After a pretty quiet summer, the food industry is exploding into September with about 5 million events planned over the next four weeks - okay that might be a slight exaggeration but they're coming at us like tennis balls on centre court lately. Here are some that might help ease the pain of the summer that wasn't coming to a miserable end...
Johnny Boyle's Sticks pop-up, currently operating out of Storyboard in Islandbridge, is inspired by Japanese skewer culture, and as the name implies, everything is on sticks. It's loosely based on a Japanese omakase format, where the chef decides what you eat, but they're bringing in inspiration from other cuisines too, with the main aim being to create "delicious flavour bombs on sticks". They're currently living by the quote, "If you can create a dish that dispenses with the need for anything but fingers, you are winning", and you can experience that winning by nabbing a tickets for the next dinner on Saturday 14th September here.
A Special Food For Thought
Daniel Hannigan's Food For Thought charity dinners have gone from strength to strength over the past year, raising over €25,000 so far for 3Ts - Turn The Tide Of Suicide - and the next ones are taking place on Sunday 15th and Monday 16th September, with ex-Delahunt and Locks head chef Dermot Staunton taking up the reigns. Dermot wanted to get involved in raising awareness of depression and suicide, for reasons which will be revealed on the night, and the event will take place in The Well on Stephen's Green. Tickets are €180 for a 16 course tasting menu with "theatrical elements", a curated playlist linking the food to the music, and special lighting. Fish will be blow torched at the table, lamb legs will be served whole, and they're promising surprises throughout the evening. Tickets are due to be released this week - keep an eye on the FFT Instagram feed for details.
Land and Sea - Grálinn x Julia's Lobster Truck
Grálinn started their supper clubs on Elmhurst Farm in Drumcondra earlier this year, and managed to impress Katy McGuinness in the Irish Independent with the "joyous eclecticism" in their food, and on Friday 13th September they join forces with Julia's Lobster Truck (usually based in Clare) for a one-off Land and Sea dinner in The Fumbally. The six course tasting menu is promising to showcase some of the incredible produce the island has to offer, and costs €80 with wines available to purchase on the night. Get tickets here.
Chef Knights is a collaboration between Hussey Fruit & Veg and the restaurants they supply produce to, to showcase the best of Irish food and raise money for the Irish Cancer Society. The first one took place in Richmond a few weeks ago, and the next one is on Monday 16th September in Circa, Terenure. Tickets are €50 for a 5-course tasting menu from Circa head chef Gareth Naughton, and most of the ingredients for the night are being donated by Hussey Fruit & Veg's producers, like Drummond House garlic and Ard Mhacha Shiitake mushrooms, so that as much as possible will go to charity. Tables can be booked directly through the restaurant here.
Lobsterfest at Saba
Saba's lobsterfest is back from the 9th-22nd September, with Kilkeel Harbour lobster, Roaring Bay rope mussels and oysters from Carlingford Lough, all served Saba-style. The "celebration of everything lobster and shellfish" includes a steamed half lobster with lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and chilli for €29.95, paired with a Mayflower Martini, and a seafood platter for two featuring a whole lobster, squid, tiger prawns and swordfish, with stir-fried vegetables and fried rice for €56.95. Get more info and book a table here.
The Cliff Townhouse Oyster Festival
Another festival making its annual return (for its 8th year) is the Cliff Townhouse's Oyster Festival, which runs through September. For the whole month you can get six oysters with a glass of Billecarte salmon for €30, and downstairs in Urchin you can get a seafood platter with two glasses of house wine for €60. We're also liking the sound of their jazz and oyster lunch on Sunday 29th September, starting with oysters and Champagne, followed by a talk and demo, then a three-course lunch, for €50 per person. Get more information or make a booking on the Cliff Townhouse's website.