Food news: A midsummer's night meal
There's something very special about a long-table dinner. On June 18, Cork's elegant and atmospheric South Mall will be taken over by a cohort of the city's restaurateurs and food producers for a long-table dinner for 400 people, as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival.
Details of the four-course menu are still being finalised, but guests will be greeted with oysters and Murphy's stout on arrival; there will be a glass of wine to accompany each dish and bubbles with dessert.
Among the restaurants involved in putting on what promises to be an event to remember are well-known establishments including Nash 19, Electric, Isaacs, Jacques, Fenn's Quay, The Imperial Hotel, Jacobs on the Mall, Rebel Chilli, The Farmgate Café from the English Market, and street food purveyor The Rocket Man. Local producer On the Pig's Back is also on board.
Chef Ali Honour of Ali's Kitchen, one of the organisers, says that they are determined to highlight the very best produce available from the fields and seas surrounding Cork. "We are working together to showcase Cork's world-class food culture, incredible home-grown produce and outstanding producers," says Ali.
The organisers say that the collaborative event will celebrate the spirit unique to the city and county and will be an essential experience for foodie and culture lovers alike.
"The chefs will be working as a team to deliver a set menu, stylishly presented on a beautifully decorated long table and expertly served by 40 of Cork's fantastic service staff."
Ali says that the event presents no small number of logistical challenges to those involved. "We have already decided that there will be no 'special requests' in terms of the menu, although there will be vegetarian and coeliac-friendly options.
"We have split the roles between everyone involved and there will be three food stations along the Mall. We'll be able to use lots of the restaurants along there. We are going with the elements in terms of the weather and some of the restaurants involved along the Mall will be open.
"And there will be plenty of after-parties going on too, so we think it's going to be a great night!"
The Long Table Dinner 2017 starts at 5.30pm on Sunday, June 18, on the South Mall, Cork, and finishes at 9pm. See corkmidsummer.com
FROM SPOON TO SCREEN
The National Library is hosting free screenings of Dublin's Culture Connects: Around the Table, a short film exploring Dublin's food history on May 17 and May 24 at 1.15pm in the National Library of Ireland, 7-8 Kildare Street, Dublin 2. No booking required.
The InterContinental in Ballsbridge is celebrating asparagus grown at Drummond House in Baltray, Co Louth, from May 12-20. Dishes included asparagus with truffled egg ravioli and John Dory with grilled radicchio and wild asparagus. See intercontinentaldublin.ie
CLODAGH AT CHELSEA
Clodagh McKenna is popping up at the Cheyne Walk Brasserie in London for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The menu will be available from May 22-27, featuring floral-focused dishes including Dorset crab cakes with avocado, fennel aioli and edible flower salad; clodaghmckenna.com