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- Taste Cork Week 2017
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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, August 24, 2017
Amazing Week Coming Soon
Cork County Mayor, Declan Hurley, was in the Malthouse of the Midleton Distillery last Tuesday to help launch FEAST, the East Cork Food and Drink Festival. The Mayor, well used to the Taste of West Cork Festival, encouraged those involved in FEAST to keep it local.
Kevin Aherne spoke on behalf of FEAST and he too stressed that provenance had to be a key factor in the festival. Not too much point in a local food festival unless the local food and drink is at the heart of it.
This is the first time that the former Midleton festival has been marketed as FEAST and the hope is to spread it even further in the East Cork area in the future. And to do that, even more sponsorship will be necessary.
For now, the committee are grateful for the help coming from Irish Distillers, Cork County Council, Secad, Red FM, Taste Cork, Ireland’s Ancient East, Jim Crowley, Midleton Park Hotel, Market Green, Ballymaloe Relish, East Cork Journal, Pallas, Sage, Cully & Sully and Wiser Recycling.
The cooperative spirit behind the venture was well illustrated on the menu for the evening and we enjoyed a lovely four course meal in the Malthouse. The Farmgate produced the starter, a delicious combination of Ballycotton Seafood smoked salmon, crushed mint potato salad, caper and citrus dressing.
No shortage of wine as the evening progressed to the Ferrit and Lee main course: Beef feather blade marinated with Jameson, fondant potato, celeriac purée, roast onion, baby carrots and thyme jus. Perfect.
Conversation left and right at this stage, live music too, as dessert appeared, courtesy of Sage: Sixty four per cent Midleton chocolate delice, brittle, butterscotch. Say no more!
And on then to the Malthouse cheese board: Ballinrostig Gouda, Bo Rua Cheddar, and Ballymaloe Chutney. And we finished as we had started. With whiskey. On arrival, there was the perfect Jameson serve with ginger ale and lime. And the finalé was a glass of Black Barrel, one of my favourites from Jameson, so called because the barrels are well charred!
Thanks to Irish Distillers, John Wall, Frank Murphy, Village Greengrocer and Wilkies Chocolate, who also had an input in the meal.
Time for the taxis then and to look forward to the big week that begins on Monday, September 4th. You can see the daily highlights here http://www.corkbilly.com/2017/08/feast-in-east-midleton-festival-expands.html, lots of evening meals.
But the closing Saturday, beginning in Midleton at 11.00am is a big day and is indeed billed as the major event. The main street will be packed with stalls and, this year, you’ll have a long table to sit down, relax and eat some of the goodies on sale. No doubt there’ll be tasty bites too from the restaurant tent and the farmers market. And the children will have their own area with music shows, puppets and amusements.
And the FEAST demo marquee has a long list of demos including one with Justin Greene on Bertha’s Revenge Gin, a sourdough demo by top baker Patrick Ryan, a seafood masterclass by Ciaran Scully, an invite to her kitchen by Lilly Higgins and then a East v West cook-off between Kevin Aherne and Marin Shanahan (Fishy Fishy).
If you still have any energy left, then get yourself into the courtyard in Sage on Sunday for a #12 mile BBQ with music, fun and a “BBQ that Midleton has never seen before”.
|September sunshine on the menu. (Sage photo)|
Thursday, June 29, 2017
The Cork Character Café Series
supported by Taste Cork
A Celebration of Cork’s Summer Bounty
Cork Character Cafes across the county will be telling the next chapter in the Story of Cork Food from Sunday 2nd July – Saturday 8 July. This time the celebration is of “Cork’s Summer Bounty” through specially created, seasonal and local dishes, displays and storytelling.
It is peak summer in Ireland’s most southerly county. The ingredients these independently owned and committed cafes draw on come from the sea and shores spanning Castletownbere to Ballycotton; the wild hedgerows in every corner of the county and the fruits and vegetables cultivated by the many skilled small growers and bigger established farmers. All benefit from Cork’s long coastline, fertile fields and temperate climate. All are accessible, to locals and visitors alike, though the transformative skill of Cork’s food producers and everyday food providers like Lettercollum Kitchen Project and Sticky Bun in Clonakilty, Idaho Café and Nash 19 in Cork City, Urru in Bandon, The Old Blarney Post Office Café, The Stuffed Olive in Bantry, Kalbos in Skibbereen and Budds Ballydehob.
The Cork Character Café Series, led by owner of Urru Culinary Store and Failte Ireland food champion, Ruth Healy, aims to gradually build consumer awareness of what makes Cork food ‘Cork’ and to promote where people can access Cork food in its most authentic form. Throughout the year, the cafés will champion various themes in order to effectively showcase the outstanding variety of producers in Cork.
Rebecca O’Keeffe, Taste Cork, says “In honour of summer and all that it brings, the Cork Character Cafés are back to celebrate this wonderful season. We are delighted to support Ruth Healy’s initiative to tell Cork’s Food Story, and endeavour to work together with the great cafes of Cork to continuously connect the consumer with the seasons and our local produce”.
Participating cafes celebrating Cork’s Summer Bounty:
Urru Café & Culinary Store, Bandon
Urru will be sharing complimentary taster dishes during lunchtime showcasing Cork’s Summer Bounty, as well as creating a vibrant, live Cork Summer Bounty Display for touching, smelling and tasting.
Idaho Café, Cork City
“This summer, as every summer, we LOVE Cork strawberries.
We will be serving a simple sundae, using Cork strawberries, freshly baked shortbread and soft ice cream from our pop up ice cream bar.
We will also be serving a Cork version of the Niçoise salad - Ballycotton New Potatoes, Union Hall Smoked Tuna and our own hen's free range eggs, served with local leaves.
It is Cork on a plate, and we love celebrating the humble potato, especially at this time of year.” - Richard & Mairead Jacob, Idaho Café, Cork City
“Taste & savour the true taste of West Cork here at Budds, Ballydehob, this summer.
All our fresh produce comes from within a few miles of the restaurant which include:
- Bob Allen of Kilkilleen Organics
- Lea Miklody of Coolcaha gardens
- Tim York of Lisheen Organics
- Smoked meats and fine cheese from Gubbeen farm & smokehouse
- Smoked fish from Sally Barnes of Woodcock Smokery
- Cheeses from Milleens/ Durrus/ Macroom & Toonsbridge
- Fabulous meats from Walsh’s in Skibbereen, Hegarty’s in Schull & Twomey’s in Bantry
- Fresh fish from the fish station Skibbereen
We will be incorporating all these wonderful ingredients to create our daily changing menus throughout the summer and pairing them with local craft beers & cider.” - Jamie Budd, Budd’s Café & Restaurant, Ballydehob
|Lettercollum love their beetroot!|
The Old Blarney Post Office Café
“We will be showcasing our homemade Elderflower Cordial. Pop in to enjoy a range of delicious Elderflower drinks” – Lenka Forrest, The Old Blarney Post Office Cafe
Kalbos Café grow all their own salads, tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs & new potatoes which are all just coming into the kitchen now. Kalbos will be promoting them in lots of delicious salads next week.
Lettercollum Kitchen Project
“We will be celebrating beetroot - we have plenty growing in our garden!
We will be making beetroot soup, muffins, hummus, cakes and salads the special feature of the week.” – Karen Austin, Lettercollum Kitchen Project, Clonakilty
On the Pig’s Back
On the Pig’s Back will be featuring a delicious Strawberry, Mascarpone & Lime Tart on their menu during Summer Bounty Week.
Nash 19 will be showcasing the seasonal bounty of beautiful local salad leaves in all their natural and varied glory.
With details to follow from The Stuffed Olive (Bantry), Ali’s Kitchen (Cork City), and The Sticky Bun, (Clonakilty)
Share the online celebration via @corkcuisine and @tastecork on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and enjoy the actual celebration of Cork’s Summer Bounty in Cork Character Cafes from Sunday 2 July – Saturday 8 July.
About the Community of Cork Character Cafés
The community of Cork Character Cafes is evolving as the collective platform for sharing Cork’s distinctive, casual food and hospitality experiences. The Community is becoming progressively active on social media (#ThisIsCorkFood @corkcuisine), the Cork Character Café Series (specific Cork food themes on menus and activities in cafes) and pop up café experiences in novel venues across the year.
Monday, May 29, 2017
Richard's Little Farm Delivers
Richard’s Little Farm deliver their organic vegetables to top restaurants such as Greene’s and Elbow Lane. But you too can become a regular customer by signing up for the regular vegetable box scheme!
Richard Hooton has been growing his own food for many years and decided to set up Richard’s Little Farm after completing a Masters degree in Organic Horticulture at UCC.
The farm, established in 2015, is situated in Hazelwood, Mallow, Co. Cork where he produces over 20 different varieties of vegetables, salads, herbs and fruit. Everything produced on the farm is grown only as nature intended, without the use of artificial pesticides, herbicides or fertilisers.
All the crops are grown and harvested by hand and sold locally at the Mallow Farmers Market (Friday 9am- 1pm) and the Nano Nagle Centre in Killavullen (every second Saturday 10:30am- 1pm) and also in local shops and restaurants. And, as we all know, vegetables are always so much better when harvested fresh and used in season.
That Vegetable Box scheme is seasonal of course so will vary from time to time. You may receive updates each week via text, Facebook, email or Twitter. Then you pick what you want and, freshly harvested, it is delivered to your doorstep free of charge! You can sign up via the Facebook Page or by contacting Richard at 087 281 2054.
With just an acre to work from, this farmer sometimes has to think outside the box. Caught for space? Do what Richard did and start planting your salads in a length of gutter!
Richard is one of quite a few North Cork producers that I saw at The Taste Cork tent in the Mallow Home and Garden Festival at the weekend. One visitor asked him how he started, what did he need. “Oh, just a patch of land and a broad back,” he joked. A bit of get up (early) and go too, I reckon.
|Other local producers at the show included Ballyhoura Apples (above)|
and Longueville House cider and brandy.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Gonna be A Burger of a Week
Big and Bad Boys to Rock Cork
The first Cork Burger Festival runs from January 30th until February 5th. The local cafes and restaurants have climbed aboard in impressive numbers and, if you love your burger, you are going to have some tremendous choices over the week. Below you'll find a selection of what is on offer. More details on the Festival Facebook page here.
The White Horse in Ballincollig have a Seven Day Burger Battle on, with a tasty clash each night. Friday's duel between the Texan and the Mexican looks saucy with a repeat thrown in on Saturday if you want to switch sides.
Soho Bar have joined in the fun with their Three Rebels, three different sliders and a pint of beer for a tenner.
If you’re in Son of a Bun, watch out for the Wonka ticket. Each burger special you order on this fantabulous week will be hiding a Son of a Wonka ticket. If you happen to be the lucky winner of one of their 7 golden tickets you will be in for a treat! “For the next 5 months you will get to have our burger of the month on us!” Limit 1 burger each month per ticket holder.
New Douglas restaurant, 12 Tables, are running a Burger Battle Royale. On one plate you've got the Mick O’ and, on the other, its The Big Fella. That’ll take some sorting.
If you’re up to big, then maybe the Oliver Plunket is the place to be. Here’s the challenge. The Big Boy (he who dares, WINS) 32oz burger topped with Bandon Vale cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onions served with a side of fries; €30, finish it and it's FREE!
If you can't make it to a restaurant, Davidson’s Craft Butchers have offers on burgers all week. Keep up to date here.
You’ll find the Great Griffin in Dripsey at Griffin's Garden Centre. It looks tempting. Check out their Facebook page for giveaways.
And be sure too to tie up the horse at the Bad Boys where you can tuck into their 8oz Smoked Rodeo Burger topped with Chilli Con Carne Cheese and Sour cream. Bad!
The Meatball Place are also on board with a selection of Speciality Burgers, not just for the week, but for the month!
Nine Market Street in Kinsale are doing a four-course Burger meal (dessert is an ice-cream burger). A fab meal at a great price of €25.00 the lot. Date is Saturday the 4th from 6.00pm.
Lots more places involved including the Silly Goose (with Ali’s Kitchen). Check it all out on festival’s Facebook page here.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Spice Night at Isaac's
Taste Tingling Tuesday
That fun element set the tone for the convivial occasion as we introduced ourselves to our fellow diners and the food, part of a terrific five course meal designed by Arun, began to arrive. First up was a very impressive Amuse Bouche: Irish Salmon Tataki, with smoked aubergine caviar, ginger,mint and coriander. Smooth, cool and delicious, a foretaste of what was to come.
Time then for a sweet finish: Chocolate ‘orange spice’ Mousse and crème fraiche. “I love desserts,” declared the ever enthusiastic Arun as he extended a big thank you to Rebecca of Taste Cork “who encouraged us” and as he led a big cheer for the kitchen team.
Check here for Green Saffron recipes
Taste Tingling Tuesday
‘Taste Cork’ week hit the high-spots in Isaac’s on Tuesday night 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.
First though, there was a bit of consternation when we were given a DIY task, to construct our own ‘Nibble’. That soon turned to fun as we tapped an opening into the Puri shell, filled it with chickpea and potato mix and seasoned it with either Spiced Vodka and Tamarind ‘water or chilli relish. Or both.
The starter was another gorgeous dish: Spiced crab cakes with a cucumber and turmeric pickle. I really enjoyed a few bites of the crab cake without the pickle but the latter certainly added to the sensory sensations.
Next up was the mains, a celebration of Canice’s passion for the finest Irish ingredients livened with Arun’s unique take on flavours and inimitable use of fresh spice, sourced by his cousin and team Green Saffron from family farms in India.
The main event was Rajput ‘split and grilled’ red leg partridge, almond, asafoetida pilau, plum and fennel fruit ‘lunji’, with onion and parsnip Pakoras. Another super dish, a lovely combination of textures and flavours, the partridge enhanced no end by the lunji (chutney) and the pakoras, all washed down - at least mine was - by a Carl Ehrhard Rüdesheim Riesling Kabinett Feinherb 2015, Rheingau (Germany).
Earlier he told us how visiting Ireland, romance and a Ballymaloe cooking course, had set him on the spice route. His stunning spice blends, sauces and chutneys are from spices sourced by family members in Moradabad, India. That romance was with Olive, now his wife, and they started grinding those spices with coffee grinders which weren't quite up to the wear and tear.
Then he started selling in local farmers markets and the rest is history. And more history to be made as this dynamic man plans to make Ireland the spice capital of the western world in the next decade. Watch this space but don’t miss the boat. Get your hands on his spices, now widely available, and liven up your food. Just don't overdo it as he and the Isaac’s team didn't overdo it on Tuesday night. One of the highlights of Taste Cork Week, one of the highlights of the year for me.
Check here for Green Saffron recipes
Friday, March 11, 2016
Taste Cork's Electric Breakfast Part 2:
Plan! Plan! Plan!
And the Nutri Bullet Generation.
|The 12 Mile Menu on a plate at Sage. (Photo 2014)|
It may have been the morning after the night before for Kevin Aherne. But Kevin, who had rushed back from Killarney having seen his Midleton restaurant Sage named as the best in Cork at the Irish Restaurant Awards, was well up for for the Taste Cork Breakfast Seminar in Electric on Wednesday morning.
Once you have your idea fixed, Plan, Plan, Plan. That was his advice to would-be producers and restaurateurs. “It is the same as in the restaurant kitchen: preparation, preparation, preparation!
Kevin's own big idea was of course, his 12 Mile Menu. That came after Sage had been open for three years. So they closed while the new idea was formed and got going again when it was fully formed.
|Jen O'Mahony, Bean Brownie, Kevin O'Connell, Forage and Find,|
and Sarah Sexton, Bean Brownie
So number one for Kevin was to get “your idea”. Why did he not call his plan the Local Menu or the Artisan Menu. “Because those words, though still popular and though they still mean something, are losing weight.”
Once your idea is there and you believe in it, it is now time to get it marketed, to get the message across to your customers. In his case, the restaurant was the platform and he used it to highlight the high level of great produce in East Cork and indeed in Cork county.
“Producers don't always get the credit they deserve”. Up to 26 producers are supplying Kevin's 12 Mile Menu at present and you'll see many of their photos - in work situations - on the walls of Sage.
|Declan Daly, Cork County Council, Mary Daly, Food Safety Company,|
and Rebecca O'Keeffe, Taste Cork
Small producers have to put up with food fraud from time to time with one outlet or another saying this is the genuine article or maybe buying the genuine thing for a week or two and then substituting an import. “It is important that the food label is true. No respect for bullshitters!”
Even though successful, there are always pointed questions. “You don't get everything from within the 12 miles, do you? Why not 20 miles?” Kevin is well used to them by now. He confirmed that all fresh produce comes from within the 12 mile limit; his poultry supplier is on the limit at 11.99 miles! But Kevin has no problem with someone having a twenty miles limit or a fifty mile limit. Not every part of the country has such a concentration of producers as has East Cork. Indeed, Kevin's great idea is obviously open for replication elsewhere.
More about Sage and its 12 Mile Menu here
|Paul O'Brien, Bunnyconnellan Bar and Restaurant,|
and Shannon Keane, Diva Boutique Bakery and Cafe,
After the traditional full Irish (full Cork) at Electric, Mary Daly (of the Food Safety Company) had the task of diverting minds to Changing Trends in Food. “Take the Healthy Option for instance. Smart food operators are onto it. Free From is part of it but much more than that. Lifestyle factors come into it and there are a growing number with allergy intolerance, 10% suffering from it and 20% who think they are! It represents a significant opportunity for the food sector”.
Take the Lifestylers, the “Nutri-Bullet generation”. “They eat out regularly, not necessarily high-end. So promoting healthy foods (less processed, less fattening food) will retain your lifestyle audience.”
“What is driving Free From? How do you give it to them? Eighteen per cent of them chose to eat healthier, not because to have to….they want great taste, guilt free treats and small portions.”
“Calories on menus are coming,” she has no doubt. “Most operators are responding to trends, keen to do the right thing, even if calorie counts aren't that popular. Listen to your customers: clean food, clear labels, and healthy options for kids. Make it your marketing message. It is what the customer wants; this is not a fad.”
Read more on Mary’s thoughts on Food Trends here.
For more background on Taste Cork's Breakfast Seminar see Part One .