Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Locavore feast: in Galway


The lovely Catherine Cleary wrote a great piece about the 50 mile Feast for the Irish Times - have a read



They did things the hard way in Galway for a stellar pop-up restaurant night recently. Not only was the venue – the Columban Hall on the Sea Road – a genuine pop-up restaurant, they also pledged that everything (excluding wines) would be sourced within a 50-mile radius. What followed was a brilliant night around two long banquet tables in this lovely old church hall. Although some of the locals had to banish memories of sitting their Leaving Cert exams here, the transformation into a magical restaurant was achieved with real style.

The food came from kitchens nearby and was plated in a tent to one side. Highlights included farmed abalone, a risotto made with barley instead of rice (no paddy fields within 50 miles), braised beef cheeks and a magnificent hazelnut ice cream made with wild Burren hazelnuts.

Sorcha Molloy from the Herons Rest BB and Kai chef Jess Murphy were the brains behind the night, and were joined by six other cooks: Seamus Sheridan of Sheridans Cheesemongers; JP McMahon of Cava; Junichi Yoshiyagawa of Kappa Ya; Jamie Peaker of Builín Blasta; and Paolo Burnato and Perluigi Suzanna from Ard Bia at Nimmos.

Wines came from Cases Wine Warehouse and the transformation of the hall was the work of designer Stephen Walton. Everyone worked for free and the cost of dinner, plus proceeds of a silent auction (bids in a sealed envelope) went to Galway Simon. This flash mob of cooks has the look of a collective about them. I’d book early for their next event.

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