Italy meets Ireland

Posted on: 4th June, 2014

Category: Food & Wine

Contributor: West Cork People

ABOVE L-R: Arís front of house manager, Asia Kusal and chef Luca Boggiani

At the heart of vibrant Clonakilty, Arís Café and Wine Bar brings a continental impression to the newly renovated Asna Square — a place where locals and visitors meet and mingle to enjoy good food and wine and watch the world go by.

Arís prides itself on producing homemade, wholesome foods using locally sourced and seasonal produce and now, with a new Italian chef, Luca Boggiani, Irish ingredients are given a distinctly Italian flavour.

A native of Milan, Luca, as most Italians do, learned how to cook from his mother and then later on from his mother-in-law. He inherited recipes passed down through generations in his family. His passion for good food and quality ingredients prompted him to complete a degree in Human Nutrition before he continued his career in the kitchen, working at a number of renowned restaurants in Milan, before eventually moving with his family to Ireland.

Now settled in Clonakilty, Luca is very much enjoying the slower pace of life in West Cork, a place he feels that produces the choicest of ingredients, as well as the friendliest of people! “It is such a pleasure to cook with local quality ingredients,” says Luca. “Even if it is something simple like pizza or pasta, just adding fresh herbs or rocket or a beautiful locally made cheese, can create a mouthwatering dish.”

Arís uses fresh pasta and every week Luca adds a different ingredient to the pizza dough, to vary the taste. He uses Buffalo Ricotta from Toonsbridge in his cannelloni and likes to mix together different cheeses to give his pizzas a distinct and delicious flavour. “I want to give customers an authentic Italian experience, so I cook as I would in Italy,” says Luca. A very popular dish on the menu is the Calamari in Herbed Flour.

Another element of Arís that it shares with its Meditteranean cousins is its popularity with clubs. From book clubs to board game enthusiasts, Arís has become ‘the’ space for these groups to meet in a relaxed and friendly setting.

Upstairs offers an excellent seating arrangement for large groups and menus can be structured to suit any party. Outside, Arís has a large patio with table service and blankets kindly placed on chairs for cooler evenings.

Pizza and pasta is served Wednesday to Saturday from 5pm and on Sundays from 3pm. Arís is open from 9.30am to 10pm daily (last orders).

Luca and his mother-in-law have a stall at a number of markets in Cork including Clonakilty, Kinsale, Douglas and Mahon. So if you fancy an Italian dish to take home, do look out for them.

The menus at Arís change regularly to introduce new and exciting products and tastes and all of the cakes and scones are handmade in house by Cait.

Front of house manager, Asia Kusal, excels at her role, offering friendly, quick and professional service. Customers are very welcome to contact her in relation to any booking queries.

Arís Café & Wine Bar, Asna Square, Clonakilty. Phone: 023 8821673. Email: Find Arís on Facebook.

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Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.
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20th March, 2018  ·  


This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

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