Your chance to win a fully equipped food truck

It saddens The Menu to learn of the impending demise of a relatively new food truck business – Cork-based Sebastian Thommen’s Toast Pantry & Coffee Bar – which started with such potential in May 2020. keep from feeling like he’s not alone by daydreaming about the possibilities inherent in taking said food truck as the top prize in a raffle.

Each ticket costs only €12.

It’s a small price to pay for the chance to own a perfectly equipped food trailer, a professionally restored 1960s Rice horse trailer, powered by super quiet generators, with a coffee machine and a fully equipped kitchen. equipped and functional, approved by HACCP, as well as an iPad, SumUp card payment terminal, cash register and printer: pretty much all the requirements for starting your own mobile catering business.

If the goal of 5,000 tickets sold is not reached, the winner will receive a cash prize equivalent to tickets sold by September 30. 5% of all monies raised will be donated to

  • To purchase a ticket, search for ‘Win Food and Coffee Trailer’ on

Culinary fun for preschoolers

The Cool Food School has launched a new interactive online course for Irish preschoolers, aimed at encouraging interest in food and developing healthy eating habits in children of all ages.

‘Food Fun For Pre-schoolers’ has been specially developed by award-winning founder of The Cool Food School and qualified BTEC health coach, Deirdre Doyle, and this new course of six virtual video workshops, will also help to combat neophobia – a fear of new food which is very common in young children aged two and over and can even have an impact on their diet.

These expert-led and designed modules can be enjoyed with your children at your leisure.

And an accompanying resource box includes Kiddies Food Kutter and Safety Food Peeler to help kids chop and peel fruits and vegetables, plus seeds for growing lettuce.

  • A special introductory offer (until March 10) offers the course for a period of six months for €99.99, using the discount code EARLYBIRD on

Cooking demonstration with chefs Farmgate, Dede and Cafe Paradiso

Check out a very smart cooking demo (March 2) at MTU’s Tourism and Hospitality Department, as part of the month-long Innovation Festival, featuring three excellent Cork-based chefs: Pam Kelly (The Farmgate ) offers local products; Ahmet Dede, starred in the Michelin guide (Dede at customs), offers fodder ingredients; and Meadhbh Halton (Head Chef, Cafe Paradiso) and Denis Cotter (Executive Chef/Owner, Cafe Paradiso) on plant-based foods.

  • Text 085 851 4355 for more information

Five-course wine dinner at the River Lee Hotel

The very wonderful and very engaging Lynne Coyle, Master of Wine, hosts a five-course wine dinner (March 10) in partnership with O’Brien’s Wine at The River Lee’s delicious grill room, joining the best sommelier, Philip Dunne, to focus on sustainability, organic practices and biodiversity in wine, including two of Lynne’s own Spanish creations.


Harvest Day founder and CEO Fergus Halpin with farmers Dan Hogan and Una Wycherley of Larkin’s Hill Farm, Co Tipperary. (Photo: Marin Bramblett)

While initial concerns about Russia’s hideous war on Ukraine can only center on the terrible plight of the Ukrainian people, there is no doubt that its impact will be felt around the world, including massive disruption. European and global food production and supply chains.

Russia and Ukraine are huge food producers, including a third of global wheat exports, 75% of sunflower oil exports and large amounts of barley, soybeans and other grains.

All of the above contribute to the global supply of livestock fodder, on which the Irish dairy and livestock sectors are so heavily dependent – we too are extremely vulnerable.

This is the latest and most serious in an ongoing series of geopolitical events that increasingly mock the abandonment of the native Irish horticultural sector, when a combination of state and government policies EU from the 1990s, combined with the loss-making by several supermarket chains, led to the decimation of the conventional Irish horticultural sector.

Many of these conventional producers are receiving the same prices they were 20 years ago, so it’s no surprise that so many are leaving the sector for good, continually reducing our access to fresh, local, seasonal produce. In these troubled times, The Menu finds it a greater privilege than ever to reside in the ‘breadbasket’ of County Cork, surrounded by so many large and small alternative producers of seasonal vegetables and fruit, often organic, supplying local supply chains.

However, not all citizens are blessed with such easy access to outlets (through Farmers Markets, CSAs, Box Schemes, Farm Sales, Independent Retailers, etc.) for fresh, seasonal Irish produce.

That’s where Harvest Day comes in, offering a delivery service of freshly harvested, seasonal organic Irish produce from a network of organic farmers across the country.

The list of people involved includes Beechlawn Organic Farm, Co Galway; Coolnagrower Organics, Co Offaly; Riversfield Organic Farm, Co Kilkenn and Larkin’s Hill Farm, Co Tipperary.

There’s a huge selection of premium Irish food and dish recipe cards featuring the fresh produce of the week, and all can be delivered to your doorstep anywhere in the country, with the option to return used boxes. The menu recently enjoyed a box containing beautiful fresh and organic celeriac, red cabbage, potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, leeks, kale and mushrooms, as well as relish with Eve’s Leaves Smoked Tomatoes, Apple and Pear Juice from Lacystown Gardens, Nutshed Peanut Butter, Jamshack Marmalade, and Isle of Crackers Black Olive Crackers.

And with such an assortment of the finest Irish produce at his fingertips, he had more or less done all his shopping for the week!

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