What, do you suppose, is the collective noun most appropriately applied to a set of newly acquired cookbooks?
An anticipation perhaps, or an expectation – it is those things to begin with. As their numbers rise – and certainly once it approaches double digits – it becomes more of a saturation – perhaps even an impossibility – as you realise that their sheer numbers may defeat you.
I have been watching the pile of newly published and Irish-authored cookbooks grow steadily on my kitchen table, especially over the last month or two – Gill & Macmillan having been kind enough to send review copies of several recently published titles, added to a slew of acquisitions at book launches and elsewhere, many written by friends and fellow bloggers and writers – not to mention others that I have flicked through and (somehow) resisted acquiring. Here follows a run down for anyone in the mood to expand their own collection (though perhaps not all at once).
The description, in the Irish Beef Book, of the eye of the round, tells us that it is the shape of this cut that gives it its alternative designation – namely ‘salmon’ of beef. There is also a note about the champion Irish racehorse “said to have been named after the inevitable, unchanging main course choices offered to guests at functions held in Dublin’s Burlington Hotel.” It is perhaps no small irony, in the light of the horse meat scandal earlier this year, that ‘Beef or Salmon‘ was the name of that noted steed.
Stéphane Robin smiled enthusiastically: “You must let us know if you try any of the recipes.”
I was sitting in a reception room at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud at an early hour perusing a copy of “Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud: The First Thirty Years” while around me, preparations were getting underway for the official launch of the book later that day. Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud is Ireland’s only two star Michelin establishment, an honour that it has held for almost 16 years, and Stéphane, the longtime manager of the restaurant, and founder Patrick Guilbaud had paused to chat informally about the book in between attending to the various tasks that comprised the business of, what was for them, a very special day.
Time was when “pop-up” was a term you’d apply to your kitchen toaster.
These days, you’re more likely to hear it used in reference to something more substantial, yet less enduring than your average toaster, namely pop-up restaurants.
Pop-up restaurants are, by definition, transient. Perhaps not as transient as, say, news on Twitter, which can be old within hours but, nevertheless, they have, by their very nature, a short and limited life-span. In a way, they’re a product of the internet era, where attention spans are short, the volume of information is high, and you can only hold people’s attention for so long before they demand something new or at least different. In the case of the recent Jacob’s Creek pop-up wine and dine experience, which took place for four evenings at the end of June, attendees got both, through a combination of new wines and an unusual venue that was guaranteed to captivate.
Old setting for a new phenomenon:
The Jacob's Creek pop-up experience took place in the atmospheric (and not a little spooky) crypt underneath Christchurch Cathedral