Sunday 21 January 2018

Food news: Tasty dates for your diary

Flavour: Risotto from the new-look Pichet.
Flavour: Risotto from the new-look Pichet.
Pasteis de nata
Federico Riezzo for House of Peroni
O'Shea's Wheat Beer Belgian Style

Aoife Carrigy

Dublin's Pichet recently reopened after a freshen-up refurb. Now that they've re-settled back in to their Trinity Street home, complete with a new bar and marble finishings, they're keeping the pop-up spirit alive with a monthly series of guest appearances from exceptional Irish chefs, each of them former colleagues of head chef Stephen Gibson.

Each will rejoin Stephen in his kitchen for one special service, kicking off with the talented Andy McFadden who is head chef at London's Pied A Terre. Call (01) 677-1060 to try and snag a table, or keep an eye on for details of upcoming dates.

For more culinary adventures, the Delphi Resort in Connemara is running a series of monthly food and drink events throughout the summer. Seafood lovers in particular are in for a treat, with two local treasures being showcased on June 12 and July 2 respectively.

The June date sees one of the country's finest fish smokers join forces with executive chef Stefan Matz, formerly of Ashford Castle and now residing over a variety of kitchens at this unusual adventure complex. The Summer Seafood event on Sunday, June 12 kicks off at 5pm with a smoked salmon presentation and demonstration by the charming Graham Roberts of Connemara Smokehouse, followed by a five-course tasting menu with paired wine in The Chef's Table by Stefan Matz restaurant. Hosted by Graham and his wife, Saoirse, it will feature a selection of specialities from their exceptional Smokehouse.

Their smoked Irish-caught albacore tuna already features on the buffet breakfast at the resort so there's a good chance you can expect that to feature on the menu, and to be given an imaginative treatment in Stephen Matz's hands.

Guests are welcome to join Graham and Saoirse at the Smokehouse the following morning at 10am - a stunning drive to a spectacular location perched on the pier at Ballyconneely - though that might depend on how well the wine went down the night before!

On July 2, another five-course dinner will showcase mussels, clams, razor clams and oysters from Kate and Simon Kennedy of the Killary Shellfish Company.

The dinner is preceded by a visit to Killary Seafood Farm and a picnic lunch of steamed mussels overlooking the fjord in which they are farmed. Both dinners cost €95 including accompanying wines. See for details.


Coffee & cocktails

Catch the last of Dublin's House of Peroni events today: coffee roasters Cloud Picker showcase the art of the espresso, (2pm & 4pm, €15) and Federico Riezzo (above) explores beer-based cocktail infusions (6pm and 8pm, €15). See

Good grace

The Grainne Ale Festival returns to Westport House from June 4 as part of the Festival of the Pirate Queen, with craft beers and pizza on offer. While in town, don't miss the Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese custard tarts, above) in Café Sol Rio.

Bottle of the week

O'Shea's Wheat Beer Belgian Style, €1.89, 500ml, 4.3pc

Produced in Ireland especially for Aldi, this Belgian-style wheat beer is relatively low in alcohol and light in style, offering tell-tale coriander seed character without heading towards the cloying territory that wheat beers can edge into.

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