Festival Gallery

The 2021 Burren Slow Food Festival

Every night for a week, the Burren Ecotourism Network hosted an event live on their Facebook page showing a chef and a food producer (or a distiller and a brewer in one case, and a lobster fisherman and chef in another!) who talked about the foods used in a prepared dish. Each session was hosted by a member of the Burren Ecotourism  Network in their own venue throughout the Burren, like the Doolin Inn in Doolin, or Gregans Castle Hotel in Ballyvaughan, so you will get a feel for each host’s venue.

There was also live traditional Irish music afterwards provided by local, very talented musicians, so it really was a very rounded session each night.

The line-up spanned a wide area of food and drink. Watching the videos below, you will meet the Flaggy Shore Oysters & Fiddle & Bow Hotel, Burren Distillery & the Roadside Tavern, Burren Premium Beef & Anthony’s, Doolin Inn, Caherconnell Dairy Farm & Burren Gold Cheese at the Aillwee Cave, St. Tola’s Goats Cheese & The Wild Catering Company, the Burren Smokehouse & Gregans Castle Hotel and Glas Restaurant, Doolin & Michael O’Connell, a lobster fisherman.

As a special treat, the audience saw footage from the beautiful Burren landscape and Corcomroe Abbey which is officially called “Corcomroe Abbey, Santa Maria de Petra Fertilis” – the Fertile Rock. This is the very apt “nickname” for the Burren because it looks like one big rock without much to offer. But on closer inspection, it is lush and full of flowers and wildlife, and it provides us with a very rich variety of foods.

This is the series of videos that were shown during the festival:

Introduction to the Burren

 

Gregans Castle Hotel and the Burren Smokehouse

 

Doolin Inn and Burren Premium Beef

 

Burren Gold Cheese from Aillwee Cave and Caherconnell Dairy Farm

Glas Restaurant and Michael O’Connell

 

Wild Catering and St. Tola Goat’s Cheese

 

Fiddle+Bow Hotel and Flaggy Shore Oysters

 

Burren Brewery and Burren Distillers

 

The 2019 Burren Slow Food Festival

Burren Slow Food Festival 2019
Gareth Mullins, executive chef at Marker Hotel and General Commissioner of Euro-Toques. Photograph by Yvonne Vaughan Photography.

Seaweed farming in Ireland might be in its early stages compared to Asian countries, but it’s growing in popularity every year. Consumers are getting more and more aware of the health benefits – and the added taste bonuses in gins, for example!Seaweed, or sea vegetables, is a fat-free, protein-rich food that is good for our health and delicious in all types of cuisines and dishes.

Birgitta Hedin-Curtin, chairperson of the Burren Slow Food Festival (and owner-manager of the Burren Smokehouse of course), saw the good timing of the motto of this year’s festival, and got together a wide variety of speakers and chefs who showed off the healthy marine food in very different ways. Takashi Miyasaki from Ichigo Ichie, Cork, and Sally McKenna from McKenna’s Guides gave a cookery demonstration together.

Food to be enjoyed on the spot was of course at hand as well. Stonecutter’s Kitchen provided wonderful cakes and warm dishes like soup and quiches. Bia Rebel’s owner Brian gave a demo showing us how to cook Japanese ramen which is a very flavourful and ingredients-rich noodle dish. They also sold (out) their different ramen at the festival. Other foods to be got were gourmet crêpes, sausages, lobster and seafood, and burgers.
At the artisan market, we had an amazing choice of different stalls.

 

Burren Slow Food Festival 2019
Cookery demo by Takashi Miyasaki and Sally McKenna

The quality of the products were incredibly high, and there were happy faces all around. From peated wines, locally produced honey, beautiful and useful pottery, a vast array of balsamic vinegars, jams and preserves, cheeses, woodworks to even jewellery – the offer covered a lot of ground!

Oonagh O’Dwyer from Wild Kitchen held a workshop about seaweed and its uses. Evan Talty from Wild Irish Seaweed talked about his seaweed gathering and processing business. Gareth Mullins from the Marker Hotel in Dublin demoed using Burren Smoked Irish Organic Salmon and made brownies with seaweed. Just some of the highlights on the busy festival schedule.

 

 

 

Burren Slow Food Festival 2019
Seafood buffet at Tí Ned

This year’s festival also featured a few off-site events, like the much anticipated seafood journey to Inis Oírr which has kicked off the festival for two years in a row now. After a short but beautiful ferry trip with Doolin2Aran Ferries, we arrived at the smallest of the Aran Island and walked to Tí Ned where a generous buffet with lobster, crab, Burren Smoked Irish Organic Salmon and different salads as well as sophisticated desserts waited for us. For those who were culturally curious, we had organised a visit to Áras Eanna Arts Centre where volunteer and islander Úna McDonagh told us the story of the most famous Irish ship wreck, the Plassey, and showed us the fashion of days gone by.

On Saturday night, we had our Burren Slow Food Banquet with a twist. We invited the only Irish female Michelin-star chef Danni Barry from Northern Ireland, and she cooked up a storm! What a delicious treat we had.

Chef Danni Barry in the Burren Storehouse.
Photograph by Yvonne Vaughan Photography.

On Sunday afternoon, we invited for a late lunch, family buffet-style, cooked by executive head chef Gareth Mullins and Anna from the Marker Hotel, Graham Neville from Dax, Alberto Rossi from the Intercontinental Hotel – all members of the prestigious Euro-Toques organisation.

 

‘Burren Late Lunch Buffet’ with Euro-Toques chefs Gareth Mullins (The Marker), Alberto Rossi (Intercontinental) and Graham Neville (Dax) at the Burren Storehouse. Photograph by Yvonne Vaughan Photography.