Wednesday 31 March 2010

Well done to our Roux scholar

Another great result for a Cathal Brugha St graduate! Kenneth Culhane, a graduate in Culinary Arts, has carried off the hugely prestigious Roux Scolarship against very stiff opposition at the Scolarship's cook-off in London.

Kenneth was victorious at the cook-off on the 29th march at Westminster College. at which he was required to prepare a Fillet of beef an croute a la Bisontine, a classic dish of the Escoffier era. Judging the entries was a panel which included Michel, Albert, Alain and Michel Roux Junior and Gary Rhodes.

Kenneth, who works in a contract catering business in London, now gets a 3-month "stage" at a major-league restaurant of his choice. The French Laundry in the US is one of those he is considering.

Kenneth's mentor for this was our own James Carberry, who himself won the same prize in 1992, and who was at the awards ceremony to appalud his successor.

Here is a link to the Scholarship's web page:

Tuesday 23 March 2010

spud bashing

A lot of coverage in the press recently over a piece of academic research carried out by academics here in the college: Clare Gilsenan, Dr Roisin Burke and Catherine Barry-Ryan. I'm glad to see that the Sunday Times had the helpful title "Organic spuds taste no better" because i certainly wouldn't have gathered that from the title of the original piece. "A study of the physicochemical and sensory properties of organic and conventional potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) before and after baking". That full article appeared in the March 2010 issue of International Journal of Food Science and Technology which we do of course take in the library but unfortunately we only have access to the e-version from issues more than 12 months old. However if you need to see the full article please get in touch. Not the first time that organic food has featured here and not always in the best of light. See posts from 30th Sept. Organic food fraud and 30th July. Organic food is BAD for you. Nothing like sensationalist headlines to sell a few papers.

easter hours

The CB St. Library will open as normal until 1pm Thursday 1st April. We will then be closed for Easter, Reopening for usual hours at 9am Wednesday 7th April. And we will be open for business on Saturday 10th April.

Thursday 18 March 2010

Cucina povera - peasant food

now i'm just showing off the new library Canon scanner, and i'm not even sure how well you can see this image. It's from one of my favourite journals in the library Petits Propos Culinaires - essays and notes on food and cookery. It doesn't come in an eformat so this is a scanned image from the latest issue (No.89) from a lovely article "Michelangelo and the working man's lunch." What you see here is an illustrated annotated, menu? shopping list? dooddle? done by this master draftsman, possibly when working in the Pietrasanta marble quarries on the tomb for the "tempestuous and demanding Pope Julius II." It's a beautiful little piece of history captured, but as fresh as yesterday.
Working down through the menus you start with 2 bread rolls, a jug of wine, a herring , stuffed pasta, and the last 4 items depicted and annotated are 6 bread rolls, 2 dishes of fennel, a hering and "un bochal di tondo" - a jug of full bodied wine. Full article obviously available in the library

Monday 15 March 2010

it says in the papers

The Guardian was particularily full of food doom and gloom over the weekend with a major article in their magazine on Saturday about The killer combination of salt fat and sugar. Basically why is obesity on the rise - what is driving us to overeat like never before? More than just easy availability - it's that toxicocktail of sugar fat and salt which in the right combinations just make you want to eat more. It's all to do with what scientists call "palatable foods" - not necessarily ones that taste good but rather their capacity to stimulate the appetite. It's a fascinating read for anyone interested or studying food products, flavours and innovations.
Meanwhile, headlining on their front page, a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (UK) on Violence and abuse of workers in food factories Employees subjected to verbal abuse, being punched, kicked or having things (like frozen burgers) thrown at them. Having worked in the past in an abattoir, a bakery and ice cream factory i would say this was all quite normal.
On a more upbeat note The Observer food monthly was published yesterday and is now available in the library. Articles include features on Gordon Ramsay, the art of smoking, Mexican food and Rick Bayless - the Obamas' favourite chef .

Saturday 6 March 2010

eating your world

you know the sort of thing "100 books to read or films to watch or places to see before you die". Now to add to our coffee table collection of books, has arrived "500 food journeys of a lifetime" a lavish luscious colourful guide to extraordinary journeys and places to eat around the globe from Puchkas in Calcutta to Mescal in Mexico. Ireland doesn't fare too badly - from fishing in the Moy valley to the kitchen garden at Longueville House Mallow. Though you'd have to question some stereotypes after reading their description of St.Patricks day in Dublin on p.84
"The Irish celebrate with parades, pub crawls and Guinness, and many also eat traditional dishes, including bacon and cabbage, soda bread, colcannon, and corned beef and cabbage."
A pub crawl around Dingle also gets a recommendation. Once while i was "visiting" Dick Macs a well known Dingle watering hole where the barman also trades as a tanner, an American couple came in wanting to buy a collar for their dog. The barman/tanner asked if they wanted a shamrock stamped on it. "Yeah..." they replied "...loads' of them"
P.S. while in the middle of writing this, Aodan O Cearbhaill, Head of School Culinary Arts came into the library with a visiting academic, M Andre Cointreau, the Director of Le Cordon Bleu, Paris. And yes, on p.121 there is an entry for the school. See also the blog post from 29th Jan.

Wednesday 3 March 2010

DIT email

Loads of students having problems accessing their dit email. The story is that currently the MyDIT email system is unavailable worldwide. BUT we have an IT fix. - you can access your dit email at

Tuesday 2 March 2010

Get Smart! on Facebook

and all the photos that are fit to print from last fridays get smart workshop (see post straight below) are now available on their Facebook page