Showing posts with label Cork Midsummer Festival. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cork Midsummer Festival. Show all posts

Monday, June 19, 2017

Night of the Long Table. Four Hundred Dine Out on Cork’s South Mall

Night of the Long Table

Four Hundred Dine Out on Cork’s South Mall
Phil (standing) wishes Happy Birthday to fiancée Veronica; they get married today.
A night out to remember for the over four hundred diners who gathered on Cork’s South Mall for an outdoor dinner, the second running of Cork’s Long Table. And the sun came too, making it a glorious occasion for the organisers and their partners including Bord Bia, Failte Ireland, Cork City Council and Cork Midsummer Festival.

There was a choice of drink on the way in, anything from Prosecco to cider to beer to a cordial. The first suppliers we met were Colm McCan (what a hat) and Pascal Rossignol of Le Caveau, helping out on the night.
All calm before the service

Soon we were seated at our table, strangers to the right of us, strangers to the left. A few minutes later though and strangers no more! 

A tasty oyster signalled the start of the serving and then came the Producers Boards with Smoked mussels and mackerel, crab with lemon mayo (perhaps my favourite), black and white pudding, spiced beef, crubeens and ham hock terrine, chutney, breads, mozzarella. That got us talking and sharing and there was something for everyone!
Welcome to the Long Table from Colm(left) and Pascal of Le Caveau

The mains meanwhile were being prepared in the kitchens of the nearby Imperial Hotel and distributed to the various staging posts on the pavement. It was worth waiting for, not that we were waiting at all. The rack of lamb with pea purée, salsa verde, mixed leaf salad and loads of superb British Queens, not forgetting Glenilen butter, was totally satisfying though a few of us volunteered for seconds when the opportunity arose.

And the dessert, a very generous one indeed, was Strawberries with crushed meringue, cream and rose petal, another delight. And to finish we had cheese: Milleens to remember the late Veronica Steele and Hegarty’s Cheddar.
Starter board

All the while, the wine, the beer, the cider, whatever you fancied was being served and the brass band played. There was even a birthday surprise for Veronica, served up by fiancé Phil; all go for this couple who get married today. We wish them well!

Once announced, the Long Table Dinner sold out within hours, such was the feeling that this was going to be a good one. And once you saw the list of quality suppliers, you knew the basis was there for a terrific meal. 

Suppliers included Frank Hederman, K. O’Connell Fish, Tim McCarthy’s, Rosscarberry Recipes, McCarthy Meats, Haven Fish, Glenilen Farm, Waterfall Farms, Bumblebee Flower Farm, Dave Barry’s Farm, Bushy Berries, On the Pig’s Back, Murphy’s,  Longueville House, 9 White Deer, Le Caveau and Counterpoint.

I've often heard chefs say they are nothing without the producers but the restaurants and chefs have a major role to play in getting the best from the produce and that certainly happened last night with Ali’s Kitchen, Electric Fishbar, The Farmgate, Fenn’s Quay, The Imperial Hotel, Isaac’s Restaurant, Jacob’s on the Mall, Jacque’s Restaurant, L’Atitude 51, Nash 19 and the Rocketman all playing important roles. Cheers to the hard-working owners and staff.

* I’m glad too that Rebel Chilli were also involved as it was in their competition that I, having been caught out by the early booking rush, won the tickets that got me to the Mall. Thanks, folks!

It's a wrap for 2017

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Our Table Is Back With A BAM. Midsummer Festival unveils spectacular 2016 programme.

Cork Midsummer Festival unveils spectacular 2016 programme
Our Table Is Back With A BAM
Our Table - a 2015 Highlight
Cork Midsummer Festival launched its spectacular 2016 programme of events  last evening. The city will become the stage for more than 400 artists and 39 events across seven days in June. Festival goers will have a choice of 29 different unique and unusual venues at the Festival which runs from 17-19 June24-26 June and on Midsummer, June 21.

Over 50,000 people are expected to attend the diverse array of events. Performances and events will take place at some new and unexpected locations, such as the Bells of Shandon, Cork Boat Club and Elizabeth Fort. For full details and tickets visit

The 2016 programme includes 18 brand new works and is a fusion of opera, literature, theatre, dance, comedy, music and visual art. Family events, forums, talks and a wide choice of free events will also take place. Cork Midsummer Festival is proudly supported by the Arts Council, Cork City Council and Fáilte Ireland.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Cork Midsummer Festival Artistic Curator Kath Gorman said: “As Cork Midsummer Festival celebrates its 20th year; we are thrilled to once again collaborate with the city’s arts organisations to present such a dynamic programme, bursting with the work of so many excellent artists from all over the world. 

“During the Festival, the whole city is the stage with events taking place in many unique and unexpected locations – from forts and parks, to hairdressers and streets. The Festival will be a celebration of how the arts can continue to engage, entertain and inspire. It’s an opportunity for people to experience our wonderfully creative city in a different way.” 

In a nod to the 100th anniversary commemoration of the 1916 Rising, Corcadorca is to stage Sacrifice at Easter at Barrack Street’s Elizabeth Fort from June 17 to July 2Utopia Ltd, an off-site collaborative theatre performance inspired by the biography of Rodger Casement, will run June 17-19at Cork Boat Club. Choreographer Ruairí Donovan will stage Soldiers, a walking performance inspired by the mobilisation of 1,000 volunteers by Tomás Mac Curtain for the Rising. 

Festival favourite Picnic in the Park will return to Fitzgerald Park on June 19. The popular and much-loved Our Table also makes a welcome return. Sponsored by BAM Ireland, Ballymaloe, Cully & Sully and Tiger Beer, the outdoor banquet for 400 food lovers, spanning the length of Oliver Plunkett Street, will see twelve of Cork’s finest restaurants joining forces on June 26.

Further highlights include the return of mesmorising songstress Camille O’Sullivan, who will perform for a special, one-night only show at The Everyman on June 25. The hilarious Penny Arcade will also appear at the venue, bringing her double award-winning Edinburgh show Longing Lasts Longer to Cork for its Irish premiere on June 24

The renowned Metta Theatre is to stage another first for Ireland; a 21st century twist on Kipling's classic tale The Jungle Book, complete with street dance, circus and rap. It will run from June 17-19and June 21.

One of the most unique events this year is Be My Guest, with Shandon residents selecting pieces from the Art Council’s permanent collection to hang in their living rooms. Their homes will then be opened to the public for a weekend art trail. Writer Kevin Barry will also host Crosstown Drift on June 25, taking his audience on a trail of tales and tunes across Cork. 

Midsummer Executive Director, Lorraine Maye added: “We are hugely appreciative to all our sponsors, partners, patrons, friends, and colleagues who have supported this festival, and ensured that Midsummer remains one of the most exciting summertime arts events in the countryWe are also extremely grateful for the continued support of our audiences. We look forward to welcoming audiences old and new to the Festival this year - Cork is the only place to be for Midsummer!

For full details of all events and bookings visit
Facebook: CorkMidsummerFestival
Twitter: @CorkMidsummer

Monday, June 15, 2015

All White on the Night. Dining Out in Cork City

All White on the Night.

Dining Out in Cork City.
“Bet you never thought you’d be sitting down to a three course meal on the street outside Penny’s and Guiney's,” said one diner as we gathered for Our Table in Oliver Plunkett Street (Cork) last evening. The four hundred of us, dressed in white (mostly!), were dined, wined and entertained for the two hours. The verdict: bring on 2016. Indeed, even before the night, indications were that double the number would be catered for next year.
Starter by House
So lots of craic, good fun and good food too. The long table was divided into four and we were at the B section. Each section had three restaurants looking after its needs and our trio were House, Isaacs and ORSO.

As we arrived we were treated to a refreshing flower-topped juice and guided to our table (and, yes, it was outside Penny’s and Guiney's). Soon we were meeting new and old friends and a glass of wine, sponsored by O'Donovan’s, went down well.
The event was sponsored by BAM Ireland and JCD and there were special thanks to Cork City Council, Cork City Forum, Elbow Lane Brewery, Stonewell Cider, One water, Down to Earth Materials, The Oliver Plunkett, O’Donovan’s Off Licence, The Pavilion Garden Centre, Cork Midsummer Festival. And a big round of applause too for the restaurants (management and staff) involved.
Mains by Isaac's. More on the side!
After the introductory drink and a nibble on the gorgeous Arbutus Bread (with butter), it didn't take long at all and the 400 were settling into the House starter: Carpaccio of baby radish, gold and red beets with tahini grapefruit and pistachio. Loved that mix of flavours, textures, not forgetting colours. A very promising start indeed.

Lamb was the main course at all the tables and Isaac’s came up with Slow roast shoulder of lamb with summer greens, spiced aubergines, and Ballycotton new potatoes. The best of ingredients plus the top class cooking forever associated with the MacCurtain Street venue made for a lot of happy diners at Table B!

The first two courses were excellent and the high standard was maintained right to the sweet end with the appearance of the ORSO dessert: Pecan and local honey baklava with gooseberry and elderflower compote, and Toonsbridge ricotta cream. A delightful dessert indeed, made even more so by the tang of the compote.

All that had to be done then was finish off the wine and head up the street to see how the others were doing. Met diners and restaurateurs alike and it was a case of thumbs up in all cases. Happy out!

The event was part of the Cork Midsummer Festival which continues for another week. See the programme for the coming week here.
Dessert by ORSO