Thursday, 16 February 2012

What Will Your Future Taste Like?

FOR FOOD’S SAKE & EDIBLE ask: What will your future taste like?

Thursday 23 February 2012
Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin
Adm €5
What? Together with the team from Science Gallery’s Edible exhibition, For Food’s Sake present a taster of things to come. Expect a smorgasbord of DIY food ideas, cutting-edge kit demos and artisan food tastings, with new food talks on the half hour every half hour so that people can drop in, come and go or stay for the whole event.
Where? Upstairs @ Science Gallery, The Naughton Institute, Pearse Street, Trinity College, Dublin 2
How much? €5 (tickets available from or on the door)

Sample menu for the night
Doors open
Get there early for tastings from artisan producers including Caveman Super Snacks and the first of the demonstrations of cutting-edge kit and techniques, hosted by Oisin Davis of The Sugar Club and These demos will intersperse the evening and highlights will include:
Chef Shaun Hanna from The Oarsman in Carrick-on-Shannon on incorporating the dehydration of food into restaurant dishes – how it can be done, what works well and how it can be served. See
To further explore the DIY aspect of eating in the future, butcher Ed Hick will give a live demonstration on how to skin and prepare a whole rabbit.
For Food's Sake's very own, Oisin Davis from The Sugar Club will suggest some home-styled molecular mixology techniques and tips, including how to use spherification for cocktails and battery-operated hand-smokers to make the ultimate Bloody Mary. See for more details.

6.30pm GIY Taster
(Grow it Yourself)
Aoife Carrigy in conversation with Lucy Bell of GROW (Grass Roots Organic World) and others (TBC) asking:
What does the future have in store for the growing community of vegetable growers?
SEE: for more information.
7pm CIY Taster
(Cook it Yourself)
Aoife Carrigy in conversation with Natasha Czopor of Natasha’s Living Foods and other chefs (TBC) asking:
What cooking methods might we see more of in the future?
SEE: for more information
7.30pm FIY Taster

(Find it Yourself)

Aoife Carrigy in conversation with part-time forager (and full-time butcher) Ed Hick, asking:
What free foods are out there for the foraging?
SEE: for more information on last November’s Wild Food Festival of which Ed was one of the chief organisers and speakers.
8pm MIY Taster

(Make it Yourself)

Aoife Carrigy in conversation with bio-hacker Cathal Garvey, asking:

What kind of future does biotechnology hold in store for us?

SEE: for Cathals’ presentation at Ignite, or read what the New York Times had to say about Cathal:

For more information:
Contact Aoife Carrigy on 087 6100 826 or Oisin Davis on 086 857 4853, email or check out where event details will be regularly updated.
Notes to Editors (overpage)
  • For Food’s Sake is run by a loose collective of food-focussed individuals who give their time voluntarily in the hope of stimulating debate around food in Ireland.
  • Science Gallery’s first foray into food, EDIBLE, tackles this vast topic from the perspective of the eater. With the imagination of Willy Wonka and the bite of Jamie's Dinners, it probes how our actions as eaters shape what is sown, grown, harvested and consumed. EDIBLE runs from 10th February – 5th April 2012. See for more details.

Friday, 18 November 2011


Our next discussion night is on Thursday 24th in the Sugar Club and its gonna be a meaty one (arf arf).

We have a great panel lined up who will be chewing their way through whether we all need to cut back on our meat intake and if so, how?
Derry Clarke of L'Ecrivain
Dave Flynn from the Happy Pear
Frank Armstrong, Food Historian
Dr Ollie Moore, Food Academic and Journalist

As always though its not just about the discussion - there will be some fine producers on hand doing tastings of their produce. Oisin will be hosting yet another Karaoke Cook Off and we have some super, super, super great prizes to give away.

We'd love to see you there.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Dublin to Dingle

What do Kanturk haggis, cured pig jowls, smoked cheese oatcakes, Sichuan-spiced tofu, whey-fed pork salami, fish-fragrance pork, and green tea and coconut panna cotta have in common?
Each one featured on the menu at one of two For Food’s Sake events at the beginning of the month. The first was in a balmy, clear-skied Dublin on Thursday night, when we watched the gorgeous Eat Drink Man Woman and stuffed ourselves silly on delicious food from China Sichuan.
Aoife Carrigy, Giana Fergusson & Jack McCarthy

The second was in a balmy, rainy Dingle on Saturday, when our five-course Tasting Menu of Food Talks and Screenings was part of an action-packed two-day programme for the annual Dingle Food & Wine Festival. Food critic Ross Golden-Bannon acted as the amuse bouche for the event, whetting appetites by talking us through some of his favourite food writers (current bedtime reading includes Deborah Cadbury’s Chocolate Wars, Niki Segnit’s Flavour Thesaurus, and Ruth Riechl Garlic & Sapphires). Next up the lovely Sarah Fleming from GIY Ireland provided the ‘starter course’, getting everyone inspired to grow their own, even if it’s just a pot of parsley to start with (apparently GIY founder Michael Kelly kicked off his growing journey with a decision to become fully self-sufficient in garlic). After a little palate cleanser of short food films (including the beautifully shot Street Food Kolkota: Why Not), Jack McCarthy of Kanturk and Giana Ferguson of Gubbeen provided the ‘main course’ and ‘cheese course’ respectively, and left the audience with plenty to digest – and I’m not just talking about the amazing charcuterie and cheese samples! And because no five-course meal should be served without some fine wines, Wines Direct gallantly supplied us with some delicious wines to accompany the full menu: a spritely Sauvignon Blanc from Domaine de Millet in Côtes Gascogne; and ‘Les Garrigues’, a fulsome GSM blend from Domaine Clavel in the Languedoc.

Other highlights of our weekend included tasting the dark ale from West Kerry Brewery and theDingle Brewing Company’s new Tom Crean’s Lager; the pork and black pudding sausages from Ashe’s of Annascaul served up in Foxy’s back room with a trad session in full swing; lobster bisque and seafood chowder in The Half Door; beef carpaccio from The Bull’s Head; insights into coffees from around the world from Mark Kingston of Golden Bean; and of course creamy pints in Dick Macks (my current top vote for Best Snug in Ireland – we squeezed over a dozen drinkers into a snug made for four!).
And, like at any great festival, there was so much we missed: the over-subscribed Dine with the Penguins pop-up restaurant in the aquarium; workshops in ice-cream making, pickling, cheese-making, hen-keeping and chocolate-making; free cookery demos from some of the great local chefs including the team from Global Village and Out of the Blue; and a ‘catch and cook’ boatride out into a mist-covered Dingle Bay.
From Dublin to Dingle and back, For Food’s Sake. So worth it.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

We're going to Dingle

We're delighted to be a part of the Dingle Food Festival this year which takes place October 1st and 2nd. This is one of the best Food Festivals Ireland has to offer, an antithesis to the likes of Taste of Dublin if you may. Dingle has so much character itself it barely needs the eccentricities of Ireland's food producers to draw in the crowds, but it certainly helps. This is apparently the busiest weekend of the year in the town now, topping the Other Voices Festival and the Dingle Races.

Some of the highlights:

  • The ever amazing tasting trail on Saturday and Sunday where pretty much every pub, shop and business in the village takes part.
  • Free cooking demos in St. James Church (thats the Other Voices Church)
  • A Pop-up restaurant in the aquarium....dine with the penguins!!
  • Bee keeping, Chocolate making, coffee brewing, pig rearing, cheese making and pickling workshops
  • Loads of wine tasting
  • And of course the For Foods Sake event on Saturday evening...

We'll be hosting a 'tasting menu' series of short food talks and film screenings, with each serving kicking off on the half hour every half hour from 5pm in the Coach House Gallery on Green Street. €5 entry allows you to pick and choose which courses you’d like to enjoy, à la carte style, or to savour each course on offer, table d’hote style: so feel free to come and go when you like – or stay for them all.

The Menu

5pm–5.20pm                         Amuse Bouche

Great food writers through the ages who have whet appetites and piqued curiosity,
with Ross Golden-Bannon of FOOD&WINE Magazine  

5.30pm-5.50pm             Starter

Some inspiration to get you started Growing Your Own fruit and vegetables,
with Sarah Fleming of GIY Ireland

6pm–6.20pm                        Palate Cleanser

A smorgasbord screening of food-focussed short films, animation and documentaries

6.30pm–6.50pm                        Main Course

A real butcher job: how can Irish butchers diversify to build their future?
with Jack McCarthy of Kanturk (featuring charcuterie samplings)

7pm–7.20pm                        Dessert / Cheese

The sweet tale of success: an insider’s take on the journey of artisan food production,
with Giana Ferguson of Gubbeen Farmhouse (featuring cheese samplings)

Friday, 22 July 2011

FOR FOOD'S SAKE III: Food Tourism – can we eat our way out of trouble?

Thursday 28 July
The Sugar Club, 8 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2
Doors 7pm sharp (discussion kicks off 7.30pm)
Adm €5 on the door
The Irish food industry is something we should all be proud of and deserves a platform for discussion. For Food's Sake is a regular bi-monthly evening of food talk and tastings.

On the last Thursday of every second month, journalist and food blogger Aoife Carrigy (of, and former deputy editor of FOOD&WINE Magazine) chairs a themed night of discussion, joined by a panel of four guest speakers. Past themes have included the future of Irish food production, and the state of the Irish restaurant industry. This month, we turn our attention to the crossover industries of food and tourism, and to all the exciting new food festivals, trails, networks, initiatives and events taking place around the country.
There will be free food tastings from several Irish artisan producers (including some of the best cheesemakers and fish smokers in the country) who will tell you a bit about why they do what they do, and an inspirational talk from TV chef Paul Flynn.
There will be a chance to win some great foodie prizes (including dinner and overnight stay at The Tannery, Dungarvan).
And there will be a madcap Karaoke Cook-Off, hosted by Oisin Davis of The Ticket’s ‘Booking the Cooks’ monthly food column.
Aoife Carrigy will be joined by the following panel to discuss Food Tourism in Ireland today.
  • Paul Flynn, The Tannery restaurant and cookery school & Waterford Food Festival
  • Helen McDaid, Food and Hospitality Innovation Manager, Failte Ireland
  • Birgitta Curtin, Burren Smokehouse, Burren Eco-Tourism Network & Burren Slow Food Festival
  • Hugo Arnold, food writer, restaurant consultant & advisor to Good Food Ireland

July’s discussion of Food Tourism in Ireland today will look at some of the sustainable local tourism developments and grassroots events which have been taking root around the country, and will highlight how the simple act of eating your way around the country can help to support jobs and redirect money back into the local economy.
We’ll ask who's doing what well, both here and abroad, and what kinds of supports are there for businesses looking to attract tourists through food.
We’ll discuss the challenges and rewards of setting up a food festival or initiative as well as how evolving a multi-faceted experience by adding wine-dinners, cookery classes, accommodation, demos as spin-offs can help build a business.
We’ll consider the strength of marketing as a united network rather than as individuals, and the power of using social media and other marketing tools.
And we’ll debate how Ireland’s food culture is perceived overseas as well as at home, and what exactly our tourist industry is trying to sell, and to whom?

So, For Food's Sake, come join us, and Eat! Drink! and Be Merry!
We've a lot to be cheerful about. And much to discuss.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

The Producers: For Food’s Sake II

FFS II, held on Thursday 26th May, posed the question “Are Irish Restaurants Up The Swanny?”.  
Once again, four Irish producers were on-site to help feed the crowd and spread the word about their lovely products.  

Gleann Gabhra Goats’ Produce
Dominic Gryson was the representative of Gleann Gabhra Goats’ Produce at FFS II. He and his wife Fionnuala’s farm is at the foot of the Gabhra Valley close to the hills of Tara, which may or may not add a magical taste of their goats’ milk products. They specialise in milk, cheddar cheese and ice-cream. To find out more visit their website ( or email them at

Curraghchase Pork
Rigney’s Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast’s Caroline Rigney was at FFS II to showcase some of the farm’s free range pork products, which are the prized product in their Farm Shop at Curraghchase, Co Limerick. They produce their rashers, black and white puddings and sausages from rare-breed pigs such as Tammleworth and Saddlebacks.  
Have a look at their website ( to find out more.

Ballyhoura Apple Farm
Maurice Gilbert from North Country Cork’s Ballyhoura Apple Farm brought along some of his apple-based treats for the FFS II audience to sample. Specialising in apple juice, Ballyhoura also have a range of cider in production as well as some salad dressing using the farm’s apples which they’ve been growing since 2006. You can Maurice and his goods at farmers’ markets throughout Munster, as well as in Dublin’s Blackrock Market at Jonathan’s stall. Find out more at  

George’s Patisserie
Georg Heise is the man behind George’s Patisserie, whose goods were sampled at FFS II.  Originally from Munich, this world-travelled pastry chef moved to Ireland in 2000 and set up his bakery in Slane, Co Meath, in 2001. Available in the Dublin Food Co-op on a Saturday and other farmers’ markets around Dublin, the bakery produces artisan breads, cakes, pastries and fine confectionary fresh every day.  To make your order, or to just find out more, have a look at

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Our Timpano Recipe

I think it would be fair to say that the revealing of the timpano in Big Night is pretty much the culinary money shot of the movie. A pie loaded with pasta, cheese, two sauces and a geansaí load of meat is certainly not for the faint of heart, or indeed anyone with a heart condition. But for everyone else, it makes for one heckuva tasty ass delight.

Last week when we screened Big Night, we presented our own timpano on the stage of  The Sugar Club at the end of the movie. Giving the first slice to mama mia/me auld wan, was a cool buzz. Sharing the rest with everyone who came along to see the movie was even better. Watching everyone bumrush the stage when we said it was free was kinda scary, a bit like a Zombie march if I'm honest. But at least I knew they wanted our food and not our brains...

As there is a fair amount of prep involved, it's actually quite time consuming, but it would be unjust to say that it's hard to make. You will need to get an enamel pot to cook it in, at least 14 inches in diameter. And Luca came up with a great idea - put a pyrex dish underneath it so that the heat doesn't go too hard directly onto the bottom. It worked for us as we had to use the pizza oven in the club and were afraid that the base stone would get too hot.

I would recommend cooking all the meats the night before, especially the meat ragu as it's always better the day after. Enjoy!



1 pound large round steak, cut into cubes
2 jars of passata
Half a bulb of garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of oregano
1/2 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 litre of good beef stock
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 glass of simple red wine
2 tablespoons of olive oil


Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pot and brown the meat. Remove with slotted spoon and put aside. Heat remaining olive oil and lightly cook the onion, then the garlic. Then drop in the passata and fry it up a little for about a minute or so. Put everything else in (including the beef), bring it to the boil and then drop it down to a simmer. Let it cook for at least 3 hours, stirring occasionally so it won't stick.

While that's cooking you can sort out the sausage and the meatballs....


2 packs of Hick's Italian Sausages
1 pound of pork mince
1 pound of beef mince
2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
1 egg
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 heaped tablespoon of hot chilli powder (this is optional but I liked it spicy as it counteracted everything else)
1 tablespoon of dried basil
Half a bulb of garlic, chopped and lightly fried
2 teaspoons of salt
Heat a griddle pan with some olive oil and cook off the sausages. Or else you can barbecue or even hot smoke them. When they're done, let them cool off and then slice them diagonally.

Combine all the other ingredients in a mixing bowl with your hands. Shape the meat balls into an even size (but not too big), place them on a tray and grill them. They may go a little dry but that's grand because the sauce in the Timpano will keep them plenty moist.
Here is what all my meats looked like after I cooked them all. Like I said, make them a day in advance.


Luca made this one. He seemed to think that it was just fine but I thought it was excellent. Studding the shallot with a bay leaf and cloves was pretty freakin' cool and you could really taste it. Nice touch.


2-1/2 cups milk
1 shallot with 1 bay leaf stuck to it using 1 – 2 whole cloves
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Combine the milk, shallot, and nutmeg in a saucepan over low heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes, uncovered, to infuse the flavor into the milk. Remove the clove and bay leaf from the shallot, but leave it in the sauce.

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a medium, heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir in 4 tablespoons all-purposed flour. Cook uncovered stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon or spatula, over medium-low heat until the roux is fragrant but not darkened, 2 – 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and slowly mix in the milk, about 1/2 cup at a time. Turn the heat back on and simmer 8 – 10 minutes. Do not boil. Season with salt and pepper.

1 kilo of rigatoni or large penne. Boil it as you normally would but stop cooking it about 2 minutes away from al dente. If it's too soft the pasta doesn't hold in the timpano. When it's cooked, cool it off in some ice and put it aside.

 Again, Luca made this and did a sterling job. You will need a clean, large flat table/counter.
4 cups flour
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
Olive oil
1/2 cup water, divided
To make the dough, place flour, eggs, salt and olive oil in a mixing bowl mixer.  Add 3 tablespoons water, roll up your sleeves and start combining it all, old school with your hands. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, up to 1/2 cup, until mixture comes together and forms a ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead to make sure it is well mixed. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.

Olive Oil and Butter to grease the enamel pot with.
2 cups of Tallegio Cheese, broken into little chunks
1.5 cups of good Parmesan cut into little slices

Generously grease the timpano baking pan with butter and olive oil. Fold the dough in half and then in half again, to form a triangle, and place it in the pan. Open the dough and arrange it in the pan, gently pressing it against the bottom and the sides, draping the extra dough over the sides. Set aside.Heat your oven to 180 degrees.

Mix 6 cups of pasta with 2 cups of meat ragu and place it at the bottom of the timpano. Then evenly distribute half your sausage and place an even amount of tallegio on top of it.
Then you need to put a layer of meatballs on top of that along with half of your parmesan and another cup of ragu.
Mix another 6 cups of pasta with your bechamel this time and layer that on top.

Then you need to repeat what you did the first time round:  drop the other half of your sausage and tallegio on top of that followed by more ragu pasta, meatballs and parmesan. If there's any remaining ragu left over, pour it on top.

Fold the dough over the filling to seal completely. Trim away and discard any double layers of dough.Take the trimmed dough pieces, form a ball, and roll it out to form a 'lid' to cover. You can lay them in thin strips if you want, it doesn't really matter as long as the lid is firm. When I had to stick two pieces of dough together around the perimeter of the pot, I used a little brush if water to make sure they held. Think that was a good idea.

Place the bowl on a pyrex dish and stick it in the oven for an hour. Then carefully remove and wrap it in tin foil and bake for another 30 minutes but without the pyrex and let it rest for another 30.
Carefully slice and serve. Be prepared for any of your guests to have a very serious coronary.

Oisin Davis

The Producers: For Food’s Sake I

At the first For Food’s Sake event in The Sugar Club, which was held on 31 March, it wasn’t just all food for thought.  Four Irish producers helped make the first night a very delicious one indeed.

The event’s theme was “The Great Green Hope - where lies the future for Irish production?”.  The speakers helped to whet our minds’ appetites while the producers listed below are certainly among those helping to give culinary hope to this nation’s food future.  

Kelly’s Organic Products: Moon Shine Dairy Farm
Mary and Gerry Kelly from Moonshine Organic ( were on hand to let us sample some of their delicious dairy products, as well as sharing a touching poem written by one of their Moos. Well, ghost-written via Mary, of course.  
Located just outside Mullingar, the Kelly’s have been keeping their Moos happy and producing their organic dairy products since 2000. The name Moonshine refers to fact that their farm’s work schedule work in parallel to the moon’s cycles, which they believe benefits their products in taste, shelf-life and texture.  

You can read more on their website, where you’ll also find further details on their products as well as contact information. If you’re Dublin-based you’ll find them in The Dublin Food Co-op every Saturday. 

Connemara Smokehouse
Connemara Smokehouse has been the Roberts’ family business since 1979. Graham Roberts was one of the speakers at FFS I and gave us an insight into how he and his wife Saoirse manage their business. It’s one of the oldest smokehouses remaining in the west of Ireland, yet they’ve bridged the gap between the old and new by embracing digital media to spread the message of their outstanding smoked fish.

Have a look at their website ( to find out more about their products and browse through their on-line shop. You can also say hello to them on Twitter (@OldSmoky).

Janet’s Country Fayre
Janet Drew’s range of jams, chutneys, salsas, pestos and basically anything that’s fit to be jarred, are one of the best success stories of artisan food production in the country. You’re bound to have come across at least one of her products along your food travels in Ireland but if not, head to for more info on where you can get your hands on a jar of at least one of her delicious products. At FFS I, a number of Janet’s jars’ lids were popped open for the audience to enjoy.  

Janet was a bit of a trail-blazer when it came to artisan food production in Ireland, starting her company back in 1994. Her commitment to her food vision has seen her Wicklow-based company grow to produce 18 different sauces, chutneys and jams, including her most well-known Sweet Pepper Relish which tastes good slathered on pretty much anything.   

Le Levain Bakery
The bread at FFS I was provided by Dublin-based Le Levain Bakery, who produce their bread using naturally-fermented dough. In French, this bread is called ‘levain’ but you may be more familiar with its English name: sourdough. Rossa, the head baker, followed his passion for bread all the way to three French bakeries where he learnt his craft. He’s brought his skills back to Ireland and you can sample them at Le Levain Bakery stall in the Temple Bar Food Market on Saturdays, as well as in Dublin’s Lilliput Stores in Stoneybatter.  

The Big Night

Thanks to everyone for coming down to our first film night last Thursday. We had oodles of craic cooking for you all and got loads of good feedback, so the only thing left is to decide on the movie for the next one....

Great to see the bum rush towards the stage when Oisin and Luca unveiled the Timpano at the end - wish we had got that on video.

Zesty Summer Salad - Goldriver Farm mixed leaves with grilled courgette, mint, capers, tomatoes and parmesan

Leek, taleggio and walnut pesto risotto

The Timpano!!!!

the rush for the timpano