11th Burren Food Festival set for May

11th Burren Food Festival set for May

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A celebration of Ireland’s best gin and cheese will be one of the highlights of this year’s Burren Slow Food festival, which will take place in County Clare this May.

The 11th annual Burren Slow food festival, organised by Slow Food Clare will bring together food producers, chefs and writers for a weekend of talks, demonstrations and workshops in Lisdoonvarna on the 12th-14th May.

“The slow food festival gives us a platform to promote the best of the Burren’s produce, which is now recognised as some of the finest in Ireland and internationally”, said Birgitta Hedin-Curtin, founder member of Slow Food Clare and Chairperson of the Burren Slow Food Festival.

“This year our theme is Irish gin and cheese and we will be showcasing the best of Irish gin; a market which has grown enormously in the past couple of years. There will be a wide range of gins to try, including Blackwater gin, Drumshambo gunpowder Irish gin, Dingle gin and Shortcross gin.  We are also fortunate to have Dublin’s leading mixologist Oisin Davies, who will be making unique cocktails with wild and foraged ingredients.”

For the first time, Ireland’s raw milk cheese presidium will be at the event, hosting workshops and tastings of raw milk cheese, many of which are not widely available, nationwide. The presidium, which is made up of 11 artisan dairies work with their own distinctive style and techniques and share a common commitment to producing a safe, high-quality product using raw milk from their own cows or goats or milk from nearby herds.

Siobhan Ni Ghairbhith from St Tola Goat cheese, who will be giving a demonstration at the event said: “It is an opportunity for members of the Presidium to meet the public and educate them on the importance of raw milk and cheese. There is a growing demand for naturally produced food and people want to meet the producers and see where their food comes from. “

The festival, will be officially launched by John Mulcahy, Head of Food Tourism, Failte Ireland on Saturday May 13th at midday at the Pavilion theatre. This will be followed by a series of talks and demonstrations by chefs and food industry specialists.  One of the speakers confirmed for this year’s event is Bruce Langlands, board director of food and hospitality at Selfridges in London.

“We are honoured to have Bruce Langlands give a presentation this year. As always, he will be on the lookout for new and unique food products which he can bring back to Selfridges. This is a great opportunity for our local food producers to impress one of the world’s leading retailers,” added Ms Hedin-Curtin.

Other speakers announced include Seamus Sheridan from Sheridans Cheesemongers, Fingal Ferguson from Gubeen Cheese and Lesley Williams, wine and drinks columnist, the Irish Examiner.  Previous years participants have included Darina Allen, JP McManus from Aniar restaurant, Derry and Sally Anne Clarke of L’Ecrivain and Donal Skehan.

The two day event will also include a farmers market, tastings, foraging, children’s activities, the traditional Burren Slow Food Banquet and a champagne and seafood picnic in a boat under the Cliffs of Moher.

For more information visit www.slowfoodclare.com or Facebook (slowfoodclare) for more on the Burren Slow Food Week Festival 2017.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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