Food news: Delicious drama at Electric Picnic's Theatre of Food
At Electric Picnic, veteran festival-goers know that when they are feeling fragile, or the queues for food are too long, or they have simply had enough of the madness, they can head over to the tent that houses John and Sally McKenna's Theatre of Food and take a little time out... and perhaps snag themselves a few delicious morsels to keep them going.
The Theatre of Food has been going strong at Electric Picnic for 10 years now, and the McKennas say that this year's line-up, sponsored by the Doyle Collection group of hotels, is their best yet. There are food demonstrations, cocktail masterclasses, discussions and lots more, all designed to insert a sense of theatrics into Ireland's contemporary food culture. And the Doyle Collection's head chef, Austin Byrne, is in charge of the kitchen, knocking up samples for festival-goers.
This year, the Theatre of Food will have two new stages - a Workshop Theatre and a Drinks Theatre - alongside the main stage, which features a bespoke kitchen from Liam Grant Wood Design.
Included among the highlights this year are everything from Intelligent Teas to fashion for women chefs; spice bags to Día de los Muertos cakes, and psychobiotics to sustainable-fish shopping.
Chef Caitlin Ruth is behind the fashion show of ethically made Irish chefswear for women chefs. "For too long, women's chef gear has been simply men's gear with the odd dart," says Caitlin, who commissioned the range from lingerie designer Ali Wheeler.
Andy Noonan of Fowl Play and The Big Grill will be demonstrating a live fire feast inspired by South American techniques, slow-roasting whole free-range animals over the open fire along with seasonal vegetables cooked in the embers and swinging above the flames.
In celebration of the animal, the meat will be pulled, seasoned and mixed together, offering guests a taste of all the different parts in a single bite. The meat will be served on Saturday September 1 at 6pm; it's bound to be a big draw.
Cake artist Karen Keaney of Roses and Bows will make a Day of the Dead cake; Kwanghi Chan will talk about the spice bag; Bryan McCarthy will forage for cocktails; JR Ryall, head pastry chef of Ballymaloe House will reveal the secrets of Ballymaloe's famous dessert trolley, and Klaw's Niall Sabongi will cook seafood poké.
There's a new Bonsai Bento menu - "a twisted version of authentic Japanese pub food" - at Dylan McGrath's Bonsai Bar in Dublin. Think dishes like open tuna maki, green tea ice-cream sandwiches, and frozen kakigori. Cocktails to match include a sparkling sake mojito; thebonsaibar.com
Today is World Gin Day and there's a dedicated Gin Village upstairs in the Quays bar on Quay Street in Galway's Latin Quarter this afternoon to celebrate. Tickets are €10 from eventbrite.ie and there will be food, a DJ and lots of opportunities to sample new gins and old favourites. thelatinquarter.ie.
BEWLEY'S CLEVER CUPS
Bewley's has developed two new sustainable takeaway cups - one version is 100pc recyclable, the other 100pc compostable and Irish made. The recyclable cup has a specially designed liner that breaks down in the recycling process; it will be available initially at Bewley's Grafton Street.