Pictured above: Representatives of the groups involved in the Clonakilty Food Rescue event. (L-R) Kerry Liao, (Clonakilty GIY); Isobel Towse, (VOICE and main co-ordinator); Xavier Dubuisson, (Sustainable Clonakilty); Adam Medcalfe, Head Chef at Inchydoney Lodge and Spa; Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin, Deputy Mayor of Clonakilty; Richy Virishwamey, owner Richys Restaurant and Bistro; Catherine O’ Connor, (Chairperson Clonakilty Tidy Towns) and Istvan Mulkerky, (Clonakilty Branch Out), with a small sample of the foods being used.
Pic: Willow Liao
Following church services on Sunday, February 1, people from Clonakilty were invited to a free lunch with a difference. The event took place in O’Donovan’s Hotel where top chefs from two of the town’s famous restaurants cooked up meals made entirely from ‘rescued’ ingredients donated by Scally’s SuperValu and Harte’s Spar.
The ingredients used were perfectly safe to use but had ‘sell by’ dates that had recently expired or were deemed unpresentable by the high standards of shop shelves. They were in effect ‘rescued’ from being thrown out as waste.
Adam Medcalf, Head Chef at the four star Inchydoney Lodge and Spa, and Richy Virishwamy, owner of the award-winning Richy’s Restaurant and Bistro (who has a weekly slot on RTÉ’s Today show), used the ingredients to cook up delicious meals, which were served free of charge to the public.
Members of the Clonakilty Tidy Towns collected the ingredients from SuperValu and Spar on Saturday morning before taking them to Richy’s, where the two chefs picked what they needed to create their dishes for Sunday.
This event gave the public an insight into the amount of waste food from just two shops in Clonakilty, which if not rescued, would have ended up in bins; costing the businesses money to dispose of, as well as being a terrible waste.
At the Food Rescue event, talks were also given on composting waste food and the documentary film ‘Trashed’ was screened. In this film West Cork resident Jeremy Irons illustrates the extent and effects of the global waste problem, as he travels around the world to beautiful destinations tainted by pollution (www.trashedfilm.com).
Clonakilty’s first ever Food Rescue Event was organised as a winter project by Clonakilty Tidy Towns to raise awareness about food waste. Last November a working committee, comprising of members of the Tidy Towns, Sustainable Clonakilty, Clonakilty GIY Group and Clonakilty Branch Out Group, began working on the project, which is based on the successful ‘Feeding the 5,000’ event held in Dublin in November 2012 and the ‘Feed the City’ event held in Cork last St. Patrick’s weekend. It was also supported by VOICE (Voice of the Irish Concern for the Environment) and StopFoodWaste.ie.
A representative of the organising committee stated: “We are delighted to organise this Food Rescue event in Clonakilty. With each household having on average €700 food waste per year, we hope to raise awareness of how this can be prevented if not totally eliminated.
“We thank Harte’s Spar and Scally’s SuperValu, as well as the chefs from Richy’s and The Inchydoney Lodge and Spa who are giving their time free of charge. We also thank O’Donovan’s Hotel for hosting the event and our hard working committee who have combined their talents and energy to bring this to a reality.
“We hope that this initiative will result in less food waste in Clonakilty, thereby helping the environment.”