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What have I missed and what's coming? – The Irish Times

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It’s that time of year again. Food Month at The Irish Times is in full swing, and this year marks its 10th anniversary. For the month of November, you’ll find expanded coverage of all things food and drink in print and online, as well as across our social media channels.

Each Sunday, this digest will provide you with a rundown of the content you shouldn’t miss from the previous week and look ahead at what is to come. So, what has been happening?

New cookery columnist

Food Month began with a bang, with the introduction of our new cookery columnist, Gráinne O’Keefe. O’Keefe is the woman behind Mae restaurant in Ballsbridge, which she opened in 2021. She entered the restaurant industry aged 17 after she “started watching cooking shows, and I got cookbooks from a mobile library that used to come to my school”. The 31-year-old says she has “a way of being able to make meals very quickly, but they’re tasty, and they look good” and she wants to use her new column to pass on these skills. You can read all about O’Keefe here.

O’Keefe’s first column looks at (nearly) everyone’s favorite meal: brunch. It includes three eggy recipes, which the chef says “would also work as a midweek dinner, or as a starter course for a dinner party” and which “can be mixed and matched”. find them here.

Global food on Irish plates

From the Philippines to Ethiopia, food from all over the world has been brought to Irish plates. Aren’t we lucky? Corinna Hardgrave and Victory Nwabu-Ekeoma chat to global restaurant owners in Ireland and find out their stories. Alistair Jeje, for example, opened his Afro-Caribbean takeaway in Waterford after he was made redundant during the pandemic, having worked in retail for 18 years. He says: “Food is life, it’s what gives you energy, and if you cook it with good energy, people will feel it.” Read the full article here.

Wonderful wines

Do we dare say the C-word? No, but John Wilson does. Our wine critic says now is the time to start thinking about Christmas wines. He gives all his recommendations here.

Elsewhere, in his How to Drink Better column, Wilson looks at whether the word “reserva” on a bottle label means your wine will taste better. “It can mean that the wine has been aged in oak barrels, an expensive process that makes it smoother and, sometimes, more complex. Yet in California, France, South America and many other parts of the world, reserve means very little,” he writes. Read it here.

Coming soon

The coming week has plenty in store, including the circulation of our annual Food & Drink Magazine, which you will find with our newspaper on Friday, November 4th. Our reader events also begin this week, with Meet the Chef on Thursday, November 3rd. You can shop, cook and dine with the award-winning BBC chef Suzie Lee at the Asia Market on Drury Street. Tickets are available here.

Our Frugal Feasts series also begins this week, which will see recipes every weekday that can feed five people for less than a tenner. Coming up this week is a slow-cooker beef and bacon stew, linguine puttanesca, chickpea burgers and salt and chilli chicken. Yum.

Staying on theme of simple but effective home meals, Jolene Cox will give you three 30-minute family meals to take the stress and strain out of cooking. The recipes are easy to make and won’t require you to clean a dozen pots and pans afterwards (winner).

We’re back with another 100 best restaurant series too, this time with a focus on great value. Our experts have scoured the country to find their top recommendations for great value places to eat under eight categories: new; sustainable; takeaways; places for lunch; for dinner; for quick bites; for seafood; and for small plates.

Thinking of renovating your kitchen? We’ll also bring you all the kitchen design trends of 2023 that you should look out for.

There is plenty more to come during The Irish Times Food Month and you can keep up with it all here.