The Buffalo Tasting Evening in The Mills Inn.
"Failte roimh gach einne chuig an Dinnear Speisialta. Ta suil againn go mbainsidh sibh taithneamh as an ocaid seo."
These were the words of greeting as we arrived at the Mills Inn in Ballyvourney for the first ever tasting dinner for the local Toons Bridge buffalo meat. We certainly enjoyed the occasion which started with Don O’Leary of the Mills introducing us to the men behind the buffalo venture, Toby Simmons (The Real Olive Company) and Johnny Lynch (farmer).
It all started over a drink just three years ago. There was some trepidation about the buffalo, that the Irish wouldn't take to them. But, as Toby said last night, everybody is fascinated by the buffalo. And that was underlined when the farm was the subject of TG4 documentary Cogar: Buabhaill ar na Bánta (Where the Buffaloes Roam).
Don O'Leary said the joint venture by the two local men has been an inspiration to people in the area and has been an eye-opener. It could lead to a few more entrepreneurs starting up and indeed there is one venture currently brewing, involving local skill and ingredients, that may well be up and running by Christmas. We’ll keep you posted!