A celebration of Ireland’s best gin and cheese will be one of the highlights of the Burren Slow Food Festival 2017, 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, founding 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 Oisín Davies, who will be making unique cocktails with wild and foraged ingredients,” says Birgitta.
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 Ní 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 Head of Food Tourism at Fáilte Ireland, John Mulcahy, on Saturday May 13th at noon 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 Selfridge’s 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 Selfridge’s. 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 Sheridan’s Cheesemongers, Fingal Ferguson from Gubeen Cheese and Lesley Williams, wine and drinks columnist, the Irish Examiner. Previous years participants have included Darina Allen, JP McMahon from Aniar restaurant, Derry and Sally Anne Clarke of L’Ecrivain and Donal Skehan.
The two day event will also include a farmer’s 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 Festival 2017.