Tuesday 21 November 2017

Society: Cookbook Café has recipe for success

Pat Kenny and Kathy Kenny pictured at the opening of The Cookbook Cafe restaurant in Glasthule, Dublin
Pat Kenny and Kathy Kenny pictured at the opening of The Cookbook Cafe restaurant in Glasthule, Dublin
Audrey McDonald and her husband Tom Dunne pictured at the opening of Audrey's The Cookbook Cafe restaurant in Glasthule, Dublin
John Healy,Ger Dempsey and Ian Dempsey at the opening of The Cookbook Cafe restaurant
Grainne Galvin and Darren Kennedy at the Häagen-Dazs Real or Nothing Summer Party in House Dublin.
Jasmine Guinness attends the COS x The Serpentine party at The Serpentine Gallery in London
Brian Durney and Chupi Sweetman-Pell
Amy Breen and Caitrona McBride at the opening night of once the Musical at the Olympia
Seanator David Norris and Panti Bliss who took part in the Bloomsday Readings in Meeting House Square in Temple Bar.
Glen Hansard with Niall Stokes, and Paul Williams (ASCAP President & Chairman), with US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O'Malley and his wife Deena at the Creative Minds event in the Ambassador's Residence.
Daniella Moyles and Martin Gaughan at the opening night of Once
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

I find it so giddying listening to pop and rock stars' backstage demands. Did you know, for example, that Lady Gaga loves strawberry jam and mannequins decorated with pink body hair in her dressing room, Mariah Carey needs a throne and a dog chauffeur, while Van Halen couldn't hack brown M&Ms?

Audrey McDonald once worked as a personal chef for the Rolling Stones, and I was curious to hear what she had whipped up for Mick Jagger and co while they were recording Voodoo Lounge.

"Mick liked wild mushroom risotto and sea bass - very smart food," she said. "Whereas Keith Richards just wanted well-done steak, chips and beans."

Aside from The Stones, Audrey has also worked as a personal chef for Bono, Jon Bon Jovi, Neil Young, and Angelica Huston.

"I used to fix her margaritas and crispy enchiladas when she was filming Agnes Browne." Natch.

The culinary queen threw open the doors of her new restaurant The Cookbook Café in foodie mecca Glasthule this week.

The concept restaurant changes its menu each month taking inspiration from iconic food bibles; from the River Cafe, Bobby Flay and Ottolenghi and Skye Gyngell.

"Every chef uses recipe books," she said. "Even if they say they don't."

Audrey's husband is musician and radio presenter Tom Dunne, so there were plenty of media types sampling the rhubarb-infused prosecco and tasty tapas.

Dunne was beaming as he milled about. "I couldn't be prouder of her," he said. "It's always been her dream."

Tom will host a Vinyl Brunch over the weekends while John Healy of The Restaurant will be helping out front of house.

Pat Kenny discussed who will take over John Murray's coveted RTÉ Radio One slot in September and UTV Ireland's rebrand.

"I don't think it'll be Ray D'Arcy," he said. "Brendan O'Connor has put his toe in the water and is doing well. But we'll have to see what happens."

Ivan Yates was looking forward to starting his TV3 Sunday AM slot with Anna Daly. "Let's see how long it lasts," he said. "Like everything in broadcasting, I'm not taking it too seriously."

Before then, Ivan is heading over to Galway for the races. "It's a near religious experience for me," he said. "I think of it as an annual pilgrimage."

Ian Dempsey looked a tad outside his comfort zone. "I'm a Northsider," he said. "So this side of the tracks seems a little foreign."

PR honcho Kate Bowe was full of chat about Amy Schumer, Bill Hader and Judd Apatow flying into town next month for a once-off screening of Trainwreck, while celebrity agent Noel Kelly held court outside.

The party was still in full spate as I said my goodbyes. "This neighbourhood is a foodie paradise," Pat Kenny said. "This is another gem."

There's always time for ice cream. . .

By Kirsty Blake Knox

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That seems to be the mantra of the good folk at Häagen Dazs.

The crème de la crème of the ice cream world celebrated their unchanged vanilla recipe at the Real or Nothing Summer Party in House this week.

Our very own Darren Kennedy was on hand to dole out prizes to five sugar addicts who created the most dangerously delicious candy creations at the customised ice cream station.

It was a tight turnaround for Darren as he was jet setting off to Tel Aviv in the morning. "It's all go at the moment," he said.

Cindy Cafolla was back in town for a brief sojourn and caught up with model Louise O'Reilly.

Tristan Rosenstock, the cousin of mimic Mario, was enjoying a little down time after the success of his TG4 show Imeall.

Aside from mounds of melting ice cream, prize winners also got a stunning white vanilla floral bouquet from Chelsea Medal florist Flowers by Moira.

Raising a pink cocktail to the Big Fella

By Bairbre Power

It's the sort of heritage building which is pretty much ideal for a cool party - high ceilings, lots of light, great location overlooking Anna Livia and a panoramic view of Dublin's O'Connell bridge.

And then there's the intriguing back-story to no. 32 Bachelor's Walk.

Michael Collins used to have his office in the building, which dates back to 1789, and you can just imagine the Big Fella legging it up and down the stairs, up to his top secret office which is now the Dublin HQ for the Baluba PR/creative agency.

On Thursday night, we all trooped off at teatime to meet up with the Baluba pair, Mark Quinn and Rebecca McNamee, as they hosted their swish summer drinks party.

The cute Hockney-esque, swimming pool invite was the hottest ticket in town that night and we were invited to celebrate the 197th day of the year...as good a reason as any to have a party in July.

Mark Quinn is a Big Fella too and at 6ft-plus, he was easy to spot in the high-ceiling room as he passed around, filling guests' glasses with delicious champagne.

The very yummy pink grapefruit cocktails came from Michael Ryan of Nightcap and in between chat and cocktails, we talked couture, admired COS clothing and the blooms by Patsie Wrafter of The Informal Florist.

Guests included Cathy O'Connor, designer Honor Fitzsimons, the sisters behind OPSH, design agency POST, and stylist Colm Corrigan.

The fashion brand COS is a Baluba client and Mark attended their Serpentine Galleries Park Nights 2015 event earlier in the week.

It's the big, post-Wimbledon party in London and among the attendees were Paloma Faith, Jessie Ware, Sam Rollinson and Guinness heiress, Jasmine Guinness (left), whose Honeyjam traditional toy shop at Blenheim Crescent in swish W11 is an absolute 'must visit' if you are in London with young kids this summer.

After Baluba, I headed off for dinner, and en route, we saluted that Victorian gem, the Stag's Head which, as it happens, was one of Michael Collins' favourite watering holes, and he liked a whiskey from 'Mick's Barrel'.

City of the tribes is in Vogue for arts festival

By Kirsty Blake Knox

When it comes to serious style credentials, Jo Ellison has more than earned her stripes.

Having worked as features director of British Vogue, she now tells us all 'How to Spend It' as Fashion Editor of the Financial Times.

The Londoner is touching down in Galway next Sunday to discuss her book Vogue: The Gown and the sensual swish of tulle and taffeta in the Aula Maxima.

It's not the first time Ellsion has attended Galway's International Arts Festival; her husband is non other than playwright Enda Walsh.

While she may have written the book on fabulous gúnas, Ellison is more of a T-shirt and jeans woman.

"I could count all the dresses I have worn on one hand," she said."So researching this book felt like a complete flight of fancy."

Jo will be quizzed by PR guru Caroline Kennedy who is bringing her sister Louise along for moral support.

Chupi 'best of Irish design' has a nice ring to it

By Bairbre Power

September is ear-marked for great celebrations for Dublin's sweetest jeweller, Chupi Sweetman-Pell.

This week, the former food writer and fashion designer was thrilled to discover that she has been chosen to take part in a showcase of the best of Irish design and craft at London Fashion Week.

The event is being curated by Aisling Farinella for the Year of Irish Design (ID2015), and is taking place at the Institute of Contemporary Design, off the Mall.

But before that, Chupi celebrates the first anniversary of her marriage to Brian Durney on September 6.

"As it happens, we will be in Paris at the Bijorhca show, so my team are giving me the day off so Brian and I can sit by the Seine and drink wine on our anniversary," explained Chupi.

She was in London this week for the graduation of her sister, Teuta, and is back again in two weeks for the Scoop trade show.

Brian and Chupi are impossibly loved up. She has exquisite taste, as readers can see from the photos of the couple's nuptials in the wedding feature in today's Weekend magazine.

And Once more, with feeling

By Kirsty Blake Knox

'Talk about a homecoming," director John Tiffany remarked at the interval of John Carney's Once.

The hit Broadway show returned to the Olympia Theatre this week and attracted an eclectic and very excitable crew.

Model Daniella Moyles practically skipped to her seat as Rory O'Neill aka Panti Bliss (below) told me all about his upcoming gig at the Iveagh Gardens.

"It's me, Tommy Tiernan and Maeve Higgins." Sounds like a recipe for devilment.

Singing troupe The Nualas arrived together - Sue Collins's other half Phelim Drew stars in the musical, don't you know!

Producing powerhouse Caroline Downey was planning her itinerary for Longitude festival.

"I'm bringing wellies and sun cream," she said.

Unfortunately, singer Glen Hansard was unable to attend the opening as he was entertaining music aficionados at the US Embassy as part of the Creative Minds series. "I think you write well when you have the room to babble," he said.

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