Free Lunch for Visitors to A Taste of West Cork Food Festival!

Free Lunch for Visitors to A Taste of West Cork Food Festival!

As part of the Gathering initiative and to welcome international and local visitors, the popular Taste of West Cork Food Festival 2013 (now in its 10th year) is offering guests a delicious West Cork lunch – absolutely free! From the 6th-15th September participating restaurants in Skibbereen, Baltimore, Glandore, Union Hall, Leap and Casteltownshend will each showcase a specific product from West Cork; a nationally recognised region with a proud reputation for producing some of the best artisan food in Ireland. Discerning gourmands can, with proof of travel or accommodation, obtain vouchers for their free lunch (sponsored by Field’s Supervalu) from the Festival Box Office.
This year's Festival brings together a unique mix of food markets and demonstrations, cookery competitions, special dinners, brunches and banquets, food-tastings, movies, talks, walks, music, exhibitions, and several children's events. Festival highlights include a Growing Awareness project, the famous Skibbereen Farmer’s Market, the prestigious Belling West Cork Artisan Food Awards and visits to stately homes and gardens in the region. The star performer at the Festival is West Cork itself! 

The Growing Awareness Project, running throughout the festival, educates and inspires budding foodies in the essential skills of growing in its many and varied aspects, going back to the source of all fresh produce. The project will feature a series of dramatic, life-size vignettes depicting the History of Pizza, from the growing of wheat in Africa over 10,000 years ago right through to the making of the very first pizza in Ireland in 1954. A Growers Seminar on Saturday 9th September will include eminent guest speakers Guy Watson of Riverford Farm, UK, whose farms produce over 47,000 crates of fresh organic vegetables each week, and Eoin Lettice of UCC.  This seminar will be a stimulating bed of discussion and growing topics, and is sure to germinate new ideas!

On Saturday 7th & 14th September, visitors can enjoy strolling through the Skibbereen Farmers Market. From9.30am – 1.30pm the market features a wonderful variety of fresh fruit and vegetable stalls, baked goods and an array of other local produce.  Meandering amongst the vendors and stalls heaving with fresh produce, sampling the honey, preserves and cheeses, etc. is a beloved past time for the locals and during Festival season the market really becomes a must–see!

Sat 7th of September will also see the commencement of the inaugural Belling Forum, set up to form a think tank which will formulate a 5-year action plan for the region entitled How to Achieve Universal Recognition for the West Cork region.  Opinion leaders and those who are influential in the development of West Cork will discuss the future opportunities for the food, tourism, educational and IT industries. 

The Belling West Cork Artisan Awards recognises and acknowledges the huge contribution that West Cork Artisan Food Producers have made over the past twenty five years and continue to do so. The Awards, held on Saturday 7th September, also offer an opportunity and incentive to new producers to strive harder in rigorously pursuing the best product in their category, be it baked goods, confectionary, dairy, fruit and vegetables, etc. Winners of the awards will each receive €5,000, including a bursary for a student engaged in developing a new product. These Awards reward the effort, passion, thought and hard work that people put into achieving unique products.

Festival Chairwoman  Helen Collins, said, ‘West Cork is the natural home for a festival celebrating artisan foods and showcasing a delicious array of foodstuffs prepared with great taste, health, and best practice in mind. We look forward to welcoming visitors from near and far in what we hope will be the biggest and best festival yet.’

Surrounded by market towns famed for their farming and fishing communities this premier showcase festival has, over the years, steadily increased tourist numbers to West Cork who come to experience the carnival atmosphere that pervades the town during the festival. It is an ideal location from which to explore the beautiful Cork countryside and partake in numerous activities including, golf, horse riding, whale watching, kayaking, deep sea angling, etc. The Taste of West Cork Festival is fast becoming a not to be missed event in the international food calendar; a festival that brings together the entire food producing community in West Cork to celebrate all the West Cork has to offer. Other festival highlights include daily interactive workshops, tours to organic farms, scenic walks, food tastings, cookery demonstrations, award winning restaurants offering themed evenings, with the grand finale of the festival; the free Sunday Street Market.  This Market showcases the myriad of West Cork artisan food & craftspeople, with food tastings, street theatre, music and opportunities to chill out and enjoy the atmosphere.  Come and enjoy the magic of all that is West Cork – arrive as a visitor and leave as a friend!

‘There is such as a thing as a free lunch’ vouchers are limited, so visitors should ensure they call to the Festival Box Office on arrival in Skibbereen to avoid disappointment. See the full festival programme online at;