Showing posts with label UCC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UCC. Show all posts

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Wine Studies at UCC. A short course this Spring: An Introduction to the Wonderful World of Wine

Wine Studies at UCC

An Introduction to the Wonderful World of Wine


(See full list of short courses at end)

Food lovers can now enrol in Wine Studies; An Introduction to the Wonderful World of Wine, at Adult Continuing Education in University College Cork. The eight-week wine course and wine-tasting experience will give students a practical introduction to the world of wine at UCC. The course will be delivered on Wednesdays, from 7-9pm for eight weeks from the 7th of February to the 27th of March 2024.

Focusing on the ‘old world' wine regions - principally France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal and Austria, students will taste six wines each evening from the classic wine regions of Europe. The wines will be explored in detail, including the terroir and areas they are from. 

Looking out at Rioja vineyards (from Bai Gorri)

The course will be taught by Tom McKernan, who has decades of experience and association with the wine industry. Tom is a level four WSET wine-educated professional. Each class will be delivered over two hours, with a tutored tasting included. The course is designed specifically for people who enjoy wine and would like to learn more about it and no previous experience is required. 

The Wine Studies course is one of 29 short courses on the ACE at UCC Spring Short Course Programme, Coordinated by Regina Sexton. The short courses, designed with industry professionals and academic experts, cover a variety of special interest topics across a wide range of subjects, including history, literature, music, genealogy, local history, creative writing, politics, philosophy, and art history.


ACE at UCC is the country's largest provider of short courses in the Irish university sector. The Spring courses will be delivered over a 610 week period with courses commencing from the 29th of January 2024. Just over 50% of the courses will be delivered in person at locations in UCC and local libraries whilst the remaining courses will be delivered online.  

Wine tasting in The Farmgate

The course fee for Wine Studies is €295 and this includes wine. The closing date for applications for all courses is the 29th of January 2024. The full list of short courses can be found online here:  


Monday, August 7, 2023

Victoria Cross, Cork August 2023

Victoria Cross, Cork August 2023

(passing by, so just a few pics)

The Crow's Nest name remains as a
towering student accommodation 
block replaces the former pub
at Victoria Cross.

Two of the older businesses in the area, above and below.

The Pink Clinic (rear) and, below, a UCC facility by the river.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

UCC Food Microbiology student honoured with Musgrave Award

 UCC Food Microbiology student honoured with Musgrave Award

Student Reuben O'Hea pictured receiving the Musgrave Excellence in Food Microbiology Award from Lucy O'Connor of Musgrave Group, with Dr. Jennifer Mahony, Professor of Molecular Food Microbiology, and Colin Hill, Professor of Microbial Food Safety, at University College Cork.
Pic Diane Cusack


UCC student Reuben O’ Hea was recently honoured with The Musgrave Award for Excellence in Food Microbiology for his work and research on plant extract processing, the cheese making process and vacuum-packed chilled storage of meat.


Clonakilty native Reuben topped the class as the highest performing student in University College Cork’s Masters in Food Micro Biology Programme delivered through the college’s renowned School of Microbiology and received the award from Musgrave Food Safety and Quality Manager Lucy O’Connor for his efforts.


Reuben is a past employee of Musgrave and previously worked in in Trading as an Assistant Trading Manager for Moo’d & Frozen and then worked as a Brand Support Manager with the Moo’d Brand.


The focus of his project was to isolate, identify and characterise the yeast and mould isolates as well as evaluating the measures that can be used to control them, with the aim to improve the overall shelf life and the flavour profiling of the product.

Speaking upon receipt of the award, Reuben expressed his thanks to both Musgrave and University College Cork:

He said: “I recognise that this award is very prestigious and would like to thank Musgrave for their support of this. I know from my time with Musgrave as an employee they have a close working relationship with UCC and the Department of Microbiology which is internationally renowned. 

He added: The award has opened up some brilliant opportunities for me and I’ve spent the last number of weeks demonstrating in the teaching laboratory to undergraduate students in UCC. It has been very rewarding for me to see students with very little practical microbiology experience gradually progressing week to week and developing new skills which will stand to them in their future careers in microbiology. It’s something I have really enjoyed and previously would not have considered as a career path but I am definitely interested in pursuing further education opportunities in the future.”


This is the seventh consecutive year that Musgrave has had an association with the award and the group have a number of strong links with UCC in many areas such as:


Musgrave has strong linkages with UCC in many areas


  • Food Integrity Research having hosted the third annual UCC-Musgrave Guest Lecture on Food Integrity in recent weeks
  • Annual intake of students on placement programmes for the past 20 years, many of whom returned to work in Musgrave and take up placement in the Musgrave Graduate programme, while many members of the Food Safety and Quality team are UCC alumni, including Head of Food Safety and Quality Ray Bowe.


Speaking in relation to the award, Food Safety and Quality Manager Lucy O’Connor said the support of Musgrave for this award reflected the continuing positive association between UCC, Musgrave and the Musgrave Food Safety Team.


She added: “Safe and nutritious food is of vital importance to all consumers and research on microorganisms and their relationship with foods and the human host is essential in providing the platform for the developing the knowledge required to provide foods that are safe, healthy and nutritious.


“Musgrave Group believes in supporting new initiatives and research into areas within Food Production, food composition and packaging innovation. This provides Musgrave, its suppliers and customers unique access to technologies and innovations that will keep our food safe, last longer and ensure sustainable development of the food chain in Ireland and internationally. The leading-edge microbiological research conducted by the team at UCC is recognised globally and we are delighted to continue honouring this endeavour. “


Professor Colin Hill, Director of the MSc in Food Microbiology at UCC said that the college was “delighted to acknowledge the ongoing support of Musgraves for this important postgraduate programme.”


“Excellence in food safety, food quality and food production is vitally important for UCC and for Ireland and we appreciate the support in the form of this prize.  Congratulations to Reuben who is a really deserving winner,” he added.

press release


Thursday, January 16, 2020

Relaxing Sunday Brunch at Bobo

Relaxing Sunday Brunch at Bobo

Weekend brunch is now quite a habit in Cork with many places offering the mix of breakfast and lunch on Saturdays and Sundays. We headed to Bobo Café on a recent Sunday.

The Bobo Sunday brunch begins at noon. No problem finding parking on Donovan’s Road that day but that might not apply on weekdays. One solution would be to get the bus and get off at the stop to the west of the UCC gates. Here, you’ll find another gate into the college grounds and then a narrow footbridge over the river will take to within 200 metres or less of the entrance to Bobo which is in the Glucksman Gallery (opens on Sunday afternoons, by the way).

Bobo serves Golden Bean coffee, homemade treats, craft beers and fine wines and is open on Tuesday to Saturday 10.00am to 5.00pm and on Sunday from noon until five. Local suppliers include O’Mahony Butchers English Market, Ballycotton Seafood, Colin Wolfe Macroom (eggs), Greenfields Farm Glanmire, and My Goodness.

We joined a few “early birds” a couple of minutes after the café opened and got one of the many tables that look out onto a green area to the west of the cafe, between the internal road up to the UCC quadrangle and the riverside walk. The view is slightly spoiled by the big concrete barrier necessitated by the tendency of the river to flood. The apron before the barrier is used for dining al fresco during the good weather.

There were nine separate dishes on the well-priced brunch menu plus three sides. Fancy something on the smaller side? Well you may pick from their Granola with Yogurt, Mixed Berry Syrup and Fruit, or the Poached Eggs with Guacamole on Sourdough, or the Eggs en Cocotte with red Chard and cream.

The French Toast with Maple Syrup and Berries (bacon optional) was seriously considered as was the Jack McCarthy Blackpudding, chard, cherry tomatoes and poached eggs. The Bobo Hash Browns, salsa, scrambled eggs and mixed leaves also caught the eye as did the Tostada Andaluza (Jamon Serrano, tomato and garlic on toasted baguette).
Pedestrian bridge to and from Western Road

In the end though, I went for the Shakshuka, a Middle Eastern Tomato Salsa with baked eggs and chorizo. A cracking bunch of leaves from Greenfield plus a few slices of toasted sourdough enhanced this already delicious dish.

Our other plateful, the Chilli Tempeh with beans, patatas bravas and beets (also €10.00) was full of colour and flavour. I got a few bites of that one and we each gave it the thumbs up. Service was friendly here as are the prices!

If you come here during the week (and indeed on Sunday afternoon), you’ll be able to visit the Glucksman Gallery, and/or take a stroll over that little bridge I mentioned to access the Mardyke, including Fitzgeralds Park, and see the north channel of the river. 

By the way, there are guided walking tours of UCC. Run by UCC Visitors' Centre, this is an opportunity to discover the great history of the university in the setting of the beautiful campus grounds. More info on their Facebook page here

As it happens, Bobo have just announced their new lunch menu and it features tempting dishes based on Beef Cheeks, Wild Prawn, Ras Al Hanout Cauliflower and more.

Lewis Glucksman Gallery, University College Cork,
T12 V1WH
Highlights info row image
(021) 490 1848 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Bobo Café at the Glucksman

Bobo Café at the Glucksman
Cajun Pork

For over a year now, Bobo, the café in the Glucksman Gallery in UCC, has been serving breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch, while all the time superb coffee by local roaster Golden Bean, along with a tempting host of baked delights, are available.

About time I called, I said to myself the other day. And off we went - by bus. The number 8, sorry 208, takes you to the Western Road entrance, just a few steps away from the gallery.

Bobo is also the venue for food related events, once a month. Recently, they held a cheese and also a fermentation workshop. And, if you’re in for brunch on Sunday, you’ll more than likely have live music to add to the atmosphere.
The breakfast menu is very tempting but, on this particular day, lunch suited us better. The menu is not the longest but choices are good, usually with a few to suit vegetarians.

Last week, they had two soups on offer. Miso (4.50), with toasted sesame and seaweed, was my choice while CL enjoyed her daily special, carrot, ginger and squash (5.50) with an excellent brown bread. By the way, a few crackers came with mine.

There were five main courses on offer, one with fish, another with meat. CL chose Cajun pork fillet, butternut squash purée and mango salsa (13.50). This was well Cajun-ed! Well cooked actually and a lovely dish, good flavour, colour and texture.

Glucksman. Bobo is bottom right.
My Shiitake mushroom and Artichoke Heart Risotto (12.50) with an olive tapenade mightn’t have looked so well - it was tidily presented - but it was another very enjoyable dish. The main ingredients, the mushroom and the artichoke, could well have turned this into a bowl of blandness but the tapenade and the salad helped to balance it.

They do have a short wine-list, most available by the glass, and a few craft beers but we stuck with water on this occasion. Had some of that excellent Golden Bean coffee though with our dessert.

Very few desserts on the menu, but there’s quite a spread of sweet things on the counter. Hard to choose! But we did enjoy our Jammy Dodger (coconut and raspberry compote) and Warm Apple Cake with Vanilla Ice cream (6.00).

They are very much into supporting local producers here and you’ll see some mentioned on the menu. A blackboard lists O’Mahony’s English Market (meat), Ballycotton Seafood (fish, seafood), Colin Woulfe  Macroom (eggs) Greenfields Farm (leaves, veg) and My Goodness (kefir and vegan treats).
at The Glucksman
Lower Grounds, UCC,
Western Road, Cork
(021) 490 1848
Hours: 10am - 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday;12pm - 5pm, Sundays

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Arbutus: Five Star Bread

Arbutus: Five Star Bread
He can talk the talk

Go easy on the dough. Don’t beat the shit out of it.
That was the advice from founder and owner Declan Ryan as he welcomed a group from the UCC Fermentation Society to his Mayfield bakery, Arbutus Bread, this week. He recalled various enthusiastic people hammering the dough all over the place but gentleness is the answer. Apparently Jamie Oliver was one of those overly eager bakers, not in Mayfield though. But he took the advice and said that not only did his bread-making skills improve but so too did his love-making.

and walk the walk!

Declan has been in love with bread-making for a long time, even when he was scaling the heights of cuisine back in the day when the family’s Arbutus Hotel was the place to eat in Cork. And not just for locals, particularly after Declan was awarded Ireland's first ever Michelin star.
But then things changed for Declan. The old enthusiasm wasn't here any longer. “I got burned out…. was tired as a chef.” Retirement, he knew, wouldn't suit him and so,  he turned to his hobby which was baking.

And he began Arbutus Bread in his converted two car garage, making the deliveries himself by jeep. Now an new enthusiasm fermented and he learned more about the trade and the art from some of the very best. He tracked down a course in France and here his two tutors were two of the top bakers in France, Pierre Nury and Xavier Honorin “who were inspirational in their enthusiasm”.

You may read more about the early days of Arbutus Bread here.

Declan met us himself and showed us some early vessels associated with bread, one of a type used in the time of the Pharaohs. Spelt was the grain used at that period. Then he showed us a Greek urn from 340 BC and by now the bakers were using wheat. He had a trio of harvest masks on display including a very impressive one from Nigeria.
Harvest mask from Nigeria

Arbutus breads are based on the French artisan tradition and he uses a French wheat Bagatelle Red Label La Farine Type 65, no less than four tonnes a week to produce 2,000 to 3,000 loaves a day! You may see the full list of their breads here.
That two car garage has long been left behind. Indeed, five years after its founding, Arbutus moved to the current premises in Mayfield and, just a couple of years back, they doubled the space but stayed in the same site. Now they have 17 employees, spread across five nationalities.
The barrel sized sourdough maker and keeper,
the heart of Arbutus.

While Declan’s ingredients are limited to the traditional three or four (unlike the multiples of that seen on many commercially made breads), there are other factors that are critical to the production. One is temperature and here you have to bring all the elements to an average of 23 degrees for the dough mix. Salt too is critical, not just for taste but “for structure”.
And then there's the butter story. Arbutus do produce some sweet things, eg Brioche but especially croissants. You need butter for the latter, a special “dry” butter. Kerrygold produce it but it is not available here. It is exported to France by the container load. Then it is bought by various companies over there. One is Elle & Vire. They package it nicely, with the Eiffel Tour and the French tricolour prominent and sell it in France and some of it finds its way back to Dublin where Declan purchases it for his croissants!

And the determination that only top notch ingredients be used for Arbutus Bread is further underlined in their Pain aux Chocolat. Many would settle for ordinary chocolate but only the best, Valrhona, will do for Declan.

That sourdough culture taste is ...well....  Sour?

As the tour drew to a close, he found time to hand out great praise to a hero of his, Donal Creedon of Macroom Mills, an outstanding producer and "one of a kind". And credit also to his grandmother. The Arbutus Soda Bread recipe (with only slight alteration) came from her. And then it was time to tuck into tea, breads and some sweet stuff that he had lined up for us.
A big thank you to the UCC Fermentation Society for the invite. Other recent Society events included a Tasting Quiz, a wine basics trip to L’Atitude 51, and a visit to Rising Sons Brewery. For future events check out their Facebook page here.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fresco and the art of Food

Fresco and the art of Food
 Fresco, the Bistro attached to the Lewis Glucksman Art Gallery in UCC, officially launched yesterday evening with an event titled "What Does Art Taste Like?" Music, chat and, of course, food and wine, featured.
 This was the menu for the evening, a mixture of hot and cold tasters. Head Chef Prakash Sivakumar was a little nervous as the first of the guests arrived. But Kash had no need to worry as his tasters were brilliant and spectacularly presented. Hard to pick a favourite from the menu (above) but my tops were probably the Duck, the Tuna and the Sago Pudding.
Brian Casey, one of the principals at Fresco, told me that they have been open for over a year and that their Fresco Curry is the favourite main dish, never off the menu. That must be a good recommendation. I thought the favourite salad might be the stunning Nicoise Salad Grilled marinated fresh ahi tuna that we enjoyed there a few months back but Brian tells it is the Teriyaki of Salmon Salad, another excellent dish that I sampled at the recent food fest in Fitzerald's Park.

So well done to Brian, to Kash and to all the lovely and helpful staff at Fresco Bistro and best of luck for the future. Oh, by the way. What does Art Taste Like? Just brilliant is the answer!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Impressive Lunch at Fresco Bistro

Click on image to enlarge


Fresco Bistro is a bright spot, almost hidden away in the tress of lower UCC and by the impressive bulk of the Glucksman Gallery directly above. But a spot worth visiting, as I found out when I called there yesterday. You walk into the Glucksman as normal and then go downstairs. This takes you to the Bistro and its floor to ceiling views of the college lawns and more importantly to some classy food.

Brian Casey, one of the principals, had invited me out to sample the meals and boy was I glad I took him up on it. Brian made another good move when serving us with soup while we waited. It was a Lamb Harira Moroccan style hearty lamb soup with chick pea, coriander, lemon, mint and tender lamb pieces (€5.00).

Eating and drinking in it as they say around this city but still light, slightly spicy, moderately aromatic and those little chucks of lamb were certainly tender. A brilliant combination even if the temperatures outside were around the 20c mark.

Quite a choice of main courses as you can see from the site but there are also a number of daily specials, marked on the blackboard.

CL choose the Nicoise Salad Grilled marinated fresh ahi tuna, on organic mixed leaf salad, tossed in a homemade tomato dressing (€8.95). Just superb, everything done to perfection. The salad, so nicely dressed, had a nice crunchy bite, but always a pleasure never a chore. Fantastic dish, fantastic price.

And I could say the same about mine: Seafood Risotto Risotto Cooked in a melange of seafood, fresh asparagus and wild mushroom €9.95. The colourful rice was packed with little pieces of fish, prawns, salmon and white fish and that fresh asparagus was a tasty contributor to the overall pleasure. Great stuff.

The good things continued with the desserts, both under a fiver. I thoroughly enjoyed my Flourless Chocolate Cake, lighter than normal. And CL was very happy with her Apple and Blackberry Tart. No mistaking the apple: real chunks by comparison with that ghastly goo that you see used in some other restaurants.

While I had heard good things about Fresco Bistro over the past few months, I must say I was surprised by the excellence of the dishes and the very competitive pricing. The location too is lovely, especially if the sun shines (there is an outdoor section). But, believe me, the food is so good, it is a place you can visit in any weather!