Happiness for everyone on Nov 2nd

“The way to Achieve happiness is to try for perfection that is impossible to achieve, and spend the rest of your life trying to achieve it.”

Winston Churchill

 

We’ll be trying for our own happiness on Saturday 2nd as we host a screening of the Film of the same title.

This is a Happenings event as part of the UCD Science & Film Festival

 

 

more info here

 

doors 7.30pm

€10

Nachos and popcorn included in the price of the ticket. Drinks available.

Pawel Grudzien every Wednesday

Beautiful music by Pawel Grudzien every wednesday at 10am

 

 

Paweł is a classically trained pianist and composer. He currently studies jazz under a New York piano legend Dave Frank, himself a prominent student of Lennie Tristano.
He explores many avenues and styles of piano performance, playing his own original pieces as well as taking from the rich tradition of the twentieth century jazz and film music. His compositions are born through meditation and are mostly improvised – by tapping into the endless flow of music within he creates one of a kind, unique pieces and the act of playing becomes a meditation itself.

Peruvian Diaries II

Two days in Lima and I was already well informed on Peru’s wealth of potatoes, with estimated guesses ranging from 3000 – 5000 varieties and types. What’s an extra thousand when you get past a certain point? I made my way to Huancayo, a place famous for the humble spud, and also home to Peru’s national potato institute! Making my way is a slight understatement, I actually took the second highest train in the world – fourteen hours of winding valleys, snow-topped Andean peaks, vast landscapes of spiky cacti in bloom and barren stretches of white rocks and concrete walls – a reminder of Peru’s often controversial mining industries. We also passed llamas (who sport red Andean ribbons as ear tags), beautifully pink-cheeked children in neopolitan ice cream-coloured woollens, tiny waterfalls and lazy dusty dogs lounging by the train tracks. At an altitude of 5,000 metres at its highest point, this was not a journey for food research, although I did share my first mate tea with two hilarious French men.

 

 

Huancayo itself is a meandering sloping town, nestled under the giant Huaytapallana mountain and subject to swift changes of weather. In one moment, the lavender, turquoise and butter-coloured houses sit in glorious sunshine, the next moment brings fat black clouds and low thunder. The rain is soft like Irish rain and very welcome after city dust! I am staying in a small hostel, where we are well-fed three times a day; it is the Peruvian equivalent of the Gaeltacht experience, with an equal emphasis on potatoes. Sonja, my new Peruvian mum, has a knack for making the right thing at the exact right time; beautiful clear gingery broth on a rainy evening, fried yucca with qapchi (a Quechuan sauce of fresh soft cheese, hot chilli, spring onion and a green mystery herb) for supper on a cold night, sweet pickled radish with a lemony salad on a sunny afternoon. I am being educated on types of maize; the yellow stuff we eat at home? No way. That’s for the animals here. Huancainos eat the big fat kernels of white corn or the glossy purple-black corn that sits in neat rows in all the local markets. They use this too in chichamorada (a delicious drink) along with quince, pineapple, cloves and cinnamon. There are so many spices and herbs to fall in love with here! On my way to Spanish class, there is one particular corner that always smells of cumin (there is a small processing factory close by), a big warm earthy hug via the nose each morning! And even the little corner shops sell giant bunches of fresh chamomile and lemon balm for tea. They also sell alfalfa by the kilo, but this is mainly for fattening up coy (which I have yet to try…).

More to come after the weekend, when we have a market trip and cooking classes. I’ll have the secret recipe for Papa a la Huancaina by then! And tomorrow we’re going for piccarones, donuts made from a sweet pumpkin and potato dough (naturally), and served with spoonfuls of eucalyptus honey. Niiiice! I wish you could all have some too!

Lots of love! Xxxxx

 

 

mushy mushy

Mushroom season is insaaaaane this year.

Porcinis up the ying yang!

 

These incredible beauties came from somewhere in Wicklow last week.

You still need to be careful though if you are going out and picking your own…

Finishing School Oct 22nd

Gill & MacMillan and LeCool have teamed up to present a series of launches of some really great new Irish publications.

 

We have the pleasure of hosting one on Tuesday Oct 22nd for Lousie Hodgson’s ‘New Thinking New Ireland’ and Pat Whelan’s ‘The Irish Beef Book’. We’ll be working with a couple of recipes from Pat’s book to keep the stomach at bay and there will be a few tipples available on the night also.

 

More info on the event here:

 

This event is already sold out (sorry)

Peruvian diaries

One of our beloved chefs Brenda, is on sabbatical in Peru at the moment and promised us some documentation while she was there. Her first email home stated that she hadn’t had time to write us anything yet…..but the email itself was just perfect

*****

Hello from Lima!!
No food blog yet

I’m meeting some lovely people already tho…on my flight to Toronto, a sweet man called Perry told me about all the delicious desserts and sweets his mum used to make. She was, however, dreadful at savoury cooking and used to boil vegetables forever and ever. When his mum grew old and ill, his dad started looking after her. His dad had been a cook in WW2 and learned that vegetables should be immersed in rapidly boiling water for 3 minutes, for flavour and nutritional value. When Perry asked him why he had never said this to his mum, he just said it wasn’t his place. I thought this was very sweet, because food isn’t always about making things taste good – it’s also about love and complications and family politics.

In other news, my (lovely) taxi driver told me last night that Peru has roughly 3500 types of potato…!!! He also told me that huancayo (where I’m going on sat) is famous for potato production and  has some very specific regional potato dishes. Exciting!!

I also met a very gentle canadian vegan called nick, who I might meet up with in the amazon in a month! (If he manages to survive til then on a vegan diet in Peru…50/50 chance I reckon) So all in all, a good trip so far.

Missing you all, and sending hundreds of besitos xxxxx

 

Susperregui’s Bordel

‘Il Bordel’ has been holding court above the stage for a couple of months now.

 

Sergio Susperregui is an Argentinian artist who’s daughter sophia lives in Dublin.

sergiosusperregui.com