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February 2013
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April 2013

Dublin down: Ireland wants to welcome you home

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Worldwide, some 80 million people claim Irish ancestry. And this year the motherland is calling everyone home. “The Gathering” is a yearlong tourism promotion launched to encourage everyone of Irish descent to congregate with their kin.

Gatherings can be created and hosted by all kinds of folks, from corporations to McCarthys to red heads. Non-Irish welcome too, of course. But while you can go from coast to coast, my recent trip focused on gatherings (and more) that were city-based.

Established as a Viking settlement more than 1000 years ago, Dublin is home to 1.2-million of Ireland’s 6.4-million population. And if a few days of guided tours are any representation, just about all of them are entertaining. Subtle, dry humor reigns but there’s plenty of outright hilarity too, and it rounds out a travel itinerary like nothing else. Just don’t expect any story to be short.

If you missed it in print, read full story on NYPost.com: Dublin down: Ireland wants to welcome you home


Cooking Classes with NYC Restaurant Chefs

Cooking classes Another great perk of living in NYC is the chance to learn from the best. Here's a round-up of some restaurants that offer cooking (and related) classes taught by their chefs and owners:

EDU dining at Del Posto, 85 10th Ave.; 212-497-8090 (unbeatable overall deal)
Rana Pastificio & Cucina, 75 9th Ave., 212-370-0975 (kids classes too)
Bouley Test Kitchen, 88 West Broadway; 212-964-2525 (many options)

Read the story on NYPost.com: Class Acts
And here are a couple other options...

**Morning Market Meetings @ Union Square Café, 21 E 16th St.; 212-243-4020
For 20 years (that’s way, way before “farm to table”) restaurateur Danny Meyer and Union Square Café’s Chef have hosted quarterly Morning Market Meetings. Start with coffee, baked goods, and a talk by Danny. Then a guest farmer explains a seasonal ingredient, and Executive Chef Carmen Quagliata demonstrates a preparation. Try the dish before following Carmen on a tour of the Union Square Greenmarket. $60. Next up: Patrick Martins, founder of Heritage Foods USA, April 17th. To sign up: email mplotkin@unionsquarecafe.com with a phone number, requested number of seats and "Morning Market Meeting" in the subject line.

**Intro to Thai Food @ Ngam, 99 3rd Ave; 212-777-8424
As if Saturdays aren’t busy enough for chefs, one Saturday a month for two hours Chef Chef Hong Thaimee teaches groups of 10 how to navigate Thai ingredients, appreciation of food in Thai culture, and how to make Pad Thai and Green Curry. You don’t need a lesson in how to enjoy, but you do get to sit and eat after classes. $70. Next up: April 13th. And look for more advanced subjects this summer. Sign up by calling the restaurant.