Last night I was at the launch of the Good Food Ireland Week Cork in, naturally enough, the English Market. An array of Good Food Ireland producers had teamed up with restaurant, hotel and café members to showcase their products and there was a multi-course feast lined up on the Farmgate Café balcony overlooking the fountain.
There was a scrum around Kinsale’s Fishy Fishy who were first in the firing line with their delectable fish pies and langoustines in lemon cream sauce but there was plenty more to eat and savour: perfect Mini Benedicts with quails’ eggs on Gubbeen ham from Liberty Grill; pig’s tongue in cheek on slivers of tart apple from Ballymaloe House; on home turf, the Farmgate Café had a hearty warming venison stew using some of Jack McCarthy‘s superb venison; sweet treats from Urru favourites Mella’s Fudge, Lorge Chocolates and Seymour’s shortbread; and, for anyone with a few corners left to fill, Declan Ryan from Arbutus Bread and Jeffa Gill of Durrus Cheese offered samples of their own wares.
The whole event, which was packed with a loudly appreciative audience from the 7pm start to the finish of the food, was highlighting the fact that more than 30 Cork restaurants, hotels, cafés and bars are offering a plate of Irish artisan food and glass of wine for just €15 until Friday 12 Febuary. Selected hotels in Cork, including Hayfield Manor and Ballyvolane House, are offering three nights accomodation for the price of two this week. If you’re heading towards Ballyvolane House, it is also a superb place for dinner and make sure to check out their Lismore restaurant O’Brien Chop House, recently awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand for good, affordable food.
More information and a list of participating venues are available on www.goodfoodireland.ie. If the quality of food on offer last night is anything to go by, customers are in for a treat. Don’t forget – the offer closes on Friday!