas are generally associated with Spain and the country was well represented by the Liberty wines on the night. The white was the Castano organic Macabeo 2017 and the red, also Castano, was an organic Monastrell 2017 and we had started with the Sangria of course. A good start and a good finish and excellent in between. Ferriter and Lee are quite a duo in the kitchen. Catch them at Distillery Walk!

Feast builds up to a major climax this weekend. See the full programme here




Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Bayview's Feast of Fish. Flavour and Fun, thanks to Ciaran & Team


Bayview's Feast of Fish
Flavour and Fun, thanks to Ciaran & Team
Seafood Cocktail

Stephen Belton, GM of the Garryvoe Hotel, welcomed the guests to host venue the Bayview (where he is also GM), for the first big event of Feast 2018. Speaking of Bayview Chef Ciaran Scully, Stephen said he’s never met anyone with “such a passion for food”. And a mischievous sense of humour too as you can see by the second dish being called My Ding A Ling. “Enjoy the flavours and the fun,” Stephen concluded.

Kevin Ahern of Sage was introduced as the driving force behind Feast but he quickly countered that he wasn't the only person pushing the expanded and expanding festival. “We are proud of Midleton’s past festivals but now we want to drive it forward. We see East Cork as a food destination, both nationally and internationally. We want to create revenue in the area, not in just one town. We are very happy with it so far, so many nights booked out already.”
Ciaran's Ding A Ling

The wines for the evening were provided by James Nicholson Wine and their man on the
spot was Richard Reeve. “The wines chosen are a little left field, not the obvious ones (not even a Sauvignon Blanc!)”.  The pairings were excellent and we got more info on the individual bottles as the evening went on.

The first offering from the kitchen was a rather spectacular Seafood Cocktail (Ballycotton Brown Shrimp, smoked eel, herring, trout caviar, confit of tomato, pickled apple, Bloody Mary Jelly, Samphire, Sea purslane, Fried sea lettuce). Lots of flavours and textures there. And the wine chosen, was the Bodegas Coloma Pinot Noir Rosé from Extremadura in Spain. This early release wine has quite a bit of heft compared to the normal rosé and was certainly a winner with the mix in cocktail. A terrific opening all round.
Mackerel

The high standard would be maintained. Next up was My Ding A Ling (torched Ling with Salt Baked Celeriac, Little gem, Hazelnut & Gubbeen Pesto, Smoked Skeaghanore Duck-breast).  A superb combination with that celeriac playing a key role. And the wine here, the vibrant South African Boekenhoutskloof Wolftrap white, was terrific and again a great match, with its fantastic aromas and flavours.

Holy Mackerel was the title of Ciaran’s next offering. Basically it was all about the humble fish, the flavour packed pan-fried fillet enhanced by a Roast Miso Aubergine, Pickled mushrooms, peanut powder, Nasturtium, rice crackers. A good fresh wine to cut the oily fish was required here and Richard had just the job in the Umani Ronchi Vellodoro Terre di Chieti Pecorino. An intense aromatic wine with clear mineral notes, fresh with ripe fruits, it matched the mackerel well.

Fish and Chips

Now it was time for the Fish & Chips. The Bayview’s version: Deep fried monkfish, octopus, pea, lemon and potato purée, fried capers, oyster mayonnaise, Jerusalem artichoke chips. Another amazing effort from the kitchen. Richard didn’t have a Sauvignon Blanc but he did have a Chardonnay. The Domaine Bellevue from the Touraine, Loire Valley, was unoaked with excellent depth of fruit and that with its northern freshness gave the wine a lovely mouthfeel, another excellent match.

Time now for the sweet finalé. The Chocolate Trinket Box contained Jameson and Burnt Orange Chocolate Mousse with a Beamish Stout Ice Cream, rich and delicious. The dessert wine came from the Quady Winery in California, the Essensia Orange Muscat 2014.

A superb night of fish and wine again at the Bayview. Great how Ciaran chooses these events to highlight the super qualities of fish that we don't always rate in Ireland, such as the Ling and the Mackerel in this case.

Still lots to do in Feast. Check the remaining events here

Monday, September 3, 2018

Win tickets to FEAST next week!


Win a Seaweed Masterclass for two
as part of Feast Cork 2018

 Prize & T&Cs: Prize is 2x tickets to the Seaweed Masterclass at Inch Hideaway (Valid Sunday 9th, September 2018 only) non-transferable

Win a Seaweed Masterclass for two as part of Feast Cork 2018


Feast Cork 2018, the East Cork Food & Drink Festival, runs from September 2nd to 9th, based in the market town of Midleton with its rich food heritage. A festival that happens at harvest time – appropriately for a gathering up and bringing together of the best of what the area has to offer – Feast Cork is a fresh blend of conversations, dinners, markets, foraging, mixology, produce, producers, landscape, heritage and storytelling.

To celebrate Feast Cork, we are giving away 2 x tickets to the Seaweed Masterclass which will show guests how to identify and forage delicious edible seaweed from the Irish shore and integrate it into their diet. Guided by Marine Biologist Frances Gallagher, the talk will take place at Inch Hideaway on Sunday September 9th at 10am - 12pm.

How to enter
Check my Twitter @corkbilly and my Facebook Page where the competition is highlighted. Reply to the tweets and comment on the Facebook with the word Seaweed. Simples. Winner will be drawn from all those with the Seaweed reply.

Visit www.feastcork.ie for all the brilliant events taking place during Feast Cork – food and drink festival.

Terms & Conditions Apply: Prize is 2x tickets to the Seaweed Masterclass at Inch Hideaway (Valid Sunday 9th, September 2018 only) non-transferable.