Burren Slow Food Festival 12-14 May 2017

The next Burren Slow Food Festival will take place earlier than usual, from 12 to 14 May 2017.

Irish Gins and Cheeses at the Burren Slow Food FestivalThe 11th Burren Food Festival in Lisdoonvarna will be a celebration of the “Best of Irish GIN and Irish RAW MILK CHEESES” …

The festival schedule below is not yet set in stone, but just to give you an idea what to expect…

A celebration of Ireland’s best gins and raw cheeses 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 from the 12 to 14 May 2017.

“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.

Irish Gins Galore

“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,” Birgitta says.

Irish Raw Cheese at Burren Slow Food Festival Raw Milk Cheese Presidium

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 eleven 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. “

There will be cheese represented from the following Raw Milk Cheese producers:
Coolattin Farmhouse Cheese, Bellingham Blue, Durrus Farmhouse Cheese, Mike’s Fancy Cheese/Young Buck, Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese/15 Fields, Corleggy Cheese, Carlow Farmhouse Cheese, Killeen Cheese, Cloonconra Cheese,  St. Tola/Inagh Farmhouse Cheese, Dingle Peninsula Cheese.

As an extra bonus: Oysters and Poitín in one tasting!

The last tasting event of the weekend will be held on Sunday afternoon and comprises a surprising combination – Póitín and Oysters. First, Pádraic Ó Griallais from Micil Irish Poitín will be talking about his distillery which has been in his family for five generations.  Then, two oyster producers will be giving an insight into oyster farming. These two talks will be followed by a tasting of poitín and oysters!

 

Burren Slow Food Festival Darina Allen Birgitta Hedin CurtinWhat – and who – to expect

The festival will be officially launched by John Mulcahy, Head of Food Tourism, Failte Ireland and Darina Allen from Ballymaloe 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. As a special guests, we will have executive chefs Jonathan Keane from the Lodge at Ashford Castle and Peter Jackson from the Armada Hotel in Co. Clare doing a cookery demo – a special treat for foodies!

The list of speakers include Seamus Sheridan from Sheridans Cheesemongers, Fingal Ferguson from Gubeen Cheese and Lesley Williams, Irish Examiner wine and drinks columnist.

One of the attendees 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 at the festival 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.

We have lined up two fantastic cookery demos. It is quite a coup to have been able to secure Jonathan Keane‘s participation in the festival. Jonathan is not only the executive chef of the Lodge at Ashford Castle, Cong/Co. Mayo, but also a staunch foodie, forager in the vast park around the castle, and promoter of Cong as a foodie destination. Very much the same can be said about Executive Chef Peter Jackson from the Armada Hotel in Spanish Point, Co. Clare. Peter just loves wild food and growing what is needed for the kitchen if possible. Last year, he won the inaugural Cono Sur Chef Challenge! We are very much looking forward to both cookery demos.

The two-day event will feature the aforementioned Artisan Food Producers’ Market, tastings, foraging, children’s activities, the traditional Burren Slow Food Banquet as well as a Seafood Picnic in a boat under the Cliffs of Moher.

 

Archery at the Burren Slow Food FestivalKids’ Activities

Ben will be offering archery for kids from 12pm on Saturday and Sunday. So bring along your little ones and have them try it out!

We will also have two Clayotic workshops. Clayotic is a new material that allows kids (and adults!) to shape anything they like, and it doesn’t leave a mess. They will have a stall at the festival and volunteered to host a workshop each day. Look out for the times on the day at the festival.

 

Below you will find the schedule of events for the 2017 Burren Slow Food Festival.

Check back regularly in case we update the schedule. And follow us on Facebook for up-to-date news!

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Friday 12 May 2017
Champagne & Seafood Picnic under the Cliffs of Moher
Enjoy a great Champagne & Seafood Picnic under the majestic Cliffs of Moher
Departure from Doolin pier
18:00
50 per person

Enjoy a great picnic on the brand new Doolin Ferry boat under the majestic Cliffs of Moher.
The picnic will include delicious locally produced foods from the Burren.
Weather permitting. If the weather god frowns on us, an alternative cruise will be provided.

Saturday 13th May 2017
Workshop - Designing Community Garden & Orchard
Help us design a Community Garden & Orchard
The Pavilion
11:00

This community driven workshop for kids and adults hosted by Tidy Towns and the Burren Slow Food Festival will be another step on the path to a space where the whole community of Lisdoonvarna and surrounds can come to enjoy nature, grow edible foods and harvest fruits.

Under the gentle guidance of Theresa O'Donohoe, the group will meet at the Pavilion and walk the short distance to the area in the park where we want to create the lovley community garden and orchards.

We will take down all ideas and suggestions from the group, go back to the Pavilion and sit down to draw up some sketches and plans. They will then be presented to the people attending the festival, and to John Mulcahy from Fáilte Ireland as well as Darina Allen from Ballymaloe who will both be launching the festival.

As a bonus for your hard work, you will have free admission to the festival for Saturday (note: no free admission for Gin Talks & Tastings).

This is your chance to have your say and input in the communal area. This could be especially rewarding for children!

Artisan Food Producers' & Farmers' Market
Taste, Experience, Ask & Buy
The Pavilion, inside and outside, Lisdoonvarna
11:00
17:00

You will see, taste and experience a great array of products and produce at our market. They will range from all kinds of pastries and breads, grilled meats, coffees, teas, vegetables, wines, smoked salmon to kitchen accessories. The focus of this festival is on specialities like Irish Gins and Raw Cheeses which will be explained in talks and demonstrations, and can be tasted throughout the weekend.

Festival Launch
Launch of the Festival
The Pavilion, Lisdoonvarna
Festival Launch
12:00

Mr John Mulcahy from Fáilte Ireland will be launching the 2017 Burren Slow Food Festival.

Archery for kids
Archery for kids
Outside the Pavilion Theatre
12:00
16:00

Try out if you are a Catniss or a Robin Hood! Ben Bennett from Lahinch Adventures will offer archery for kids so they will be happy while you are enjoying the festival.

Talk - "Irish Cheese" by Seamus Sheridan
Talk - "Irish Cheese" by Seamus Sheridan
The Pavilion, Lisdoonvarna
13:00

Seamus Sheridan from Sheridan's Cheesemongers will give a talk about and overview on Irish Cheeses.

Talk - Raw Milk Cheeses
Presidia of Irish Raw Milk Cheeses with Siobhan ni Ghairbhith & other producers
The Pavilion, Lisdoonvarna
14:00

The members of the Presidia of Irish Raw Milk Cheese producers will give a talk on why Raw Milk Cheeses have a place in our society, and why they should be protected.

There will be cheese present from the following Raw Milk Cheese producers:
Coolattin Farmhouse Cheese
Bellingham Blue
Durrus Farmhouse Cheese
Mike’s Fancy Cheese/Young Buck
Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese/15 Fields
Corleggy Cheese
Carlow Farmhouse Cheese
Killeen Cheese
Cloonconra Cheese
St. Tola/Inagh Farmhouse Cheese
Dingle Peninsula Cheese

Cookery Demo - Executive Chef Peter Jackson
Cookery Demo - Peter Jackson, Executive Chef of the Armada Hotel
The Pavillion, Lisdoonvarna
15:00

Peter Jackson has built up an amazing reputation for fine cuisine. He has accumulated over 20 years of industry time both here at home & many years overseas. He is a lover of wild & slow food, and the Armada Hotel in Spanish Point, where he is the Executive Chef, is now also growing vegetables on their very own Armada Farm.
Last year, he won the inaugural Cono Sur Chef Challenge!

Cookery demo dishes:
Ravioli of Armada farm beetroot & St. Tola's goats cheese
Ceviche of sustainable local fish with Irish gin & lime

Talk & Tasting - The Best of Irish Gins
Gin Tasting - Experience the best of Irish Gins
The Pavillion, Lisdoonvarna
16:00
€15 including admission for Saturday and the following talk & tasting

This Gin Tasting with Kieran Curtin and Leslie Williams will feature Blackwater Gin, Dingle Gin, Bertha's Revenge, Drumshambo Gunpowder Gin, Shortcross Gin, Boatyard Gin and Dublin Gin). You will not only taste gins, but get a profound insight into the making of the spitir and historical background of the gin industry.

Talk & Tasting - The Secrets of Gin & Tonic
The Secrets of Gin & Tonic
The Pavilion, Lisdoonvarna
17:00
€15 including admission for Saturday and the preceding talk & tasting

In this demo (and no doubt tasting), you will learn about the secrets of gin & tonic under the professional guidance of mixologist Oisín Davis from Poachers Premium Beverages.

Launch of the Irish Gin Bar
Burren STOREhouse
18:45

A very hot trend in Ireland right now are Gins - produced in Ireland. There are a great number of even greater quality gins available, and if enjoyed straight up or as part of a cocktail - they are always a discovery and pleasure! Tonight we will launch the new custom-built Gin Bar at the Burren Storehouse (next to the Roadside Tavern in Lisdoonvarna) just before the Burren Slow Food Banquet. Come a bit earlier and join us when we cut the red tape!

Burren Slow Food Banquet
A celebration of the best of foods produced in Clare
Burren STOREhouse, Lisdoonvarna
19:00
50 per person

Every year as part of the Burren Slow Food Festival, we have a banquet to celebrate the best of foods produced in our beautiful part of the country.
Chef Viv Kelly and his team from Kieran’s Kitchen in the Roadside Tavern will do his magic to delight everybody’s taste buds. The menu will provide a good balance between meat and seafood.
Early booking is essential for this event.

Sunday 14th May 2017
Artisan Food Producers' and Farmers' Market
Taste, Experience, Ask & Buy
The Pavilion, inside and outside, Lisdoonvarna

You will see, taste and experience a great array of products and produce at our market. They will range from all kinds of pastries and breads, grilled meats, coffees, teas, vegetables, wines, smoked salmon to kitchen accessories. The focus of this festival is on specialities like Irish Gins and Raw Cheeses which will be explained in talks and demonstrations, and can be tasted throughout the weekend.

Coffee Brunch - Brian O'Briain from Anam Coffee
Brian O'Briain will introduce you into the world of coffee sourcing and roasting.
The Pavillion, Lisdoonvarna
12:00

Anam Coffee are special as in they have a very strict business ethos. They care passionately about the beans they select, but also about how they are grown with regard to the environment, and about the farmers. They pay more for their coffee beans ensuring the farmer has been paid substantially more to harvest his beans in a way that delivers unique flavours with great quality. Brian will explain all of this in good details, and have tasters of his different coffees at hand, as well as pastries from Fabiola's Sea Salt Cafés in Liscannor and Doolin.

Archery for Kids
Archery for Kids
Outside the Pavilion Theatre
12:00
16:00

Try and find out if your offspring is a Catniss or a Robin Hood!

For a little obolus, Ben Bennett from Lahinch Adventures will offer archery for kids so they will be happy while you are enjoying the festival.

Cookery Demo - Executive Chef Jonathan Keane from the Lodge at Ashford Castle
Cookery Demo - Executive Chef Jonathan Keane, The Lodge at Ashford Castle and Wilde's Restaurant
The Pavillion, Lisdoonvarna
13:00

We are delighted to announce that Executive Chef Jonathan Keane from the Lodge at Ashford Castle, Cong, will grace our Burren Slow Food Festival this year!

Jonathan is a real food lover and daily forages wild foods in the huge parkland surrounding the castle with his team - he uses gorse flowers, wood sorrel, pine, seaweeds and cresses in his strictly seasonal dishes.

His upbringing as the son of a sheep farmer and gardener next to Kylemore Abbey influenced him in a big way. He grows big parts of the foods needed for the busy kitchens of Ashford Castle and the Lodge at Ashford Castle. He is a big supporter of local foods and is involved in putting Cong on the foodie map.

Jonathan has had an extraordinary career - he started working in a kitchen at the age of 15, and when he reached the tender age of 22, he was already head chef! He is a member of Euro-Toques Ireland, co-leader of the Slow Food Movement in Mayo and chairperson of Cong Food Village which he founded in January 2015.

Talk - Honey and Bees
Talk on Honey and Bees
The Pavilion
Lisdoonvarna
14:00

Another great and interesting talk on Honey Bees, beekeeping and honey in general will be held on Sunday afternoon by Frank Benson from Banner Beekeepers.

If you ever thought about taking up beekeeping (as it was the tradition in the old days to keep the family healthy), this is a good starting point. You can talk to Frank to get some pointers!

Talks & Tasting - Poitín & Oysters
Talks & Tasting - Poitín & Oysters
The Pavilion, Lisdoonvarna
15:00
16:30
€15 per person including admission for Sunday

The last tasting event of the weekend will be held on Sunday afternoon from 3pm: Póitín and Oysters.

First, Pádraic Ó Griallais from Micil Irish Poitín will be talking about his distillery which has been in his family for five generations.

Then, two oyster producers (Ciara O'Halloran from Flaggy Shore Oysters and Hugh O'Malley from Achill Oysters) will be giving you an insight into oyster farming.

These two talks will be followed by a tasting of poitín and oysters!