Here is Everything You Need to Know About This Year’s Cork Feast Food Festival

Launch of FEAST Cork – a festival of East Cork food and drink, 2-9th September By Kate Ryan,

Award-winning chef, Kevin Ahern and his wife Réidín recently launched the 2018 programme for FEAST Cork in the stunning surrounding of the five-star Castlemartyr Resort.

Now in its second year since its renaissance from modest forerunner, The Midleton Food Festival, this years’ programme is its most ambitious yet with 33 different events for day time adventures, foraging and evening dining events to family fun and frolics of the adult imbibing kind.

Irish Distillers, the company behind Jameson, the spirit most associated with Midleton, is a key supporter of the festival this year, creating a rich array of complimentary events. The chance to meet their Master Cooper (5th Sept) and learn about this ancient craft; or their Irish Whiskey Academy event combining a Distiller’s Apprentice Tour with a Distiller’s Apprentice course on the grain to glass production process as well as the heritage of Irish whiskey at Jameson Distillery (6th Sept), or the Whiskey and Single Pot Still Masterclasses (3 rd and 4th Sept) are just some of the interesting ways to learn about Ireland’s obsession about uisce beatha.

Events that focus on looking back to cherished memories, such as the FEAST on Memories event at Ballymaloe House celebrating the legacy of Myrtle Allen; or looking forward with the Future of Food discussion with young upcoming chefs, producers and food engineers chaired by Manuella Spinelli of Eurotoques Ireland are sure to stoke the embers of conversation.

Tastings and Meet the Producers events are dotted about the programme featuring East Cork Cheesemakers, Distillers and Growers, all complimented by an exciting array of lunchtime and evening dining events where social dining and community are very much at the core. Long Table lunches in beautiful Ballyvolane and the by now famous Long Table Dinner at Sage are sure to delight.

With some events already sold out and others selling fast, it is best not to dally and make plans to immerse yourself in this Feast in East Cork!

The full festival programme can be viewed at, and includes these highlights…

3rd September:
Tasting Dinner at The Bayview Hotel in Ballycotton “Ingenuity & The Bounty”

4th September:
A Ballycotton Feast with Pier 26 celebrating local, wild and organic produce.

5th September:
Meet the Cheesemakers with Ballinrostig;
Coopering Demo & Whiskey Tasting with Jameson’s Head Cooper Ger Buckley and Blender Dave McCabe;
An evening of exquisite food and culinary insight at Ballymaloe House
East Cork Small Plates Night at Ferrit & Lee;
Culinary fish and shellfish adventure in Samphire at The Garryvoe Hotel.

6th September:
Irish Whiskey Academy – Distiller’s Apprentice Tour with a Distiller’s Apprentice course on the grain to glass production process as well as the heritage of Irish whiskey at Jameson Distillery;
Ballyvolane House hosts a Bertha’s Revenge Gin Distillery tour & tasting followed by a long-
table lunch;
Family fun in The Square featuring Mick “The Lobsterman”, Jack from the Granary Foodstore and Susan from Crafty Hands where wood-fired pizzas and Ireland’s best lobster rolls await.
Fiesta at Farmgate celebrating 35 years in the community with a one-off special tasting menu of their most popular dishes.
Pop to The Pepperstack with a menu delicately influenced by Jameson.

7th September:
Ballymaloe House host the FEAST Irish Distillers Cocktail Workshop followed by lunch.
Explore the cocoa bean in the company of the folks behind delectable artisan chocolates, Rostellan Chocolate;
‘Straight from the Cask’ the SAGE Long Table Dinner, four courses by award-winning chef Kevin Aherne and 2017 World Bartender of the Year, Andy Ferreira.

8th September “The Big Day Out”:
Starting with a specially extended tour of the famous Jameson Distillery the day continues with a street market, farmers’ market and gardening workshops run all day from Midleton Community Garden and GIY, plus the East Cork restaurant tent packed with chef demos;
Head out on a Mushroom hunt with fun-guy Mark Cribbin of speciality mushroom grower, Ballyhoura Mushrooms.

9th September:
Learn to identify and use sustainably harvested seaweed followed by a forage with marine biologist Frances Gallagher.


Kate Ryan is an established food writer, blogger and founder of, a website that is dedicated to promoting West Cork Food through writing, events and tours. Kate writes regularly for the Evening Echo and The Southern Star newspapers, The Opinion Magazine,, and has been featured in the Irish Examiner and Irish Times. Kate was commissioned by A Taste of West Cork Food Festival to author an “Artisan Food Guide” published in June 2017.

Her blog, The Flavour Files, is recipe driven showcasing the best of West Cork produce and encouraging everyday cooking with it at home, as well as the best places to eat in the region.

Keep up with Kate’s food adventures on, and via her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Sign up to the Newsletter for previews of upcoming events, exclusive offers and news round-up.

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