Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Food Festivals in Cork

Last night was the official launch of the Skibbereen Foodfestival and of course, I was in attendance. The weather was fab, the food plenty and the wine smooth - what more does a girl want these days. There were of course a few speeches (the Mayor of Skib etc) but the one speech that absolutely impressed me the most was given by Sally Barnes. It is hard to impress me with words (I am rather an action girl) but the passion, warmth and deep understanding of West Cork culture with which the speech was given was simply amazing. I asked her if she would mind, giving me the speech (I was not the only one asking for it) and she kindly emailed it to me. Make sure you come back tomorrow to read it (it is too much for one post) it is well worth it - especially if you are into your food.

Anyhow, that reminded me that there are a few festivals coming up and I thought - just in case you didn't know already - that I let you know. Below are the festivals I am aware off - so the list might be incomplete - if so, please let me know.

23rd August - Mallow Food Festival

I went last year (won't make it this year) and the atmosphere was excellent. Mallow might not be on your culinary map - but the festival is worth a visit. It is only on for 1 day and the Main Street is closed off for traffic (you can park at Tesco's - NOT free). Between Noon and 15:30 you can breathe in the buzzing of the different market stalls - from bakers, caterers, florists, jewellers to natural skincare.....Green Saffron will be there, so you are in for a treat of the curry. Last year a few restaurants offered their meals for a fraction of the make sure you head to Mallow Sunday next.

28th - 30th August - Mitchelstown Food Festival

I only drove through Mitchelstown a few times on the way to another destination so I can't really judge the foodie scene in the town but their website states that Mitchelstown is well known as 'the home of good food' - hmmmm. But at least they are foodie enough to organise a food festival (in its sixth year). The program sounds interesting - from workshops to fun days. Check out their website for more info and booking details. Hope to have the time to head to Mitchelstown.

12th September - Midleton Food Festival

The annual festival in Midleton takes place on Saturday 12th September. The usual farmer's market will be extended to include smaller producers but also craft and art (hope the patchwork lady will be there again). Also, Main Street will be closed off for traffic (you can only park a limited time at Tesco's). Last years festival started with a delay (not the market tho) so hopefully, they are better organised this year. Restaurant Sage is a lovely place to have breakfast (VERY childfriendly).

14th - 20th September - Skibbereen Food Festival

And my favourite of all - Skibbereen is the place to be. Caz & Jan were so 'considerate' to get married on the see what a good friend I am, attending the wedding rather than the mystery dining in Skib. Anyhow, this is a festival well organised. The whole town is involved and the atmosphere is simply amazing. The people involved have a passion not only for food but for the region and their community. And for this week, everyone can be part of this community. Their program is second to none. Check out their website for the different events (actually, the events start already on the 10th.)

So, that's me for now - hope to see you at one of the festivals....

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