Billed as Ireland’s largest food festival, A Taste of West Cork Food Festival, which runs from September 7-16, launched its wide-ranging programme of events on July 4 at Castle Freke.
With West Cork being awarded the No. 1 Foodie Destination 2017 by The Restaurant Association of Ireland, and the festival being the showcase of the region for the award, the Festival now brings its culinary reputation to new heights with the arrival of six chefs from the USA. This is a welcome outcome following the introduction of the Cork to Providence/Boston flights, which brings the Festival to a new international level.
With 34 guest chefs, 23 guest speakers, and a plethora of events for families, friends, couples, and food-lovers alike, it’s no wonder the Winner of US MasterChef 2017, Shaun O’Neale and his fellow chefs are eager to hit the West Cork shores and share their experiences with the expected 30,000 visitors to the region during the 10-day festival.
The 10-day Festival now offers the largest number of events it has ever undertaken, with 255 culinary and adventure events across the region’s 41 towns and villages and eight islands.
Shaping up to be the most exciting and enticing 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.
Conferences, forums and talks are an integral component to A Taste of West Cork Food Festival, with this year being no exception where The West Cork Forum ‘West Cork Paradox – Famine to Feast – Survival to Innovation’ takes place on Saturday, September 8 at Baltimore Sailing Club, Chaired by Lord David Puttnam and featuring guest speakers such as European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Affairs Phil Hogan, Intel Ireland General Manager Eamonn Sinnott, Food On The Edge and Chef/Owner at Aniar Galway JP McMahon, President at Glenn Dimplex Sean O’Driscoll.
The launch event at the iconic gothic landmark Castle Freke saw an attendance in excess of 220 people drawn from West Cork, Ireland and beyond. Speaking at the launch, Chairman of A Taste of West Cork Food Festival, Helen Collins said;
“The unity that West Cork has displayed in coming together to promote this unique region which we love and want to share makes me incredibly proud. There is such a plethora of talent and support around the Festival year in, year out, it really never ceases to amaze me. Our fabulous supporters and ambassadors this year 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. And…it is going to be phenomenal to have our USA guest Chefs here to show us how they will work with our produce and share their tricks of the trade.
“We have three cornerstones to our annual Festival and they include; the unity of West Cork from Bandon to Beara across forty-one 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!”
To book accommodation/events, to see the full A Taste of West Cork Food Festival programme online, or to buy a West Cork Artisan Food Guide featuring the best that West Cork has to offer, see www.atasteofwestcork.com
To win two return flights to Providence, Rhode Island, USA with Norwegian Air, Courtesy of Cork Airport and A Taste to West Cork Food Festival, pick up your copy of the Programme and like and share their competition on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/atasteofwestcork
Pictured above at the launch of ‘A Taste of West Cork Food Festival’ 2018, at Castle Freke were (l-r) Helen Collins, Chairperson of the Festival, Tim Lucey, Chief Executive of Cork County Council, and Fiona Field, Manager of the Festival. Billed as Ireland’s largest food festival, it will host 255 culinary and adventure events across 41 towns and villages and eight islands from 7-16 September.