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Top Picks off a Very Tasty Menu – A Taste of West Cork Food Festival 2016

A Taste of West Cork Food Festival returns this year, ambitious as ever with 188 events over 10 days across 32 town and villages and 8 islands. A vast programme, some 27 pages long available in print and online ( covering everything from producer visits; chef dining events; kayaking, walking and history tours; debates and seminars; markets and awards. It’s all happening the breadth and width of the West Cork from Bandon to the Beara Peninsula.

The festival has been going longer than anyone cares to remember, and certainly for me I have been attending this event every year for the past 6 years. I look forward to it without fail, and the programme keeps getting better each time. Obviously with this many events, it’s impossible to get to every single one, but how to whittle down to the 188 events? Well with great difficulty, and like any good festival, there will be some events that will be sacrificed for the sake of others.

So, dear reader, I will help you in your quest for getting the best festival experience by suggesting a Top 20(ish) of festival events. That’s two(ish) per day for ten days! Here goes…


Event: A Great Arrangement: Michael Collins, Kitty Kiernan and The Forging of a Nation – a Play by Patrick Talbot
Location: Skibbereen Town Hall
Time: 7.30pm
Price: €18

Event: Guest Chef, Matt Williamson (formerly of The Happy Pear)
Location: Richy’s Restaurant Richy’s Restaurant and R Café, Clonakilty
Time: 7pm
Price: €50


Event: A Deluxe Taste of West Cork Weekend 2 night stay in a deluxe room, welcome drink, West Cork breakfast each morning, dinner Saturday evening and complementary access to the Seawater Therapy pool.
Location: Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa,
Price: from €245pp

Event: Tasting Menu and Irish Beverage Showcase,
Location: Mews Restaurant, Baltimore
Time: 7.30pm
Price: €95


Event: Incredible Edible Talk with Mary Clear
Location: St Patrick’s National School Skibbereen
Time: 11am
Price: Free

Event: The Islanders Rest Barbeque with Derry Clarke of L’Ecrivain,
Location: The Islander’s Rest, Sherkin Island,
Time: 1-5pm
Price: From €20pp


Event: Forage & Find followed by Foraged Food Fest
Location: Meet at Emmet Square at 2.30pm or at Long Strand Car Park
Time: 3pm
Price: €20pp

Event: The Menu Cooks West Cork with Joe McNamee of The Irish Examiner,
Location: Kalbos @ The Uillinn & West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen,
Time: 7pm
Price: €45


Event: ‘Our Farms, Our Food, Our Future…’ A forum discussing the interdependence between modern farming and food production practices and health – with Ella McSweeney (RTE Ear to the Ground), Darina Allen, Professor Ted Dinan of UCC, Madeline McKeever of Brown Envelope Seeds, Dr Don Huber Professor Emeritus of Purdue University, Ann Darcy and Majella O’Neill.
Location: West Cork Hotel, Skibbereen
Time: 3-7pm
Price: €10pp

Event: The Supper Club
Location: Scannell’s Clonakilty
Time: 7.30pm
Price: €40pp

Event: Japanese Evening with Guest Chef Takashi Miyazaki
Location: Riverside Hotel, Skibbereen
Time: 7pm
Price: €45pp



Event: Glenilen Farm Visit,
Location: Castledonovan, Drimoleague,
Time: 10am
Price: €3.50

Event: 70 Years of O’Neills at Fernhill House Hotel _ Historical Walk and 4 Course Tasting Menu
Location: Fernhill House, Clonakilty
Time: Historical Walk – 6pm | Tasting Menu – 7.30pm
Price: Walk – Free | Tasting Menu – €35pp


Event: Ummera Smokehouse Tour
Location: Timoleague
Time: 10am
Price: Free

Event: Theatre Tapas
Location: Riverside Café, Skibbereen
Time: 7.30pm
Price: €12pp


Event: Food Fiction Fads and Phonies with Anthony Warren (aka The Angry Chef) and Paul Treyvaud
Location: Bord Iascaigh Mara, Park Road, Clonakilty
Time: 9.30am-3pm
Price: €30pp

Event: The Fork’n Pie Presents… “A Quentin Skibbereeno Production” plus dinner at a secret location
Location: Meet at Annie May’s Bar, Bridge Street, Skibbereen
Time: 6pm for 7pm Departure
Price: €30 including bus to secret location


Event: Beara Safari – Two Day Tour
Location: Meet at Casey’s Hotel, Glengarrif
Time: 10.30am
Price: €149pp (including accommodation)

Event: The Clonakilty Walking Food Tour with food blogger Kate Ryan of
Location: Meet at Arís Café in the upstairs lounge, Clonakilty
Time: 11am – 3pm(ish)
Price: €45


mindful wc

Event: Seaweed Discovery by Kayak – Atlantic Sea Kayaking
Location: Reen Pier, Union Hall
Time: 10am – 2pm
Price: €65pp

Event: Drimoleague Heritage Gourmet Walk
Location: Collins Centra, Drimoleague
Time: 2pm
Price: €20pp

Event: Day Sail on “Merlin”
Location: Carbery Sailing, Ahakista
Price: €180pp including lunch on board and dinner in Arundels by the Pier

Event: Mindfulness and Food: Meditation and the Senses
Location: Dzogchen Beara, Bantry
Time: 12noon – 2pm
Price: €20pp

Event: Singing for your Supper
Location: Levi’s Corner House, Ballydehob
Time: 7pm
Price: €55pp


Event: The Kitchen Miracle – five half-day course
Location: Good Things at Dillions Corner, Skibbereen
Time: From Sunday 18th to Friday 23rd September

Event: Festival Finale, Sunday Street Market
Location: Main Street, Skibbereen
Time: 12noon – 4pm
Price: Free

A word to the wise, events book up quickly, so without exception book well ahead. By downloading the programme you will also access all the information about how to book. Even the free events will have a limit on the numbers of people they can take, so book everything ahead of schedule to avoid disappointment.


Kate Ryan Flavour.ieKate Ryan is a 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 Opinion Magazine and The Southern Star newspaper and has been featured in the Irish Examiner and Irish Times. Her blog 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. Kate hosts a very popular social dining “Supper Club” as well as organising a variety of food-related events getting people to enjoy great local food together. In the summer season, Kate also runs the only guided Walking Food Tour of Clonakilty which takes place every Friday June to August and is accredited by Fáilte Ireland for the Wild Atlantic Way. Kate is also a judge with Blas na hEireann and the Irish Quality Food Awards.

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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