Feast Food Festival Promises All the Right Ingredients

By Seamus Whelehan

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Food, tourism and culture will be celebrated next month as Feast Cork returns to the East Cork region between the 1 and 8 September.
The week-long event will see a selection of mouth-watering treats on display from the area’s rich tapestry of artisan food and drink producers, from Ballinrostic organic cheese to lobster, pizza and the Ballyvolane House Award winning Bertha’s Revenge Gin.
A whole host of chefs and culinary experts will be on hand in the kitchen to showcase their cooking techniques, with the line-up including Jess Murphy, Takashi Miyazaki and Kevin Aherne.
Masterclasses will be offered on everything from Mixology with Jameson to Ballymaloe Cookery demonstrations and foraging with mushroom expert, Martin Cribbin.
While Feast is opening up new opportunities for producers, communities and restaurateurs to put East Cork on the map, the 2019 event is also looking to promote food sustainability in regards to out eating. Festival organisers are looking for the public to participate in a Wild Food Challenge.
Judges Jessica Murphy from the Galway Michelin restaurant Kai, Martin Cribbin from Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms and Bryan McCarthy from Greens Restaurant will pick the overall winner on Sunday 8 September.
Each entrant must prepare a dish that has at least one wild ingredient which was either hunted, fished, foraged or bartered. What is also important to the judging panel is the story behind the creation of each dish. Interested parties can apply through www.localwildfoodchallenge.com or by registering on the day.
Discussions on the future of the food and drinks industry also forms part of this year’s Festival event and will feature key players in the food and beverage sector, including Celebrity Chef Paul Flynn and Food Journalist Joe McNamee.
Husband and wife team, Rὲidὶn and Kevin Aherne from Sage, said the idea of the Food and Drinks Festival is to get the community of East Cork together celebrating the food and drinks of East Cork.
“Cork is the food production capital of Ireland. We have more food producers here than anywhere else in Ireland, and this Festival is about showcasing East Cork as a go-to food destination for international tourists and people having a staycation.”
Whilst thousands are expected to descend on 35 separate locations across the week, festivities will kick off on Sunday 1 September at 2:00pm at the Castlemartyr Resort.
Visitors will be able to experience a flavour of what to expect throughout the week, with live music and some great family fun sponsored by Colbert and Co.
Tickets for this event are available from Castlemartyr Resort.
Other events of note throughout the week include SECAD Multiculturalism Through Food at My Place Midleton from 11am to 3:00pm on Sunday 8 September. This free event showcases the diversity of cultures in East Cork.
Also in Midleton on the 8 September is ‘An Chistin’ Conversations and Food around the kitchen table.

This new addition to the Food Festival brings together a host of celebrity and local chefs, food writers, critics and producers for a fun and informative look at the Irish food scene.
Running alongside ‘An Chistin’ will be a wooden play market for the children, with face painting and a working bee hive among other educational displays and talks teaching the importance of food sustainability.
For further details of what’s happening in your area check out www.feastcork.ie or follow Feastcork on Twitter and Facebook.

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