Food news: Time to hit the (cook) books
The autumn cookbook publishing season has kicked off in earnest and one of the first titles out of the traps is Olia Hercules' Kaukasis (Mitchell Beazley, £25), a follow up to her hugely successful Mamushka.
Kaukasis is a celebration of the food of Georgia, Azerbaijan and beyond - Mamushka focused on the Ukraine and neighbouring eastern European countries - and her fellow food writers are falling over themselves with praise for the recipes. Hercules' writing is beautiful.
Sabrina Ghayour, whose Persiana and Sirocco were huge sellers, also has a new book, Feasts (Mitchell Beazley, £20), out on September 7. As the title suggests, the recipes are geared towards entertaining - expect the recipes to start appearing at a dinner party near you in a few weeks.
Heavy hitters of the cookbook world with new books on the way include Nigella Lawson, whose At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking (Chatto & Windus, £26) will be published on September 21. Nigella is the voice of reason in the food madness that surrounds us sometimes and her new book is eagerly awaited, promising recipes that comfort, nurture and excite. Nigel Slater, too, has a new book out soon. Another in his 'diary' series, The Christmas Chronicles (Fourth Estate, £26), which he describes as a "stir up of diary, memoir and recipes", covers the season from Halloween well into the New Year. It's out on October 19 and looks as if it will be an essential buy.
Rick Stein's next book is The Road to Mexico (BBC Books, £26), a tie-in with a new television series focusing on the food of California and Mexico.
Amongst the other cookbooks being published in the run-up to the peak pre-Christmas buying season are Jamie Oliver's (above) 5 Ingredients: Quick and Easy Recipes (Michael Joseph, £26), Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's Much More Veg (Bloomsbury, £26), Anna Jones' The Modern Cook's Year (Fourth Estate, £27) and River Cafe 30 (Ebury Press, £28).
Last but not least, Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh's Sweet (Ebury Press, £27), out on September 7, is the book that sweet-toothed fans of the man who has revolutionised the way the middle classes eat and entertain have been waiting for. It is as seductive a book as one could hope for, and just the thing for retreating to the kitchen with on a chilly afternoon as the autumn kicks in.
Blás of ballina
Food Fleadh Ballina runs from August 25-27 and features a craft brew festival, cocktail-making demonstrations, a seashore foraging trip led by Dennis Quinn of Wild Atlantic Cultural Tours, and a food market, as well as a host of family-friendly events. See Facebook.com/FoodFleadhBallina
Go west to Woodlock
The new Woodlock Brasserie at Citywest Hotel is divided into three rooms, each with its own distinctive ambience. Head chef Jeff Norman's menu includes treacle-cured Atlantic salmon, 28-day dry-aged beef and features ingredients foraged from the hotel's own grounds. citywesthotel.com
Harvest time in the Deise
The Waterford Harvest Festival takes place from September 8-10, and amongst the chefs involved is Takashi Miyazaki (above) from Cork, who will pop up in La Boheme in an event hosted by John and Sally McKenna. waterfordharvestfestival.ie