Saturday 27 September 2008

in god we trust, everyone else pays cash

continuing the credit crunch theme (see 16th Sept) Paddypower has opened a book on which airline will be next to go belly up. Betting without Alitalia, FlyGlobanspan are the current 6/4 favourites, Spanair 4/1, Air Berlin 10/1 with the first national carrier Finnair also 10/1. Aer Lingus is a healthy66/1 and as you can imagine Ryanair is seen as currently safe at 100/1 the same price as BA and Air France. But the rank outsider and safe bet and seen as the least likely to crash to earth is..........Vatican Airlines at 500/1. but lets avoid jokes about frequent friar miles or Pontious Pilot. The last will be first and the first will be last.

Wednesday 24 September 2008

Absolutely Fabulous: more culinary walking tours

On 3rd June i wrote about Historical Insights, - Dublin walking tours focused on Irish food. Another crowd offering similar and some more ambitious packages are Fabulous Food Trails. Round Dublin they offer "... an exciting tasting and cultural walk around the lesser known parts..." But also on offer are longer weekend and 4-5 day packages round Cork, the South East, Galway and Connemara. Maybe not cheap but there seem to be lots of exclusive private dinners, silver service picnics, visits to suppliers, artisan producers, farms and this is the bit i like, chances to "forage and fish". No better way and nothing tastes more enjoyable: a simple pleasure but when in Connemara and the tide is right, picking a sackfull of mussels in Manin Bay with the sun on your back and the terns in the sky is your only man. and then there's the eating afterwards.

Tuesday 16 September 2008

credit crunch anyone?

fed up watching your financial assets and stocks noisedive. As we watch big financial names like Fannie Mae, Leeman Bros, AIG go to the wall, where to invest you're hard eaned cash? Forget the banks, insurance giants, and with the rising cost of oil forget airlines or travel firms where the news is particularily depressing. Those in the know suggest Vino is the place to be. To borrow a term from the oenophile's lexicon the market is "robust" with an average wine cellar showing a basic return of 15%odd and the fine wine index up 9% on the year to date. So forget the Nikkei, the ISEQ, the FTSE, Dow Jones and take your lead from the Bordeauindex, 1 of a growing number of sites offering investment services for nouveau wine enthusiasts. ansdlets avoid the associated puns about liquid assets and old wines in new bottles etc. Thanks to the Sunday Tribune where I 1st read about this burgeoning burgundy market

Thursday 11 September 2008

Culinary politics

Back in february i posted about celebrity chef and Thai Prime minister Samak Sundaravej. Now it appears his culinary adventures have cost him his job. Apparently by continuing to host the TV show "Tasting Grumbling" he is in contravention of rules that ban ministers from having business links. It would be a bit like say an Irish Taoiseach taking money from property deveoplers if that's possible to imagine. The law in Thailand was obviously drafted to tackle large scale corruption and big business influence. The sum involved for Mr Samak was a triffling 340euros but enough for the opposition to seize on an opportunity to send him packing. Here's what the Guardian had to say yesterday. And the news reports today suggest that he may be back in charge soon...

Thursday 4 September 2008

something you wont learn in DIT Cathal Brugha st

On his recent visit to Dublin Ireland, Nicolas SourCosy was attacked by a disgruntled waiter (in the street not in an actual restaurant) who tried to pelt the French President with eggs. Fortunately the waiter was not an ex DIT student or currently on 1 of our Food & Beverage Management courses. Full story from the Irish Times which didn't use the headline....
"Oeufs for the oaf"

Tuesday 2 September 2008

sidra house rules. Postcard from Austurias

Academics holidays are almost as good as in the dail and the main reason why i have negleted the blog. When on important holiday business i tend to crash the laptop, let the mobile run dead, walk past cafes with wifi signs, stop wearing socks, avoid shopping and go somewhere the buses don't and electricity is erratic. Spent part of the time in Austurias - northern spain west of Bilbao and the Basquelands. Also know as green spain. No wine, no olives, only a few citrus trees. Apples and cider rule the day and every village has its sideria. It's also big dairy country suppling the whole of the country with such products. Unlike the rest of Spain they cook with butter, there is real milk - the cows bells ring like a modern overture up in the picos, (think Swiss Alps). They look tanned and as if they've been freshly groomed every morning. The chocolate is renowned there's even a chocolate museum.The yoghurt is thick creamy delicious and there is a huge variety of cheeses - esp to be recommended, cabrales and gamoneda. There are beans (fabes) to beat the band in abundance, (the climate is ideal mild summers harsh winters) pinto, roxa, colora, verdina - like heinz 57 different varieties. They form the basis of hearty stews with morcilla - spanish black pudding or other cured meats like chorizo, or tocino, lacon. Pigs ear anyone? So thats where i've been and why i've been so quiet