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Spud Sunday: Spuds On The Menu

For some reason, it was the cause of much mirth amongst my work colleagues when I mentioned that, as part of my general spud research, I was meeting the president of the Irish Potato Federation for lunch (an organisation of wholesalers, importers and exporters of potatoes and whose members together handle around 75% of the potato trade in Ireland).

I suspect that the sniggerati’s mental image of two potato heads lunching may have had a certain cartoonish quality to it. I had to laugh myself, really. What was once a vegetable is now a vocation – I have become The Daily Spud and this is the kind of thing I do.

Potato menu

An all-potato menu at The Clarence

As for the lunch itself, I was, unsurprisingly, tickled pink by the all-potato menu, which Liam Glennon, president of the aforementioned federation, asked the chef at The Clarence Tea Room to prepare. Feasting on leek and potato soup, gnocchi and chocolate potato cake was as good a reminder as any that being The Daily Spud is no bad thing. In fact, it’s a very good thing indeed.

Speaking of special menus, you may be interested in one or other (or both) of the following events:

Chapter One Charity Lunch For Barrettstown

Chapter One restaurant in Dublin will be the venue for a special charity lunch on Monday 30th January. Michelin-starred executive chef Ross Lewis will present a menu inspired by the one that he prepared for the state banquet in honour of HM Queen Elizabeth II during her visit here last May (and fear not, with smoked champ potato on the menu, there will be spuds).

The lunch is limited to 80 people, with all food and wine costs being covered by Chapter One and all proceeds from tickets going to support the work of Barretstown, the Kildare-based camp designed for children who have been affected by a serious illness, primarily cancer, and their families. Tickets are available at €100 per person or €200 per person for a place at the Chef’s Table. Bookings can be made by contacting Chapter One at info@chapteronerestaurant.com or by phoning 01-8732266.

West Cork Burns Night Supper

If you’re in the vicinity of Skibbereen on January 25th next and you’re of a Scottish persuasion (or even if you’re not), you’ll want to head for the West Cork Hotel, which, in association with the lovely folks from West Cork Food, will be hosting its first ever Burns Night supper.

For what sounds to me like the extremely good value price of €30, you’ll get five (or, from what my sources tell me, possibly even six) courses of fine West Cork produce crafted into a traditional Scottish meal, while the all-important haggis is being flown in from McSween’s of Edinburgh, a company that has been making award-winning haggis for over 50 years. On the spud front, meanwhile, I would naturally expect some version of neeps and tatties to make an appearance on the night. Musician Ronnie Costly will provide the entertainment for the evening and there will be recitals of Robbie Burns Poetry and, of course, a wee dram. See here for more details.

20 Comments

  1. Kristin

    There’s no better spud ambassador!

  2. Daily Spud

    You’re too kind, Kristin! :)

  3. Lori

    That is great! I can think of few other ingredient that I’d hope to have in every course of my lunch or dinner.

  4. Daily Spud

    I feel the same way Lori (but, there again, that’s no surprise really :) )

  5. Noble Nourishment

    How was the chocolate potato cake? That menu sounds heavenly!

  6. Daily Spud

    ‘Twas a good cake, very moist as I would expect for a cake that contains potato & quite dense too

  7. Stef

    That cake sounds very interesting!

  8. Daily Spud

    I’ve made chocolate potato cakes before myself Stef, but they’ve definitely been ‘cakey’ – this was more on the fudgy side. Not a brownie exactly but somewhere in that territory (which makes me think that potato brownies might be worth a bit of experimentation…)

  9. Stef

    Yeah, I can see how that sort of dense consistency required would be helped by the potato. Is there nothing the humble spud can’t do?

  10. Daily Spud

    I reckon the sky’s the limit when it comes to the spud Stef :)

  11. Stef

    An it’s unrelated friend the sweet potato isn’t too shabby either:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/aug/19/sweet-potato-brownies-recipe-lepard

  12. Daily Spud

    None too shabby indeed – am liking the look of those sweet potato brownies a lot Stef!

  13. Móna Wise

    What a lovely display of Spud Love….

  14. Ena Ronayne (@plantmad)

    Not so sure about potatoes in my pudding but otherwise all sounds good!

  15. Catherine

    A few years ago I was at a Burns’ Night Supper in Glasgow. As I had no idea what to expect, the whole thing unfolded in a blur of craic, poetry, great food and superb drink. Nothing could have prepared me for the ritual ” Toast to the Haggis” and “Toast to the Ladies” . The woman who responded to the latter left us all in fits of laughter. Such unexpected fun in a grey January!. Go for it, anyone who has the chance!

  16. Daily Spud

    Móna: wasn’t it just!

    Ena: the thing about using spuds in your pudding is that, in the general run of things, the effect should be subtle and you may not even guess that spuds are in there – for cakes and breads, a little bit of cooked potato adds moistness, rather than overt potato-ness – it’s worth giving it a try!

    Catherine: if I thought there was any chance I could make it to West Cork for the 25th, I’d be there like a shot – doubly so after your Burns Night recommendation

  17. Magic of Spice

    The menus sounds lovely…what a lunch :)

  18. Jenni

    Somehow, I have the image of Mr. & Mrs. Potatohead dining together! But, there is no better ambassador of the spud than you, DS!!

  19. sippitysup

    righteous spuds galore. GREG

  20. Daily Spud

    Magic of Spice: it was indeed quite the lunch, I’ll not deny it :)

    Jenni: Aw thanks friend – and I don’t think you were the only one with that image, lol!

    sippitysup: go spuds, that’s what I say Greg :)

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