Christmas cheer(s)

When it is acceptable to start wishing people a Happy Christmas? And when is it no longer unreasonable to be ticking things off your Christmas list?

Last night, at the latest For Food’s Sake event in The Sugar Club* a couple of people wished me a happy Christmas as they bade farewell. I wanted to object that it’s only November, but the lights have been up for weeks and suddenly the diary is filling up and before you know it Christmas really will be upon us. The recent milder weather has lulled me into feeling that autumn was going to last forever – but I remember trudging through the snow this time last year on my way to host the masterclasses at the FOOD&WINE Magazine’s Christmas Show in the RDS.

It’s back again this weekend, and I’ll be back tomorrow to present the M&S Sparklers & Champagne masterclass tomorrow at 4.30pm. We’ll taste a prosecco and cava, and discuss the quite different methods used for each, and then we’ll taste three very different Champagnes from the one house, before wrapping up with an interesting little treat at the end. I’m looking forward to it.

There’s loads more interesting masterclasses (beer and wine tastings, foraging, spices and ice-cream making) over the weekend and, once you’ve paid the cover price of €20, they’re all free – as are the chef’s demos in the main hall from the all-Irish cast of celebrity chefs. There’s usually lots of interesting stalls in the Artisan Village should you be ready for some Christmas shopping.

Also vying for your foodie budget this weekend Taste of Christmas has set up camp across the river in the Convention Centre, where they have teamed up with Masterchef Ireland for a live show. This series’ winner Mary Carney (who I interviewed at For Food’s Sake last night) will be joined by co-contestants Brigin, Mike and Christine, and by presenters Dylan and Nick.

And if you can’t make either of those this weekend, the National Crafts & Design Fair rolls back into town next weekend, pitching its wares in the RDS from 30 Nov–4 Dec. Don’t miss the Food Hall which is always a great hunting ground for great new artisan food products. And don’t forget to bring that list – presuming you’ve gotten round to writing one by then that is!

Oh and in the meantime, Happy Christmas!

(*For Food’s Sake asks: Meat – Do We Eat Too Much? where we discussed our meat consumption and it’s implications – I’ll post a few interesting bits and bobs worth a read at a later date…)

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