Monday 19 March 2018

The pleasure list: Super style at Irish Derby

Madeleine Mulqueen
Madeleine Mulqueen
Cocktail cabinet
Appetite for Design
Taste of Dublin

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Irish Derby, Ireland's answer to Royal Ascot, sponsored since 2008 by Dubai Duty Free.

To mark the anniversary, and the expected record 30,000 people expected to throng the racecourse at the Curragh on June 27th, all turned out in their finest hats and frocks, the racecourse are inaugurating a specially-priced ticket - just €25 when booked before June 24th. Launched by model Madeline Mulqueen, pictured, fiancée of actor Jack Reynor, this year's Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby promises to be a glorious celebration of the country's most historic race, with the publication of a specially-commissioned book co-authored by Jacqueline O'Brien, wife of the legendary Vincent O'Brien, and featuring images and stories from the Derby over the past 150 years, including famous attendees like Jerry Hall, Richard Gere, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Bing Crosby. In addition to world-class horses and jockeys, the event is equally serious in the style stakes, and so this year's Style Ambassador, TV presenter Amanda Byram, will join the judging panel to deliver the much-coveted award for 2015's Most Stylish lady.

Mid-century Italian  design at Cross Gallery

Italian Designers from the 1940s and 50s is the theme for the latest Cross Collection, from Nicholas Gore-Grimes's Cross Gallery. Focusing on designers such as Paolo Buffa, Gio Ponti, Carlo di Carli, Osvaldo Borsani, Venini and Mazzega, who all created highly stylish, practical design pieces, many of which are not just classics in themselves, but have inspired entire ranges of contemporary furniture.

Among the highlights of the Cross Collection are a stunning sideboard, circa 1950, in rosewood, satinwood, sycamore and a brass and circular coffee table in maple and glass, both by Paolo Buffa; chandeliers by Venini & Mazzega and a beautiful table,  attributed to Carlo di Carli. Long the rage in New York and across Europe, these contemporary pieces are starting to find an eager market in Ireland, so this is a chance to snap up something that will enhance any home, and undoubtedly appreciate steadily in value.

The exhibitionist art of eating at National Craft Gallery

So engrained a national obsession is food now, that the National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny have devoted an entire exhibition to the notion of design within the food and restaurant industries. Appetite For Design runs until June 30th, and features the work of leading Irish and international designers, cooks and restaurateurs, all documenting, discussing and speculating about the design of food and our experience of it. The exhibition is curated by Designgoat and explores the very best of food design, building on the increasing global recognition of outstanding Irish produce. And so, alongside the equipment and tools used to prepare and consume food, Appetite for Design showcases examples of the aesthetics, promotion, comm-unication and represent-ation of food. There is also a series of Eating Experiences presented in the gallery, and hosted by various chefs, including, today at 4pm, The Culinary Counter, run by chefs Mark Moriarty and Ciaran Sweeney, and featuring an exciting theatrical tasting menu.

All a question of Taste

Billed as 'the ultimate foodie destination,' and with much justification, Taste of Dublin is back for its 10th year, taking over the Iveagh Gardens from June 11th-14th, in a riot of culinary and food-related entertainment. Richard Corrigan, Michel Roux Jr, Rachel Allen, Sunil Ghai, Ross Lewis, Clodagh McKenna, Neven Maguire and Monica Galetti will all be on hand - along with many more equally talented and dedicated chefs - to demonstrate their particular techniques and signature dishes.

The Electrolux Chef's Secrets session is a hands-on chance to try out recipes, while the Secret Ingredient delivers an unforgettable sensory experience involving sound, smell, touch and taste. Pop-up restaurants setting up their stalls include Aniar, Pichet, Saba, the Chop House, Diep le Shaker, East Side Tavern, The Hot Stove and the Wineport Lodge, while a host of other exhibitors also have plenty to offer. Food and drink galore, now all we need is the weather.

The Sunday Independent is official media partner to Taste of Dublin, celebrating 10 years this year. Taking place in the Iveagh Gardens from 11-14 June, tickets available from

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