Living for the City: the future of food shopping (110, May 2015)

Where do you go to buy your food? From huge supermarkets and the corner store to the farmers’ markets and specialist shops, there has never been a time with a more varied and diverse number of outlets selling food. You may think that we won’t see many more changes in the sector, but people were probably saying that a decade or more ago when the first out-of-town supermarkets began to appear. Like most business sectors, change is everything here.


We’ve gathered together a number of experts involved in the business of selling food to talk to them about what they think is going to happen in the sector in the coming years. Is it going to be all about price and the growth of discount retailers or will shoppers begin to look for something other than cheap cheese and salami? What are the trends which key players are noticing here and how do they see these developing?

Has the Irish shopper gone completely promiscuous when it comes to buying food or are they still capable of loyalty? Will the economic bounce mean a change in our consumer habits? Will smaller spaces trump hypermarkets even for the multiples? What’s the role of technology going to be in how we shop for grubs? What about provenence and organics? And what about the kids – how will Generation Z shop for food?

The panelHenry Dummer (director of marketing Tesco), Rachel Firth (general manager Fallon & Byrne), Joe Doyle (founder Donnybrook Fair) and Norman Rides (general manager Dublin Food Co-Op)

The details: Banter on the future of food shopping takes place at the Twisted Pepper (Middle Abbey St., Dublin 1) on Wednesday May 20. Doors open at 6pm and the discussion begins at 6.30pm. Tickets are available here (please note the event is now sold out).

This event is part of Living for the City, Banter’s ongoing series of discussions about living, working and playing in Dublin in the 21st century. To date, this has featured discussions on transporthousingimmigrationmediaalternative spacescreativityand cafes.

Banter at Ballymaloe LitFest (109, May 2015)

It’s set to be a very busy summer for Banter on the festival circuit with events to come at Bloom in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on the June bank holiday weekend, Make A Move in Limerick in July and The Big Grill in Dublin’s Herbert Park in August.

We are delighted to kick off the season of festival shenanigans with a trip to Co Cork for the Ballymaloe LitFest next month. You’ll find Banter in the Garden Tent on Saturday May 16 and 17 where we’ll be hosting four panels in all


The sweetest touch: food writer, author and former Chez Panisse pastry guru David Lebovitz adds sugar to the mix in a tale of desserts, puddings and afters

The GIY manifesto: a conversation with Michael Kelly about how he’s grown the GIY Ireland movement

So you want to start a food business?: Leon co-founder Allegra McEvedySarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich from Honey and Co and Arun Kapil from Green Saffron on the lessons they’ve learned from their start-ups

The best meal I’ve ever had: a bunch of Ballymaloe speakers wax lyrical about the best meal they’ve ever had

Banter will share the Garden Tent space with Joe McNamee’s Rants, Raves and Ruaille BuailleCaroline Hennessy’s Cookbook Chronicles, readings by David Murphy and Raymond Blake and a Questions & Answers Food Special with John Bowman and guests. You’ll find the full schedule for the Garden Tent here.

Meanwhile, the full schedule for the LitFest features all manner of food and drink speakers, talkers, makers and do-ers including Alice WatersJack MonroeKevin Thornton and dozens, nay hundreds, more. Full programme here.

An evening with Matthew E White (108, May 2015)

There was no Irish date on Matthew E White’s current European tour until now.Banter is proud to present an evening of words and music with White on Monday May 4th at the Twisted Pepper, Dublin 1.

matthew e white

In the space of two albums – 2012′s thrilling “Big Inner” and this year’s magnificent follow-up “Fresh Blood” – the man from Richmond, Virginia has cast many spells and whipped up many storms with a beguiling, rich blend of sounds and stirrings. It’s music with an old soul delivered in new shapes with the kind of infectious groove at the heart of the matter which can win all comers over.

Aside from those two damn fine records (and a whole host of worldwide touring), White and his pals in Richmond established the Spacebomb collective, label and studio to turn the tunes of songwriters they liked into grandiose, graceful, powerful statements. Anyone who has lent an ear to this year’s fine debut from Natalie Prasswill know they’re on the right track with that mission.

White brings his current European tour to a close with a visit to Dublin for an evening of conversation and solo performance at the Twisted Pepper. Doors open at 6pm, the event starts at 6.30pm and limited tickets are now on sale (please note the event is now sold out)

Banter at Cúirt (107, Apr 2015)

It’s always good to be asked back by a festival. Banter had a fantastic time (and a hectic 24 hours) at the Cúirt Interational Festival of Literature ast year and it’s great to be going back to Galway later this month for this year’s festival.

The Banter business at Cúirt involves an interview with author and journalist David Sax about food fads on the back of his excellent book The Tastemakers: Why We’re Crazy for Cupcakes, But Fed up with Fondue. In the book Sax talks to the farmers, chefs, store owners and data analysts who help decide on and create food trends and fads. It’s a book which is full of entertaining stories and surprising truths about what we eat, how we eat it and why. Banter with David Sax takes place at Busker Browne’s, Galway on Saturday April 25 at 11am and admission is €10.

David Sax, author of The Tastemakers
David Sax, author of The Tastemakers

Aside from that, I’m also hosting two public interviews at Cúirt. The first is An Evening With Irvine Welsh which will feature the author of such groundbreaking and shapeshifting books as Trainspotting, Filth, Glue, Porno and Skagboys read from and talk about his new book A Decent Ride (as well as talk about other stuff too). You’ll find Welsh at the Town Hall Theatre on Friday April 24 at 8.30pm and admission is €15

The other interview is with Lawrence Hill about his book Blood. In it, Hill writes about the history of blood with great erudition and perception from many different angles, from social and scientific to the role of blood in history and culture to, perhaps the most fascinating angle, his own background and health. This event takes place at An Taibhdhearc on Saturday April 25 at 4pm and admission is €8.

You’ll find the full Cúirt programme here. Other highlights to catch the eye include Josephe O’Neill in conversaton with Edel Coffey (Town Hall Theatre, Friday April 25), Jenny Offill and Evie Wyld in conversation with Sinead Gleeson (Town Hall Theatre, Friday April 25), Paul Durcan (Town Hall Theatre, Tuesday April 22) and an Arena special with poets Jane Hischfield and Micheál O’Siadhail and writer Miranda Hill (Town Hall Theatre, Thursday April 24).