Banter on Viva (145, Aug 2016)

A story about love and family set against the vibrant and colourful world of the Havana drag scene, Viva goes on release in Ireland on Friday August 19. It was directed by Paddy Breathnach and written by Mark O’Halloran.

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The film stars Héctor Medina as Jesus, a hairdresser for a troupe of drag performers in a club in the Cuban city, who dreams of being a performer. When he finally gets to perform onstage, a stranger emerges from the crowd and punches him in the face. The stranger is his father, Angel, a boxer, absent for many years and now in need of a place to live.

Ahead of the release of the film, Banter will talk to O’Halloran and legendary drag queens Veda and Pixie Woo at Wigwam (Middle Abbey St., Dublin) on Wednesday August 17. Doors open 6.30pm, Banter begins at 7pm and tickets can be booked here.

Banter at The Big Grill (144, Aug 2016)

If you’re arbeading to Herbert Park in Dublin this weekend for The Big Grill festival, there will be a lot of stuff grabbing your eyes, ears and tastebuds. Between masterclasses and demos from dons like Neil RankinAndre Lima de Luca and John Relihan to music, kids’ stuff and bingo, there’s something to keep you buzzing all day.

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If you’ve still room on your plate, be sure to drop by the Banter stage to check out what’s on offer. We’ve brought together some Big Grill participants and visitors to chew the fat over a range of topics and themes. Here’s what’s in store

Thursday 

7pm: Fire! Charcoal! Meat! 

We kick off Banter at the Big Grill in conversation with our Big Grill pals Matt Williams (Oxford Charcoal Company) and the one and only DJ BBQ to talk fire, charcoal, meat and technique.

Friday

7pm: Putting the beer into BBQ 

Susan Boyle (Two Sisters Brewing), Judith Boyle (Two Sisters Brewing), Christina Wade (Ladies Craft Beer Society of Ireland), Emma Devlin (Rascals Brewing) and Caroline Hennessy (journalist, broadcaster and co-author of “Sláinte – The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider”) talk about the beers that go well with what’s on the grill.

Saturday

2pm: The Hang Fire Smokehouse story

A conversation with Samantha Evans and Shauna Guinn from the Hang Fire Smokehouse about their life on the grill

3pm: The Butchers’ Block

A high level pow-wow about breeds, high quality meat and the art of butchery with Richard Turner (HawksmoorTurner & GeorgeMeatopia etc), Marco Peedeman (Orange Butcher), Peter Hannan (Hannan Meats) and Pat Whelan

4pm: Music and food

Here’s a quote to mull over: “restaurant designers and owners spend millions on marble, sandalwood and unicorns, but ignore the music. For years, you’ve seen ludicrous money spent on bars and then a spotty kitchen porter was sent down to Golden Discs 10 minutes before opening and would come back with “Hits of Trance” and “A Woman’s Heart” (for the lunchtime trade).” We’re joined by Aran McMahon (Cafe Rua, Castlebar), Eoin Cregan (Bodytonic), Aoife McElwain (food writer, events planner, Slow Series operator and Sing Along Social host) and Tom Dunne (NewstalkThe Cookbook Cafe) discuss the subtle art of music and food.

Sunday

2pm: The ins and outs, ups and downs and swings and roundabouts of food pop-ups 

John Mahon (The Locals) and Gustavo Bottino (Churrascada) on the economics, science and sociology of successful food pop-ups

3pm: A conversation with Neil Rankin

After a busy weekend at The Big Grill, a conversation about a life in food with the chef and low-and-slow chief.

4pm: Attention to detail 

It’s often the small things which make a difference in a restaurant: the writing and spelling on blackboards, the smell of cooking, the choice of flowers, the selection of magazines and books. It’s also often one of the restaurant trade’s blindspots. Our panel discuss what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to those subtle attributes which often make a huge difference.

Big Grill tickets are available here and kids under 12 go free.