13 Photos From Taste Of Dublin
Taste of Dublin 2013 got underway on Thursday at the Iveagh Gardens and myself and Mrs. Any Given Food-to-be had a chance to drop in for the evening session yesterday. I got to cook, we both got soaked, almost lost an umbrella, sampled a variety of dishes, picked up some chocolates, coffees, pastries, an awesome vegetarian dish from Jaipur and generally spent three hours walking around the Iveagh Gardens having a good time of this year’s festival.
The rain didn’t really help the flow of things on the evening, but at least we came prepared for it. It certainly made for easy passage around the tracks in the Iveagh Gardens but meant that any tents with shelter room, particularly around the restaurants area, were jammers.
It was also my first time at the event and, weather aside, it made for a really enjoyable evening. Producers and reps on stands were lovely to talk to, the atmosphere was very much “it’s Friday, let’s party” but if we had stayed any longer, we were in danger of spending a fortune in the place and not getting out of Dublin at all. Here’s a look at some of the evening in photo form…
First port of call for me on arrival was the Electrolux Chefs’ Secrets tent, in association with Lynda Booth’s Dublin Cookery School, which gives you a chance to cook along on a particular dish while picking up a few tips along the way. The chef in question for the 6pm session was John Wyer (Mulberry Gardens, ex Pichet, l’Ecrivain, Les Gourmandises) who has been with DCS since 2011. Word has he’s opening his own place in the D4 area in the Autumn.
Cod was on the menu (see the top photo) along with some blanched asparagus, seasoned with butter, lemon and pancetta, along with a mayonnaise, pea purée and vinaigrette that John had prepared at the head station. Everyone was split into pairs to cook, myself and cooking partner Mary enjoying the craic with prepping a fish dish on an induction hob (incidentally, I’ve never cooked on an induction hob, curious device but fierce easy to use).
Following the session, it was off to find some Florins as the rain began to settle in for the evening.
€20 bought you twenty festival Florins, used instead of cash around the site. If you’re heading for the Sunday session, some ‘Florins Banks’ will allow you to buy in cash, others with cash and card. There’s also site staff going around as mobile versions of the banks in case you get stuck. Of course, you can’t exchange Florins for cash, so the €20 needed to be spent on site. You can, however, buy in blocks of €5. The cheapest item we could find were a handful of Lindt Lindor chocolates (4 for 1 Florin / €1).
Samples were plentiful, so we dipped into some of Mash Direct’s gluten free potato croquettes, a lovely little warmer while dodging raindrops. It was also the first purchase of the evening, picking up three of their take-home dishes for €5. More on that in another post.
Coffee was needed, so we grabbed coffee and a pastry from the Coffee Angel where the combo sets you back 5 Florins. You can also pop a few stands up to Empire Donuts and grab a donut and a coffee for 3 Florins. Of course, if coffee isn’t your thing, there’s an abundance of wines, cocktails and world beers, all with various offers, to be had around the site.
With the rain falling heavier, any bit of shelter under a tent was taken up, sometimes making it a little difficult to get in and see what’s on offer, particularly when ordering food around the restaurant area.
The wind also took with it some umbrellas and the odd sign or two, but these were looked after straight away.
And, sure what else do you do when it’s raining, but dance. Fair play to these guys, rocking the Irish dancing under cover, not a smile dropped or a step missed. Live music continued in various spots around the site too.
With the rain thinning out and orders a little easier to place, we ducked to the Jaipur stand where their vegetarian Punjabi Samosa dish for 5 Florins was wholesome, spicy, full of flavour and all manner of warming.
The aforementioned Empire Donuts made it home to Kilkenny as a treat following the night drive back from Dublin.
Herself nabbed this one of me tucking into the cod and asparagus salad cooked up during the Chefs’ Secrets session. I think that’s the first photo I’ve seen of myself in any kind of cooking-as-opposed-to-talking-about-cooking capacity.
As another tip (and thanks to Paul for the timing), I left the car out at the Red Cow instead of going in to town. With Robbie Williams on and a host of other events happening, I figured parking would be tight enough. €4 covers the parking at the Red Cow €4.40 per adult return on the Luas as far as Jervis, then a quarter of an hour or so to hoof it over to Iveagh Gardens, about half way up Harcourt Street, off Stephen’s Green. Pure time saver and hassle saver.
You can grab more details on the festival here, which continues until Sunday, or check out TasteOfDublin.ie. If you’re heading for the Sunday sessions, do yourself a favour and pack an umbrella – just in case!
Disclaimer: My tickets (and tickets only) for this year’s festival were provided via Electrolux, this year’s title sponsors.