Why forkncork? Who’s Ernie?

Ernie Whalley
Ernie Whalley

forkncork.com was brought into being for two reasons. The first was to provide an archive for what seemed at the time a massive amount of writing on food and drink (and since then it’s multiplied like a hydra’s heads). I was drowning in paper and my home office, which also serves as a music studio, was beginning to take on a ‘Day of The Triffids’ aura. Truly, it was a case of get it (the paper mountain) before it gets you. The second reason for delving into the murky waters of the web was to create a  food and drink universe where I was Emperor, King and Lord of All I Survey. Where I could set down my views, unfettered by commercial or any other considerations.

None of this could have been achieved without the  the tolerance of Ann, my wife and the help and inspiration of Paul Clerkin, friend and web guru extraordinaire. One of  Paul’s key suggestions was  that we incorporate a forum where discussion could take place. It developed into a sort of virtual social club where keen foodies,  food and drink scribes, restaurateurs, chefs and sommeliers mingle.

A few words about moi . An old  mate once described me as “a middle-aged hippie with a gargantuan appetite and a raging thirst” and that just about says it all. I’ve been writing on food and drink for n publications for the guts of 30 years now.  When I came to Ireland in 1987 I was one of only a handful of wine writers here. In the mid-1990s I lost my marbles temporarily and opened ‘Café Sax’, a cut-price gourmet nirvana in an unfeasible location and became chef/proprietor for 3 years. I never made any money but am glad I did it. Subsequently I worked for Food & Wine Magazine for seven years, the last three as editor.  In 2004, with fellow food writer Paolo Tullio,  I co-authored ‘Ireland’s Best Restaurants – The Definitive Guide’. I was a member of the jury on the Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards in 2007  and 2009; was one of the judges on the Irish heat of the Bocuse d’Or and also I’ve judged at wine competitions in France, Italy, Portugal and Hungary.

Nowadays, my main gigs are writing on wine and reviewing restaurants for The Sunday Times (Irish Edition). Augmented, from time to time by giving cookery classes (under the banner of ‘One Man & His Pots’) and wine tuition.

In what passes for my spare time I play guitar, average-to-badly; write songs (148 at the last count) and listen to music, from John Dowland to Richard Thompson, Jelly Roll Morton to John Coltrane, Duke Ellington to Grizzly Bear and all stations in between.  I have written two radio plays and a TV play, the last liked but so far unpublished. A novel and a cookbook are on the back burner, awaiting extensive revision. Currently I’m doing my bit to reduce the price of property in Dublin 4 by learning the saxophone. I’m also taking classes in Italian and playing really, really poor golf.

For my sins, and (until 2011 at least) I must have sinned badly, I support Manchester City, Queen of The South, The Azzurri, Wexford hurlers and Lancashire County Cricket Club.

Read Ernie’s weekly restaurant reviews and wine column in The Sunday Times    CONTACT ERNIE AT info@winesberry com 

3redssmall

Ernie Whalley on food, wine & Irish restaurants