Such is the love and obsession with all things edible for today’s festival goers, that the Electric Picnic have had a whole tent dedicated to gastronomy for the last four years now. The perfectly titled “Theatre of Food” is a gathering of some of Ireland’s finest chefs, bakers, brewers and food and drink writers as they roll out a smorgasbord of cookery demos, heated discussions and serve up some excellent grub. One of this year’s highlights, is the renowned Michelin starred chef Kevin Thornton who will be hosting a demo on Ethiopian cuisine with special ingredients he just recently brought back from there.
But it aint just the food that Kevin is into, far from it. He is a very keen photographer and will actually be showing some of his work at the festival this year. As with many a chef, kicking back watching movies are a great way for him to unwind, his favourites being Tatie Danielle, Repo Man and Pulp Fiction. Quite an eclectic mix! But when it comes to music, it looks like he’s got a solid ear for the classics. His Top 3 acts are David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and Lou Reed. Who could possibly argue with those choices? And he doesn’t just listen to them at home. He cites Lou Reed at The National Stadium as one of his all time best gigs ever and it was at Slane Castle getting down to The Rolling Stones where he had his worst ever bit of festival food, a brutal excuse of a burger. The love of live music has trickled down to his offspring as it’s not just Kevin who will be in front of a mic at Electric Picnic in a couple of weeks, his son is playing there with his band VOXX.
It would obviously be a missed opportunity for Booking The Cooks not to feature a recipe from someone who is not just an actual cook, but one of the best in the country. So seeing as many of you will be hitting Stradbally very soon to indulge and go a little crazy, Kevin shares with us a very healthy meal that you can prepare before the festival that will keep for a good day or so. Balance after all, is not just for flavour in your meals, but in life too!
INGREDIENTS : (SERVES 2)
150ml/¼ pint hot mint tea (fresh mint leaves – infused for 10 minutes)
2 tbsp olive oil
250g/9oz green beans (trimmed, blanched and chopped)
2 fresh tomatoes (seeds removed and roughly chopped)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 lemon (juice only)
1 lime (zest only – finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
Handful of Californian raisins
Handful of dried cranberries
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the couscous into a heatproof bowl, pour over the hot tea and olive oil and cover with cling film. Leave to stand for three to five minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Add the beans, tomatoes, raisins, cranberries, lemon juice, lime zest, crushed garlic and parsley to the couscous. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir well.You can add crumbled feta cheese and/or baked sweet potato to add some extra healthy protein or carbs.
Theatre of Food runs at Electric Picnic all weekend. See you there!