Last night was the launch of Cork's first French Food & Wine Festival at the 'On the Pig's back' Cafe in Douglas, Patrick's Woolen Mills. It was the perfect timing of launching the festival as the 'Confrerie des Chevaliers du Goute Bouding' (The Black Pudding Fraternity of Lovers of Good Food) was touring Ireland to congratulate Irish Black Pudding at its best. The Fraternity awarded 3 medals to Irish Black Pudding producers. Bronze went to Sean Kelly of Newport, silver to Willie & Avril Allshire of Rosscabery and the gold medal went to Mcarthy's of Kanturk. Congratulations to all.
Isabelle welcomed the winners and the Fraternity in her beautiful cafe with one of the most impressive buffets I have seen in a long time. Salads, cheeses, breads, meats, a wonderful ham baked in a big bread (of course prepared and baked by Declan Ryan of Arbutus) and of course the amazing black puddings - even a black pudding tart was on display.
Jim Daly, County Mayor, opened the Festival with a short speech. He had a reception for the Fraternity prior to them joining the launch. Darina Allen & Myrtle Allen joined us as well and Darina - true to herself - opened the buffet with a speech that she just threw together, celebrating the quality of Irish Food. She congratulated all winners and gave special mentioning to the Allshires of being the first ever to receive the medal a few years prior.
The French Delegation was impressed by the quality and variety of Irish Food and I think it was not the last time we have seen them in Cork. As AirFrance is on strike, the return trip today was in question but no one seemed to be particularly bothered to have to stay a day longer.
make sure you pay Douglas a visit as the program is impressive. Friday and Saturday will be a market held with music, dance, competitions etc. Don't miss it. All events take place in the area around the cafe in the Patrick Woolen Mills. Hope to see you there.