The best things in life are meant to be shared

Posted on: 7th March, 2017

Category: Food & Wine

Contributor: Mary O'Brien

Top chef and RTÉ Today Show resident Richy Virahsawmy, who runs an award-winning restaurant in Clonakilty, has always embraced change. “With change comes opportunity,” comments the successful restauranteur, who celebrates 15 years in business this year. “We learn from it and become better through experiencing it.”  Although the core ethos of this busy restaurant –  to serve flavoursome dishes using fresh locally sourced ingredients  – has always remained steadfast; over the past 15 years, change has shaped and grown the thriving business that Richy’s is today. Now, building on the warm and relaxing atmosphere that Richy’s has become renowned for, the restaurant is moving in a new direction and offering an exciting new Sharing Menu.

“Particularly over the past year, we’ve noticed that people are eating smaller plates of food and looking for a greater variety of dishes and cuisines. Sharing is very sociable and fits right in with the feel of our restaurant” explains Richy “it’s an exciting development for us.”

Regular customers who enjoy the existing menu will be happy to hear that the favourites will be kept. Rather than replacing them, the Sharing Menu served after 5pm seven days a week, will complement these dishes, adding a new dimension to the experience that is Richy’s. “The emphasis will be on casual dining with sensational tastes from around the world,” comments Richy.

This global culinary journey will include dishes such as lamb koftas with cucumber and cumin raita; mini Clonakilty black pudding samosas served with chard; and popcorn chicken, or Thai chili chicken satay with peanut dipping sauce. If you’re a lover of seafood, you’ll be able to share some calamari with garlic aioli; marinated anchovies served in a tin; bouillabaisse; or a delicious broth of local mussels cooked in coconut milk with chilli and coriander.

Vegetarians will also have choice with dishes including nachos jalapenos’ salsa and sour cream; falafels; red onion or kale frittata; and vegetable tempura. There are also vegan and gluten-free options available.

This is a very affordable gastronomic experience with sharing plates starting at €4.50 up to €12.

The menu isn’t the only thing that’s changing. Karen and Sara of Loved Again Interiors have come up with a contemporary decor to reflect the new menu and dining experience at Richy’s. Using lots of different textures and materials – a combination of upcycled, recycled and Fair Trade objects –the overall finish, although contemporary, will also be very laid-back. The stone wall, fireplace and bar will stay and be offset by a stunning new feature wall, combined with a new colour scheme and warm lighting effects.

Located in the heart of the cosmopolitan town of Clonakilty, which has also embraced change and welcomed new developments over the past few years, Richy’s is part of the artisan food movement that has put Clonakilty on the map as a destination for food lovers.

Richy Virahsawmy has been working in kitchens since he was 14-years-old. He trained in London and started his professional career in the Strand Palace Hotel as a first commis chef. He travelled in Australia but returned to the UK working up the ranks in kitchens. He was promoted to a senior sous chef at the age of just 21. Richy then worked in senior chef positions at the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry and has worked at No 10 Downing Street catering for banquets for the Prime Minister, moving on as Executive head chef at the world’s second largest pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca in Park Lane London before moving to Ireland to work at Inchydoney Lodge and Spa in Clonakilty. In May 2002, Richy realised his dream of opening his own restaurant and opened Richy’s Restaurant. In 2012, Richy also opened RCafe in Clonakilty to turn the business into a seven-day-a-week multi-operational business.

“Our mission was and will always be to provide our guests with great flavoursome dishes, freshly prepared in our kitchen using fresh locally sourced ingredients and providing service that is friendly and efficient in welcoming surroundings,” says Richy passionately.

Richy’s is open seven days a week, serving breakfast to dinner and everything in-between. Fully licensed, the restaurant has a varied wine list, house cocktails, gin bar and a selection of craft beers and ciders.

Whether you are catching up with a friend after work or celebrating a special occasion, everyone is welcome, including groups.

This exciting concept begins on March 3. To book a table call 023 8821852.

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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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Check out this new upbeat indie-folk track Edges, released today from Inni-K with a video by Myles O'Reilly. Inni-K will be performing at Levis’, Ballydehob on Saturday 24th February, with support from Sam Clague.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1jc2tlH75Q
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“The Viking Gold and Silver Hoards from County Cork” is the topic of the next Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage lecture on Thursday 22nd at the Parish Centre starting at 8pm.

It will be delivered by John Sheehan, senior lecturer in the Archaeology Department, UCC and a former member of the Heritage Council and the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.

The Vikings were an important presence in Ireland for over two centuries. As well as inflicting great terror they were also responsible for introducing urbanism and new economic systems to the country.

In this talk the focus will be on the economy, looking at the gold and silver hoards that were buried in Co. Cork. It will also explore how these hoards were discovered, what happened to them, and where they are now!
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Tickets can be purchased either on the club's facebook page or through eventbrite.

www.eventbrite.ie/e/bandon-toastmasters-presents-ignite-your-potential-tickets-41871052445?aff=es2
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