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Local food firms get ready to delight as city welcomes ‘Cork on a Fork’ festival

August 18th, 2022 11:55 AM

By Dylan Mangan

Executive chef at the Imperial Hotel in Cork, Ali Honour, with fishmonger Pat O’Connell, Laura Sullivan (8) and lord mayor Deirdre Forde at the launch of the Cork on a Fork festival. (Photo: Clare Keogh)

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WEST Cork will be well represented at a brand new food festival launching in Cork city later this month.

Cork on a Fork is a new festival designed to help further the city’s reputation as a vibrant food destination and to support the government’s night-time economy initiative.

Popular West Cork products such as Clonakilty Blackpudding and Kinsale Gin are involved in the five-day festival which the organisers say will feature ‘unique experiences, food trails, tasting masterclasses, street events, bite-size food talks, cooking demos, free events, Cork on a Fork specials, family fun, night-time food experiences and more.’

One of the West Cork highlights will be the Kinsale Gin pop-up event at Dwyers of Cork on Thursday August 18th from 6-8pm, which will be part of the festival’s efforts to celebrate nightlife in the city.

Clonakilty Blackpudding will feature heavily across the five days, with the West Cork delicacy expected to show up in pizza-making workshops, tapas experiences, tasting trails and family lunches.

The celebration of all things food takes place from August 17th to 21st, and will be hosted in venues and streets across the city centre.

Commenting on the launch of the festival, lord mayor of Cork Deirdre Forde (FG) said that Cork can become the food capital of Ireland. ‘Our city is packed with talented chefs, great places to eat, Michelin-rated restaurants, fun pubs, new outdoor dining spots, and the famous English Market,’ she said. ‘Cork also has an incredible range of producers – from artisan cheese to smoked fish, tender meats, craft beer and more.’

Cork’s streets have been transformed since the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced restaurants, bars and cafés to close. 146 street furniture licences have been granted across the city, with €600,000 given in outdoor dining grants and the recent investment of €1.3m worth of new bespoke weatherproofing infrastructure adding to the vibrant atmosphere in the city centre.

Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin (Greens) said that she is committed to supporting a more diverse night-time economy in Cork city, and wants it ‘to be about diversity of offering, inclusivity, innovation and making the most of what we have in our communities.’

‘Cork city has such a vibrant and growing food scene with locations such as the English Market and other parts of the city offering great opportunities for developing new food initiatives as part of the night-time economy.’

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