It all kicks off on Thursday, with a National Organic Food Conference, then on Friday there are a series of workshops – from Irish Food Production: Post EU Quota, WTO and Peak Oil to GMOs and Food Tourism, Edible School Gardens, Food Miles and Routes to Market for Local Producers. You can have your say in advance on the discussion forum. This is the really serious business of the weekend as the information from these workshops will then be fed back to both Trevor Sargent, Minister of State for Food and Horticulture, and his counterpart in Northern Ireland, Farming Minister Michelle Gildernew.
On the lighter side of things, cookery demonstrations from Irish chefs have been scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Being a huge fan of Café Paradiso, I’d definitely be at the Denis Cotter demo given half a chance. I’ve also been enjoying An Irish Adventure With Food so would love to go along to see Paul Flynn (of The Tannery) cooking with pork (both on Friday). My former teacher, Rachel Allen, is also participating, cooking for an Autumn Dinner Party on Saturday morning. Clodagh McKenna, Eunice Power (Powersfield House), Neven Maguire, Sheila Kelly (Bord Bía), Nick Price (Nick’s Warehouse in Belfast) and Richard Corrigan are the other chefs taking part. There are also a selection of different food tours, taking in East Cork, Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Tipperary and Wexford on Saturday morning (the itineraries are all here) – I’m sure the Husband, with his new-found interest in brewing, would love the opportunity to join the Carlow tour and see around the Carlow Brewing Company!
Of course, all this is taking place – and I’m going to be working in Mallow. Only one person from URRU can attend and my boss definitely has first dibs. I’m heading off to Waterford after work on Saturday, however, so I can be there bright and early for the mother of all Farmers’ Markets, which will take place on John Roberts Square from 11am to 3pm.
Dear Food Lovers,We invite you to attend the largest Slow Food event to be held in Ireland this year. In collaboration with Bord Bía, the Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford City Council and Fáilte Ireland Slow Food will host Terra Madre Ireland 2008. The event will take place in Waterford from Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th of September, to celebrate and learn about the food of Ireland.Centred on the very substance that keeps us alive and well, and close to the hearts of all of members – Terra Madre Ireland 2008 is a celebration of Irish food!The event will attended by food-producers, policy-makers, manufacturers, academics, scientists, retailers, writers, chefs, and food enthusiasts. It will provide a forum for the consumer to see how policy making influences our food choices, and will show case the food produce of Ireland North and South.Under the theme of “The Future of Sustainable Food Production in Ireland” this four day event will comprise of conferences, a series of workshops, which you are all invited to attend. Above all it is a festival of food, providing each attendee with an opportunity to meet with producers, in a friendly and convivial environment. The event serves one of Slow Food’s core aims to elevate the role of consumer to that of co-producer.Terra Madre has secured national support and representation. President Mary McAleese will chair the conference on Friday which will be attended by Food Ministers from the North and South of Ireland. But above all, it is you, our Slow Food members and Food Lovers that are the heart and soul of this event. It is your valued decision as a consumer that will influence the continued growth of local produce, and the long term sustainability of local producers throughout the island.Spread out over four days, you may simply choose a one day visit, and perhaps combine your trip to see one of the 10 celebrity chefs will giving demonstrations on Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the marvellous new setting of the €36m purpose built culinary building in Waterford.Some of you may choose to overnight, or make a weekend out of the event. If so you will find a choice of a 4-star quality self catering bungalows, two bedrooms kitchen, sitting room, sleeping 4 or 5 people for 3 nights for a total of €200. Accommodation is located near the 6 mile beech in Tramore, which will make for a very pleasant stay. Further details can be found on the following website: www.terramadreireland.com under Pebble Beach.We advise that when booking the Conference you choose the workshop of your choice as most are limited to 50 people maximum.Booking details: A standard package of €50 is available to Slow food Members. Members who book before the end of August are eligible to a €10 euro discount. This package offers Conference Programme, Entry to the Friday Conference / Workshops, Breakfast & Lunch. Early bird discount also applies to Slow Food Members with a discount of €10 before end August. No discounts are available on standard plus package. We encourage members to avail of a €100 package on the web which combines several events and is very good value for money.Please feel free to circulate this email to friends and family. The event is open to all. We look forward to seeing you at Terra Madre Ireland.See you there!Best wishes,Darina Allen and the Slow Food Ireland Teamwww.slowfoodireland.com