Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

The Big Lunch


Cork Food Web are organising a series of events around Cork City for The Big Lunch on July 19th. What is The Big Lunch? Imagine a summer’s day on which millions of us, throughout the UK and Ireland, sit down to have lunch together, with our neighbours in the middle of our streets, around our tower blocks and on every patch of common ground. The food, entertainment and decorations we will have either grown, cooked, or created ourselves. This will be a day to break bread with our neighbours, to put a smile on everyone’s face.


If you are interested in joining an event or organising one yourself click on the link above.

All the best,



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Picnic at Gort na Nain

Gort-Na-Nain, Vegetarian Guesthouse & Organic Farm

Gort-Na-Nain, Vegetarian Guesthouse & Organic Farm

It’s really starting to feel like summer, this just in from Slow Food Cork City:

Hi all,
There are still some places left for the next event of Slow Food Cork City on Saturday 20th June, 11:30. This time, we are visiting Ultan Walsh at his organic vegetable farm followed by a picnic.

Ultan is well known in Cork as the main supplier for Cafe Paradiso and Jacobs on the Mall. He is such a good cook that some of his recipes appear in the latest cookbook of Denis Cotter – so we will be in for a treat.

If you are interested in joining, please contact Caz on ccslowfood@gmail.com to secure your space.

Hope to see you all on Saturday.


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By the way, I should have mentioned this before now but Declan Waugh and myself are presenting on food security and famine as part of the National Famine Commemoration Week in Skibbereen. Details below.

Food & The Famine

A set of presentations examining our ability to feed ourselves in extreme circumstances, both here in Ireland and around the globe. Declan Waugh from Partnership for Change will explore the impact of Climate Change on world famine and will present a number of projects that have set out to combat its effect. Ivan McCutcheon from West Cork Development Partnership will look at our ability to feed ourselves in Ireland in a crisis situation, asking for how many days we could stock the supermarket shelves with anything other than meat and dairy products. You will have an opportunity to taste the infamous Soyer’s soup (by all accounts a mis-guided 19th century Jamie Oliver) and consider what would we eat and cook on a euro a day. 

2.00-3.30pm at the Co-Action Centre. Attendants are asked to make a donation to the listed charities in lieu of their lunch (you will get soyers  soup & crackers).

CONTACT: 023 8834035 or charmaine@wcdp.ie

The main event in on Sunday – for details of the full programme go here: http://www.skibbheritage.com/Memorial_Programme.pdf

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This sounds brilliant – just in from the West Cork Literary Festival. I have to see if I can get free at work and get along there. John always has things so well thought out:

John & Sally McKenna's brilliant guide to Irish Food.

John & Sally McKenna's brilliant guide to Irish Food.

There will be a unique chance to learn about the art and craft of food writing from Ireland’s “leading food critic” John McKenna during the West Cork Literary Festival in Bantry in July.

The five day workshop from July 6 – 10 will introduce aspiring food critics, would-be cookbook writers and those with an interest in writing about food to the strong literary tradition within food writing, to the icons of the art, and to show why food writing is an essential part of a country’s culture.

The cost of the course is € 175 and takes place from Monday 6 – Friday 10 July from 9.30am to 12.30pm. Booking is limited to 15 participants.

Topics covered will include Food Writing as Art; Food Writing as Craft; Food Culture vs Food Celebrities; Constructing a Food Narrative; Case Study: Michael Pollan

To find out more about this and other workshops including Writing for the Stage with Billy Roche, Writing for Radio with Rory Kilalea, Screen Writing with Ferdia Mac Anna and many more, have a look at www.westcorkliteraryfestival.ie or ring 027 55987

John McKenna is the author and publisher, with his wife, Sally, of The Bridgestone Guides, a series of independent, critical guides to Ireland’s food and hospitality cultures. The McKennas have written and published the Bridgestone Guides since 1991.

John McKenna has won four Glenfiddich Awards for food writing and broadcasting, and he has also won the Andre Simon Special Award for The Bridgestone Irish Food Guide. He is the only Irish writer to have won both these international awards.John McKenna has been described by The New York Times as Ireland’s leading food critic, by The Financial Times as Ireland’s champion food writer, and by The Guardian as Ireland’s most opinion-forming food critic and a powerful commentator on culinary trends.





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This just in from Hosfords, sounds interesting:
This coming Sunday 10th May at 12 O’clock, Hosfords Garden Centre & Cafe, Bandon

If you are interested in learning more about the possibilities of having your own hens or perhaps in adding a few pure breed Chickens to your flock, then do please join us at Hosfords Garden Centre this coming Sunday, 10th May.

There will be a talk by Sophie Kent on the skills and investments needed for the best way to keep chickens in small flocks for your family eggs, also on the breeding of pure breed Fowl.
The will have various breeds:
Speckled & Light Sussex, Araucana, Pekin Bantam, Houdan, Brahma – gold and Blue Leghorn, Utility Layers (2 week old chicks), etc….
We will also be taking orders for delivery of Point of Lay Babcocks that will be ready on the last week of May.
For more information please ring Sophie on:  086 0839569
Do please pass this on to your friends who may be interested – all welcome – Hosford Garden Centre has a wonderful display of plants and vegetables as well as their award winning Blue Geranium Restaurant for your Lunch!

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Bob McCutcheon visiting his bees with his granddaughter Asha

Bob McCutcheon visiting his bees with his granddaughter Asha

Hosford’s Garden Centre, Cappa, Enniskeane Co. Cork
Sunday 26th April 2-5pm
Demonstrations designed to pass on heritage skills to the youngsters – from the generation which knows best!

Bread and Scone Making with Ballinascarthy Bakers Mary Collins and Chrissie Flynn (children can join in)

All About Bees with Award Winning Beekeeper Bob McCutcheon, Secretary of County Cork Beekeeper’s Association (and my Dad!)– Kids and grownups can learn how honey is made

Planting Strawberries and Making Jam with Artisan Grower Denise Bushby – Children love fresh strawberries, and this is a chance to learn how to grow them and make jam from them – from West Cork’s expert!

Dance The Afternoon Away fo Music from
The Three G’s (Two Grannies and a Grandad!)

Children’s Art Competition from 12 Noon.
Kids are invited to paint or draw a picture on a theme of ‘Cooking with Grandma’ (materials provided) which will be judged by the Slow Food West Cork team. Best Picture wins lunch for two – as a gift for Grandma and Grandad, or Grandma or Grandad plus a guest (€1.00 entry fee as a donation to Slow Food)

Demonstrations, art competition and music to run throughout the afternoon. Everyone welcome – Grannies, Grandads, Mums, Dads and children of all ages

Log on to http://www.slowfoodireland , email slowfoodwestcork@gmail.com or call
Dianne Curtin 086 067 6249 for more details

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west cork leader pic5.jpg

This is me with my colleagues Kevin Santry and Ian Dempsey going a bit overboard on the PR shoot.

Below  is my press release on the new Rural Development/LEADER Programme. For anyone interested in food projects there’s great potential under the progamme…

…West Cork’s newly integrated local development company, West Cork Development Partnership launched the much anticipated new LEADER Programme on March 5 in Dunmanway. The launch is great news for community groups and local business, particularly those involved in the food, tourism and craft sectors. A wide range of supports, from direct financial assistance through training and advice, will be targetted at communities and businesses taking positive steps to address their needs in these trying times.

Under the Programme, funding of €14.6 million will be provided, 55% from the European Union and 45% from the National Exchequer.  Nationally, the programme funds total €425m, almost treble the amount available in the last Programme (2000-2006), and the largest ever package for rural development. The rollout of the funding is particularly welcome at a time when public funding elsewhere has been severely cut. Maximum grant levels under the new programme are significantly higher than heretofore (€150,000) and the rate of aid for community projects has been increased to 75% for capital projects. Commenting at the launch of the programme nationally, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív said, “Despite the economic challenges facing the country, I believe that this is a time of great opportunity for rural areas. With the increasing urbanisation of society, there is renewed interest in rural recreation, marine-associated activities and indigenous small food production.  In the last five years, we have seen the numbers of visitors coming to Ireland for rural recreation more than double.  I believe that we can double this again by 2013.  With this new Rural Development Programme, in association with other major programmes run by my Department such as the CLÁR Programme and the Rural Social Scheme, I am confident that we will see significant developments and sustainable job creation in rural Ireland between now and 2013.”

Patrick Murphy, Chairman of West Cork Development Partnership welcomed the launch of the new programme and the new company, which he believes “provides an opportunity to bring life to the entrepreneurial and innovative abilities of people in West Cork. Indigenous industry has always been and will continue to be the basis of economic success in West Cork.

The formation of West Cork Development Partnership brings together community and statutory bodies, providing a single vehicle to achieve a coherent and focused development strategy for West Cork. This will ensure the resources and energies of both West Cork Development Partnership and its partner agencies, will be maximised to achieve a common goal. – Jobs, economic and rural development.

We have, with the launch of this programme, against the backdrop of the current national situation, an opportunity to alter our attitude as to how we – as a community in West Cork, can work together and in doing so, can change lives. Challenges are what make life interesting, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

West Cork Development Partnership has set out an ambitious plan for the next five years, which Ian Dempsey CEO is confident can help the region address many of the challenges it faces. “The economy has changed rapidly in the 9 months since we submitted this plan, but I believe that it is more relevant than ever. Our strategy is about building on our core strengths in West Cork – our skills, natural resources, environment, community spirit, identity and reputation. At an enterprise level this is encapsulated by the Fuchsia Brand, but we want to go further and develop a cluster effect among and around the Fuchsia enterprises, incorporating suppliers, service providers and others that add value to what the businesses deliver. The cluster approach focuses on interaction, helping each other get better at what we do, learning and innovating. As a means of facilitating greater collaboration and co-operation it will result in businesses retaining greater economic wealth and knowledge within the area. There is a challenge for us in West Cork around how we use knowledge and technology, business models are changing rapidly and this opens up opportunities for new indigenous businesses.”

At a community level, West Cork Development Partnership will drive initiatives and offer supports to improve the balance of development throughout the region, achieve effective community participation and foster responsibility for the local social, natural, built and cultural environment. If you have a development project in mind then you can view the full plan at www.wcdp.ie

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In Praise of Irish Pork

To start the New Year and to celebrate the fabulous Pork products that we have in West Cork, your West Cork and Cork City Slow Food Conviviums are holding a Pig Extravaganza somewhere in Bandon on Sunday January 18th.

A 3 course lunch (€35.00)  will be served  with talks and demonstrations from artisan food producers including award winning Bandon butcher, Martin Carey, Willie and Avril Allshire of Caherbeg, Frank Krawcykz and the list goes on!
Numbers will be limited, so please contact us by email NOW if you would like to come.
Time: 12.00 Noon, Sunday January 19th
Location: Heron Court, Market Quay, Bandon.
Click here for Google Map

A 3 course lunch will be served with talks and demonstrations from artisan food producers including award winning Bandon butcher, Martin Carey, Willie and Avril Allshire of Caherbeg, Frank Krawcykz of West Cork Salamis, and Anthony Creswell of Ummera Smoked Products.

30.00 for Slow Food Members, €35.00 for Non-Members

Booking essential as numbers limited

Email: slowfoodwestcork@gmail.com

Call: 086 067 6249.

Best regards
Dianne Curtin,
Convivium Leader

West Cork Slow Food Convivium
Co. Cork
Web Site: www.slowfoodireland.com

See also: http://conoroneill.com/2009/01/08/return-of-the-porki/

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Happy New Year and apologies for not having posted since early December – the Southern Star went into Christmas shopping ad mode and I took a holiday. Trying to walk that off now – that’s the price of full fat principles! Anyway whilst walking I’ve been thinking about what foods, farmers and producers I’d like to find out more about this year. Your suggestions would be very welcome, here’s the current pipeline: I’ve done a bit of work looking into Community Supported Agriculture which is getting going on the Sheeps Head thanks to John Dolan, Charlie Donovan, Stephen O’Donovan and a few other pioneers. More about that later this month. In house here we have a new learning initiative going with Safe Food that is targetted at eight to nine year olds, its called Taste Buds.  I’m going to try and talk to a teacher that has been using the pack and see what I can learn about what can motivate kids and their parents – that’s for next week.

For now I wanted to let you know about Cork Food Web – it’s a project to support local food production in Cork and they have a fab social networking type website that should be great for getting and keeping people involved. This Thursday they have a meeting to push the project out into the public realm and anyone interested in getting involved is welcome – just visit the link above etc.

Finally, my condolences to the family of Liam O’Regan and all at the Southern Star on the death of their editor and owner last Saturday.

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Let the Sunshine In

The food festival in Skibbereen was great as usual and as usual was blessed with unseasonally fine weather. I took lots of pics at the fair on Sunday but there were many more fine sights to be savoured like the fabulous creations of local students in the schools cookery competition or the spread of cakes at the afternoon tea session at Stories from the Soil, Stories from the Sea. Indeed the breakfast and lunch sessions of that event were at least as sumptuous, and at all three there was a great reaction to the speakers – Elke at Dine & Wine Club Cork has more.

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