A Taste of West Cork Food Festival launches delectable programme

FREE PIC - NO REPRO FEE - July 13, 2017
Pictured at the launch of ‘A Taste of West Cork Food Festival’ 2017, at Kalbos@Uillinn, Skibbereen were: from left: Sharon Corcoran, Director of Touriism, Cork County Council; Cllr. Declan Hurley, Mayor of the County of Cork and Helen Collins, chairperson "A Taste of West Cork Food Festival".  The group are pictured in front of one of the William Crozierr landscapes which is on display in the West Cork Arts Centre.
Expanding its reach even further this year, the Festival (8th-17th September), will now host over 230 culinary and adventure events across 36 towns and villages and 8 islands. The Festival will welcome visitors to a foodie’s paradise, with several national and international chefs preparing culinary-themed feasts in local restaurants, food tastings al fresco, foraging walks, open-air markets, seminars, cook-offs, masterclasses and intimate evenings with local artisan food producers imparting their culinary wisdom. For more see www.atasteofwestcork.com or follow the conversation on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Pic: Brian Lougheed Photography

Posted on: 3rd August, 2017

Category: Headlines

Contributor: West Cork People

Variety is the spice of life, and it is a spice that this year’s A Taste of West Cork Food Festival has in abundance! With 33 guest chefs, and a plethora of events for families, friends, couples, and food-lovers alike, it’s no wonder celebrity Chef Derry Clarke, (of Michelin Star L’Ecrivan restaurant fame) is eager to return.

The 10-day Festival takes place this year from September 8 to 17, with over 230 culinary and adventure events across the region’s 36 towns and villages and eight islands.

Sizing up to be the most cultured and cosmopolitan food Festival to date, visitors are welcomed to a foodie’s paradise, with an array of both national and international chefs preparing culinary-themed feasts in local restaurants, food tastings al fresco, foraging walks, open-air markets, seminars, cook-offs, masterclasses and intimate evenings with local artisan food producers imparting their culinary wisdom.

Guest chefs include TV presenters Neven McGuire, Oliver McCabe and Derry Clarke, Danni Barry (Michelin Star chef and RAI Best Chef in Ireland 2016), Kevin Ahern (winner of Best Chef in Munster Awards 2014 at age 24), Rob Krawczyk (winner of the National Restaurants Association of Ireland Best Chef in Leinster 2016), Bryan McCarthy (Head Chef at Greenes – Food and Wine Munster Best Restaurant Award 2016), Decky Walsh (Chef and Pitmaster specialist at Holy Smoke Cork), Ali Honour, Matt Williamson, Chris Hedges, Paul Cartwright, Journalist Joe MacNamee, Gautham Iyer, and Brian Donnelly (Executive chef and co-founder of Belfast based RAMEN).

New events with a modern twist include a gin and tapas night, island whiskey tasting, wine and craft beer pairing dinners, and ‘a night in the museum’ (Michael Collins Museum Clonakilty).  While famous cookbook author, food and TV host Trish Deseine will be joined by Virginie Garnier (renowned French food and lifestyle photographer who has had over 20 cookbooks published by Hachette, Ducasse and Mango) to run a unique two-day Cookbook Workshop.

Events set to ‘spice-up’ the Festival line-up even more include ‘Eat, Drink, Sleep at The Castle’, a six course tasting menu, overnight and breakfast at The Castle, Castletownsend; a ‘Milking It’ demonstration and milking competitions at Bandon Farmers Market and Urru Culinary Store, Bandon;  and a ‘Step Back in Time to the Roaring Twenties’ night at the Eccles Hotel, Glengarriff – at which two guest chefs will be preparing the 20’s inspired menu while guests arrive styled to suit!

Clonakilty native and CEO of Bórd Bia, Tara McCarthy, who officially launched the Festival last week said; “It is so wonderful to see so many talented food producers, chefs and entrepreneurs from across West Cork, Ireland and the globe, coming together to celebrate Irish food, and particularly West Cork food at its best.

West Cork and food need little introduction, just as West Cork and innovation need very little introduction.  When you come in to Sklibbereen, you realise it’s the first gigabyte town in Ireland, and when you look at West Cork from a food perspective it’s very similar.  For example, one hundred per cent of Clonakilty’s farmers are the first in the dairy sector where 100 per cent of them have signed up to Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme, which is the world’s first sustainability programme. Another example is that, in Bord Bia we work with 1,000 companies where 190 of them are from West Cork so it just shows you the depth of the innovation that comes from here. In short, it is always with pride that we are associated with events, innovation, commitment and ambition that comes from West Cork.

I feel honoured to have been asked to launch such a prestigious and exciting Festival and very much look forward to September’s jam-packed series of events.”

As part of the Festival, the West Cork Creates exhibition will open at the O’Driscoll building in Skibbereen at 1pm on Saturday, August 5 and run throughout the festival. This creative display will be launched in Cork airport on Thursday, August 3 showcasing what the exhibition will have to offer in West Cork.

Conferences, forums and talks are an integral component to A Taste of West Cork Food Festival, with this year being no exception by hosting ‘The Future of Fairs and Markets in Ireland’ conference on Friday, September 8 in West Cork Hotel, Ilen Street, Skibbereen. Presented by Madeline McKeever, in conjunction with the Skibbereen Farmers market Committee, speakers will include Darina Allen, Ciaran Casey, Gerald Kelleher, and more.

Back to motivate and inspire, the ever changing and ever relevant ‘New Directions for West Cork’ forum, chaired by Lord David Puttnam takes place on September 16 at Baltimore Sailing Club. The forum takes a local focus this year and examines new developments for the West Cork area.

Also returning is last year’s hugely popular ‘Fiction Fads and Phonies’ conference – held by Paul Treyvaud of Treyvaud’s Restaurant, Marie Power of The Sea Gardener, and Niamh O’Connor of Cork Nutrition. And for health conscious foodies, nutritionist Majella O’Neill will discuss key dietary and life-style changes that can have a fundamental impact on health and vitality at the Our Food; Our Future Food is Medicine, Medicine is Food talk.

A Taste of West Cork Food Festival Chair, Helen Collins told us “I am so proud of the unity that West Cork has displayed in coming together to promote this unique region of which we love and want to share. Year in, year out, it never ceases to amaze me that there is such a plethora of talent and support around the Festival. Our fabulous supporters and ambassadors  will take A Taste of West Cork Food Festival to yet another level by putting their own unique stamp on the best of West Cork’s produce.

We have three cornerstones to our annual Festival and they include; the unity of West Cork from Bandon to Beara across thirty six towns and villages and eight islands; the magic ingredients of West Cork from food producers, restaurants, stately homes, islands and gardens, and of course; our Guest Chef Programme which creates excitement for the customer, the venue and the local food producers, making these visiting chefs natural ambassadors for our great produce.

I look forward to a busy September ahead and I hope that the visitors to this year’s Festival will enjoy all it has to offer – especially the food glorious food!”    

The Festival is supported by Cork County Council, Fáilte Ireland, Fields of Skibbereen, Bord Bia, Sean and Rose O’Driscoll and many other supporting sponsors and patrons from the region and elsewhere.

To book accommodation/events, to see the full A Taste of West Cork Food Festival programme online, or to buy a recently launched West Cork Artisan Food Guide featuring the best that West Cork has to offer, see www.atasteofwestcork.com.

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Bandon Walled Town Festival in looking for new ideas!
Would you like to get involved in the 2018 Festival?If you yourself would like to be involved in big or small way
email bandonwalledtown@gmail.com
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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26th September, 2017  ·  

Dúchas Clonakilty's first lecture for the Autumn promises to be of huge interest to all: Emerging from the Shadow of Tom Crean – The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Thursday September 28th 8.30pm.

Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
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7th September, 2017  ·  

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