The Must-Do Activities At This Month’s Taste of West Cork Food Festival
From 8th – 17th September, Bandon to Beara will be thronging with visitors and locals alike making their way from event to event, soaking up the atmosphere, tastes and welcome of West Cork.
But what to choose? With over 230 events in this years’ programme, decision are difficult, but I am here to help you!
Event: Walk & Whiskey on Whiddy Island
Location: Bantry Pier
Price: €40 (inc. Ferry)
Jump on the short ferry ride from Bantry to Whiddy for a guided walk by islander Tim O’Leary. Reward yourself with a Whiskey Tasting with Jacq Stedman of Liquid Curiosity as she introduces your palette to the distinctive flavours of Ireland’s exciting new single malt, single cask whiskeys.
Event: Italian Argentinian Fusion with Florencio Fona
Location: Mary Ann’s Bar, Castletownshend
Enjoy a fusion of Italian inspired art and Argentinian food for this unique dining event at the renowned Mary-Anne’s. Art by Australian-Irish artist, John Kelly; Food by Florencio Fons.
Tickets: Phone 028-36146
Event: Wild Bere Island Foraging Walk & Buffet
Location: Bere Island
Time: Ferry Departs 3.30pm
Take a walk on the wild side with Stephanie O’Toole of Bere Island Conservation. Gather plants, seaweeds and berries from hedgerows, woodland, gardens and seashore and watch Stephanie turn them into contemporary foods.
Tickets: Phone 027 75099
Event: Kaizeki with Brian Donnelly: Japanese Tasting Menu w/ Ramen Noodle Making Workshop
Location: The Chestnut Tree, Ballydehob
Belfast chef and co-founder of Bia Ramen, Brian Donnelly, will wow your senses with a live noodle making demo and an exquisite Japanese dinner using the best of West Cork produce.
Tickets: Phone 087 167 9831
Event: Pitmaster Masterclass – Smoke & Fire with Decky Walsh
Location: Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery
Head chef of Cork’s most on-trend restaurant Holy Smoke, Decky Walsh, gives a masterclass on cooking with fire and smoke followed by a feast of everything cooked low and slow!
Event: Bryan McCarthy guest chefs at Poachers
Location: Poachers Inn, Bandon
West Cork son and celebrated chef of Greene’s Restaurant in Cork, Bryan McCarthy, comes to Bandon to cook up a delicious seafood menu that showcases the regions wonderful seafood.
Tickets: Phone 023 884 1159
Event: The “How To” of Charcuterie Course with Frank Krawczyk
Location: Blair’s Cove Restaurant, Durrus
Price: €125 (inc. lunch)
Learn about meat curing, smoking and preservation on this one-day course with Ireland’s pioneer of charcuterie, Frank Krawczyk of West Cork Salamis.
Tickets: Phone 086 840 4623
Event: Classic French Fine Dining
Location: The Glandore Bistro, Glandore
Overlooking one of my most favourite vistas in West Cork, The Glandore Bistro presents an evening of classic French cuisine over 5 courses each paired with specially selected wines.
Tickets: Phone 083 469 4442
Event: Ovid, Offal, Keats and Kidneys
Location: Kileena House, Baltimore Road, Skibbereen
Price: €15 (incl. tea & nibbles)
An esoteric and curious mixture of literature and livers, this light hearted look at poetry and lesser known meaty bits is sure to pique your interest and surprise you!
Tickets: Phone 028 20620
Event: Michelin Star Guest Chef Danni Barry
Location: The Glebe Gardens, Baltimore
Price: €70 (incl. wines)
Danni Barry returns to West Cork to present a Michelin-style menu at one of West Cork’s most natural yet innovative spaces.
Tickets: Phone 028 20579
Event: West Cork Pies Masterclass
Location: West Cork Pies, Coronea, Skibbereen
Masterclass with Paul Phillips of award winning West Cork Pies. Find out what it takes to make the perfect pork pie and scotch egg, then have a go yourself and take home your delicious efforts!
Tickets: Phone 087 359 3905
Event: Neven Maguire at the Beara Coast Hotel
Location: Beara Coast Hotel, Castletownbere
An evening with Neven Maguire in the beautiful town of Castletownbere is a treat indeed! Cookery demonstrations, entertainment, food stalls and prizes…be prepared to spend a lot of time nibbling and imbibing.
Tickets: Phone 027 71446
Event: Conference – Fiction, Fads and Phonies
Location: Dept of Agriculture, Food & The Marine, Clonakilty
Price: €30 (incl. lunch)
This lively debate dispelling food industry myths raises the temperature and gets people thinking! Paul Treyvaud returns to this years’ panel along with Marie Power and Niamh O’Connor.
Event: Step Back in Time to the Roaring Forties with Rob Krawczyk & Nick Davey
Location: The Eccles Hotel, Glengarrif
Dig out your flapper dress and shine those two-tone brogues! Dine in the elegant surroundings of the newly refurbished Eccles Hotel with a 1920’s jazz inspired dinner and drinks.
Tickets: Phone 027 63003
Event: The Clonakilty Walking Food Tour
Location: Meet at Arís Café & Wine Bar, Clonakilty
Learn about Clonakilty’s food heritage and culture with a feast on foot that is easy on the walking and insanely good on the eating!
Event: West Cork Market Tasting Menu with Antony Cointre
Location: The Chestnut Tree, Ballydehob
Price: €45 (incl. a glass of wine)
Join the Nomad Chef himself, Antony Cointre for a menu inspired by the fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced directly from the celebrated West Cork markets. Come with an open mind and a hunger for delicious things.
Tickets: Phone 087 167 9831
Event: Milking It!
Location: Bandon Farmer’s Market & Urru Culinary Store, Bandon
Time: From 11.30am, €2.50 for souvenir tasting glass
Learn about hand-milking at the market and then head to Urru for a guided milk tasting!
Event: A Night in the Museum with Con McLoughlin
Location: The Michael Collins Museum, Clonakilty
A very special occasion to dine in the newly opened Michael Collins museum in the house the Big Man himself once lived. Con McLoughlin from the celebrated Lettercollum Kitchen Project will present a five-course menu using authentic recipes of contemporary dishes for the time – all with Lettercollum’s signature modern twist.
Tickets: Phone 027 54700
Event: Seed Savers Workshop
Location: Brown Envelope Seeds, Ardagh, Church Cross
Learn about the importance of seed saving for conservation, healthy food production and the heritage skills behind it at this informative and important workshop.
Event: Good Things go to Heir Island – Real Food, Real Wine with Carmel Somers
Location: Island Retreat, Heir Island
Price: €45 (incl. ferry)
Join Carmel at a Somers family favourite spot on Heir Island for a relaxed luncheon and wine. Download a copy of the full festival programme at www.atasteofwestcork.com
Tickets: 028 51948
Kate Ryan is an established food writer, blogger and founder of Flavour.ie, a website that is dedicated to promoting West Cork Food through writing, events and tours. Kate writes regularly for the Evening Echo and The Southern Star newspapers, The Opinion Magazine, TheTaste.ie, Headstuff.org and has been featured in the Irish Examiner and Irish Times. Kate was commissioned by A Taste of West Cork Food Festival to author an “Artisan Food Guide” published in June 2017.
Her blog, The Flavour Files, is recipe driven showcasing the best of West Cork produce and encouraging everyday cooking with it at home, as well as the best places to eat in the region.
Keep up with Kate’s food adventures on flavour.ie, and via her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Sign up to the Newsletter for previews of upcoming events, exclusive offers and news round-up.