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Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Festival Cork are in their second year now and have once again teamed up with Taste Cork to bring:
Taste Cork Week 2017, October 16th- 22nd And for the first time this year, an extended special “Taste Jazz” 23rd-26th October
There are almost 40 venues signed up this year all showcasing the best local produce our county has to offer! There are some fantastic events on across the week all of which are listed on our website www.festivalcork.com
Here’s just a taster of what the week holds: (please see our calendar for full list)
Wednesday 18th October, Electric Cork host a “Meet the Producers” event, giving people the chance to meet some of Cork's best producers, and of course sample their products. Tickets €25
Monday 16th October, Casanova Gelato are giving 6 lucky people the chance to become a Gelato maker for the day, with exclusive behind the scenes opportunity into the world of making ice cream! Tickets limited €55
Wednesday 18th October, Ballyvolane House host a distillery tour and lunch
Sunday 15th October, Longueville House offer an exclusive tour of their orchard and a very special Harvest Lunch
17th and 18th of October, Franciscan Well Brewpub will be hosting beer and whiskey tasting sessions
On The Pig's Back will be hosting cheese tasting session all week long in both The English Market and Douglas
Friday 20th October, Black Brewery are doing a tap take over in The Bierhaus
October 19th, Ballymaloe House have teamed up with Jameson Whiskey to host a supper club
October 17th, Holy Smoke are having a Taste Cork BBQ with craft beer and whiskey
For all tickets and info, and all other events please visit our website or Facebook page
Taste Jazz We have a series of very exciting pop ups for our extension of Taste Cork week with Guinness and Diageo, in the fantastic new Nano Nagle Place
Monday 23rd October 2017 - Seamus O'Connell of Ivory Tower presents “Tastescapes” Tuesday 24th October 2017 – Flavour.ie and Pamela Kelly of Market Lane present “From the Producer to the Plate”
Wednesday 25th October 2017 – The Fish Bar@The Electric presents “Plateau de fruits de Mer”
Thursday 26th October 2017 – Good Day Deli presents “Sustainable Foods with South Pacific Flavour” SOLD OUT!!
We are also featuring some great Jazz events in city venues:
Electric, Thursday 26th October, Free finger food and The Loungeman
Holy Smoke,Wednesday 25th October, “Jazz Cuts” A night of whiskey, steaks and live jazz The Raven, Wednesday 25th October, the newly refurbished Raven will host a cocktail evening
Sober Lane, Thursday 26th October, Roe and Co Whiskey Tasting and live music
And keep an eye out for our “Jazz Cafes” with some live music lunches across the city!
For up to date info and bookings, check the Festival website here
Monday, September 18, 2017
Taste Cork Week. Plus!
Jazz Extension Added
|The perfect cider pour by Rupert of Longueville House|
Following last year’s success, Taste Cork Week returns next month. Indeed, it will run for more than a week with an extension that takes it up to the eve of the Jazz Weekend.
At the launch last week, in Nano Nagle Place, the spanking new major attraction right in the heart of the city, Ernest Cantillon of Festival Cork told us to watch out for some of the more informal events: jazz cafes, a distillery visit in a barn, and pop ups in unusual places.
|Ernest Cantillon of Festival Cork|
One or more of those pop ups will be in the café in the peaceful gardens of Nano Nagle. Keep an eye on the Taste Cork website here for more details of all events.
Evenings with guest chefs always seem to be popular. One of the highlights from last year was in Isaac’s when Arun Kapil, founder of award-winning spice company Green Saffron, Chef Patron Canice Sharkey along with restaurant co-owners Michael and Catherine Ryan, hosted an exclusive sold-out spice pop-up at the Cork city institution in McCurtain Street.
Holy Smoke are one of the first up this year with an invite “to embark on a unique gourmet journey and experience the best of Irish BBQ cuisine, prepared with the local meat that is cooked in Holy Smoke’s signature barbecue-style, low-n-slow, for four to sixteen hours”.
Pitmasters John Relihan and Decky Walsh will serve up an exquisite six-course meal on October 17th and will walk you through the secrets and preparation techniques behind each dish while Caroline Hennessy will masterfully guide you through the pairing of each dish, presenting and explaining the corresponding whiskey or craft beer.
Justin Green, and Bertha’s Revenge of course, were at the launch. And Justin has an event lined up at Ballyvolane House. It will kick-off at 12 noon (October 18th) with a B&T (Bertha & Tonic) and as soon as everyone has arrived, guests will be given a tour of the house, gardens and gin distillery.
Lunch will be served at 1pm in the dining terrace where guests can meet and chat with the makers over lunch. Stonewell Cider and Eight Degrees Brewing will also be involved and tipples produced by all three makers will be served during lunch.
So there you are, a nice trip to the countryside. As Ernest Cantillon said in his address the event is designed to bring city and county together and indeed both were officially represented on the night.
|Lorna Conroy of|
Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald pointed to the fact that Cork has been designated as a Healthy City and put that down largely to the good food in the area. He stressed the importance of festivals in drawing visitors and said he was very proud of what Ernest and his colleagues are doing.
Ian Doyle, Deputy County Mayor, rightly congratulated the City Council on the marvellous work that they have done (and are continuing to do) at Nano Nagle Place, “a fantastic venue”. He noted that artisan food and drink are becoming very important and praised the great dedication shown by the producers.
Ernest said there is a great relationship between businesses, such as restaurants and hotels and suppliers. “Cork is well known for the quality of its produce and it is up to us to make sure we use it.”
Shane Clarke, of Nano Nagle Place, gave us a brief rundown of the life of Nano Nagle and of the current project and said there had been some 250 years of education on the site, an element they intend to take forward. And he too mentioned their lovely cafe and is looking forward to the pop-ups during the festival. The Nano Nagle has just recently opened and is well worth a visit. Details here.
As is usual with Taste Cork, there were quite a few producers in Nano Nagle: Cider from Stonewell and Longueville, spirits from Bertha’s Revenge, Kinsale and St Patrick’s, Kinsale Bay and the Fish Deli (great to meet up again with Monica and Peter), Bluebell Falls, Hassett’s, On the Pigs Back, and Ballymaloe Relish. And the Old Butter Roads Food Trail had a lovely tasting plate. Well done to all for turning up and adding to the occasion.
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Electric Breakfast For Taste CorkProducers, Restaurateurs Pull Together
|The local plate!|
Taste Cork, set up with supports from the Local Enterprise Offices in Cork, Cork City Council and Cork County Council, and other state agencies, held a Breakfast Seminar at Electric in the South Mall yesterday morning.
The goal of Taste Cork is to help the county nurture its enviable status as an iconic food brand and that was underlined with the produce on the breakfast plate: Jack McCarthy’s bacon, O’Flynn’s Breakfast sausage, Rosscarbery Black pudding, Ballyhoura mushroom, East Ferry Fried eggs and Ballymaloe Relish. Electric’s own brown bread went down well while other highlights were Wilkie's Organic Hot Chocolate and Bean Brownies Banana Bread.
Taste Cork, fronted by Rebecca O’Keeffe, is determined to get Cork produce the exposure it deserves, to help the local producers as much as possible. And one practical way is the opening, in a few days, of the Cork Incubator Kitchen in the Carrigaline Industrial Estate (on the Crosshaven Road).
|A breakfast highlight (above) and|
another, Wilkie's hot chocolate, below.
Brendan Russell has taken on the management reins here and told the full house of producers and restaurateurs in Electric that the facility will have two kitchens. One is the Bakery Kitchen, fully equipped, with a state of the art triple deck oven the highlight. The other is called the Catering Kitchen. This will be for preparation work in volume and equipment here includes a quick vacuum packer and a sealing machine.
The website will soon be up and running and that will make it easy to register. Brendan, who has spent 16 years as a chef, has a good understanding as to why businesses succeed (and fail) and education will also feature under the following headings:
1 - Theory of Practicality;
2 - Business Understanding;
3- Catering Skills;
4 - Work Relations.
The event was opened by Sean O’Sullivan and he was delighted that funding had been provided for the full-time position in Taste Cork. Both he and Rebecca are looking forward to getting everyone “to start looking locally”. And so say all of us. You can see my motto on the site here: Buy local, fresh and fair. The more we pull together, the further we will go.
Kevin Aherne is one man who has been doing exactly this for the past five years and his innovative 12 Mile Menu was recognised by his peers on Tuesday evening in Killarney when his Sage Restaurant in Midleton won Restaurant of the Year in Cork.
Kevin spoke later at the seminar and we’ll have a post on that tomorrow. Mary Daly (Food Safety Company) also spoke in Electric and she too stressed the importance of local: “Provenance is hugely important. Taste Cork can play a big role.” More too from Mary tomorrow. Part Two is now up and running and you can see what Kevin and Mary said here.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
|Fish in Garvey's SuperValu, Dingle|
Blas na hEireann 2015 Award Winners
Spotlight on Best in County Awards
|Ger Kirwan of Goatsbridge Trout Farm|
Year on year, the awarding of Best in County Awards has been growing as a part of the Blas na hEireann Awards in Dingle every October. These awards are presented by the the Local Enterprise Office from the various counties and are much appreciated by the winners.
Blas: “The winners of these awards have reported that being recognised in their own counties has been vital to their businesses where a large portion of their sales are made locally, either in stores or farmers markets.” And it is not just the awards, important as they are, that are appreciated by the producers. They also very much appreciate the support that they receive throughout the year from their Local Enterprise Office.
Actually one of the Local Enterprise officers Joe English let slip that food producers may already have a foot in the door. He said the offices find it hard to resist when someone comes in with good things to eat. You get their attention straight away! So there you are, if you are a food producer, make a beeline for your local office.
Like the Blas awards in general, this shorter list from the Local Enterprise offices reflect the trends happening across the Irish food and drink scene. Here you see craft brewers, gin distillers, sushi makers, cider makers, all relatively new to the stage but, of course, bakers, black pudding makers and, very importantly, chocolate makers also feature.
|Joe's Farm Crisps|
Increasingly, the winning products, either Blas or Local Enterprise, are ending up in prominent position in supermarkets. While walking around Dingle on Saturday morning, I was urged by Walter Ryan-Purcell of Loughbeg Farm, whose Oat Loaf has been a great success in Cork and Kerry Supervalu's, to take a look in the supermarket just behind me.
|Jim's Kerrs Pink in Garvey's|
Garvey’s was something of a revelation. It was completely revamped last May and looks brilliant, spacious and bright, with a great layout. And, encouragingly for me, there were lots and lots of what is loosely called “artisan” food. They love their spuds in Kerry, grow some terrific ones up around Ballydavid and Ballyferriter, even have annual hotly contested tastings, and local spuds and veg were prominent.
Then I took a look at one of the cheese displays, seeing Dingle Gold, Crozier Blue (one of my favourites and a Blas winner) along with their own brand cheeses. They have a very inviting fish display, most of it fresh from the nearby seas. But right smack bang in the middle were fillets of the farmed trout from Kilkenny’s Goatsbridge, a winner at Blas this year.
|Cathal of De Roiste|
On a shelf nearby, I spotted Longueville cider and the local Cronin's cider, beers by Eight Degrees and Galway Bay Brewery. Lots of foreign beers too but at least the Irish were up there, battling shoulder to shoulder. And naturally enough, Dingle gin and vodka has a display case to itself!
I’m told quite a few SuperValu managers are visiting Garvey’s to see what the future looks like. Looks pretty good for Irish producers to me, even if my look-around was far from forensic. Not all producers go the Blas route but a win in Dingle (be it gold, silver or bronze, or recognition by your county) is a boost to the producer and quite possibly a boost to his or her sales figures as well.
Best in County Awards 2015
Best in Carlow: Sunshine Juice
Best in Farmers Market: The Chocolate Garden of Ireland
Best in County: Aran Ard Teo – Gallaghers
Best in Farmers Market: Mallow Mia
Best in Galway: Galway Hooker Brewery
Best in Farmers Market: Tribal Foods
Best in Kerry: O’Donnells
Best in Farmers Market: Dingle Sushi
Best in Kildare: Aedamar’s Lemon Curd
Best in Farmers Market: L’Art du Chocolat
Best in Louth: Dan Kelly’s Cider
Best in Farmers Market: Daisy’s Pantry
Best in Mayo: Kelly’s of Newport
Best in Meath: Big Red Kitchen
Best in Farmers Market: Blaste & Wilde
Best in Roscommon County: Waldrons
Best in Roscommon Town: Gilligans
Best in Tipperary: Piedmontese Beef
Best in Farmers Market: Ayle Farm Foods
Best in Waterford: Blackwater Distillery
Best in Farmers: Market Pure Food Company
Best in Westmeath: Mr Crumb
Best in Farmers Market: An Olivia Chocolate
Best in Wexford: Wexford Preserves
Best in Farmers Market: Naturally Cordial
Best in Cork South: De Roiste Puddings
Best in Farmers Market: Joe’s Farm Crisps
Best in County Moonriver Chocolates
Best in Farmers Market Silver Darlings
You may see the full list of Blas winners for 2015 here.