The English Market was the appropriate venue as the Good Food Ireland Cork Week was launched by the organisation’s MD and founder Margaret Jeffares last evening.

Over 250 guests turned up and the venue was packed, no one turning down the invite to sample the delights of the south.

Wine and other drinks, along with tempting bites, were available downstairs by the fountain but the main action was upstairs along the U shaped floor of the Farm Gate Cafe which had been divided into a number of stands.

There was so much to taste - no wonder the queue moved slowly. But, with so many good things on offer, the humour was excellent.

Started off on a high standard with Fishy Fishy from Kinsale and then, a blast from the past, a bite of pig’s cheek from Ballymaloe. Took the opportunity to have a quick word with Denis O’Mullane of Liberty Grill where the Lord Mayor Darragh Murphy and his wife Tanya also lingered.

Mairead O’Brien, who had earlier introduced me to her boss Claire Nash of Nash 19, was at their stand as was their talented head chef Pamela. At that stage, my plate was getting packed but I still couldn't resist picking up a few other bits before moving downstairs to eat.

Great to meet so many people involved in putting good things on our plates in their restaurants and via their shops and stalls. O’Keeffe’s of St Luke’s is a brilliant food shop and they were represented by Anne and Donal.

And then there were producers with whom I hadn’t yet crossed paths. Frank Shinnick of the Fermoy Natural Cheese Company is one such and then there was a smiling twosome from the Apple Farm in Cahir whose sparkling apple juice was one of the highlights of the evening. We’ll be following those two producers in the future along with many more on the comprehensive list proved by Good Food Ireland.

Well, that was Monday night and now we have the rest of the week to sample the €15.00 plateful and included glass of wine in the participating establishments! More info at


Thank you very much for your kind comments about The Apple Farm and our juice. It is nice to get positive feedback.
Con Traas