Foodies can rejoice as the Old Butter Roads (OBR) Food Trails Festival returns for its third year, running from 24 May to 1 June.
The festival will take place over the weekend of 24-26 May centred around the hotly rated gastropub O’Mahony’s of Watergrasshill.
It all kicks off on the Friday night with music and storytelling from the Gab Group before Joe McNamee’s Grub Circus takes over on Saturday morning to present a two-day programme of food, fun and the OBR Food Symposium.
The symposium will take the form of two panel-led discussions and information sessions hosted by Joe McNamee to establish a template for promoting the OBR members and their activities and the overall region as a tourism and food tourism destination. Over two days, some of the heavyweights of the Irish food world, led by Darina Allen, will assemble to offer insight, guidance and inspiration based on their own experiences in the food, tourism and hospitality sectors.
Top chef Michael Quinn (formerly Waterford Castle, now lecturing at WIT) will give a series of rolling cookery demos over the weekend, presenting delicious yet simple recipes all featuring produce from OBR members and producers, with plenty of samples available for the audiences. There will be additional opportunities to sample during the blind tastings, in which the general public competes for prizes by identifying various foodstuffs while blindfolded.
The Courtyard will host a BBQ stall and market, with stalls featuring OBR members’ produce and children are especially well catered for over the course of the weekend with nationally-renowned actor and puppeteer Dominic Moore bringing his puppet show to Granny’s Garden, the specially designated kidzone adjacent to the Courtyard.
Moore will also oversee hands-on butter making sessions, allowing children to make their own butter and a Kidz Kookoff Kompetition will see two teams of children under chef mentors competing against each other for great prizes. There is also face-painting and other entertainment.
The adults are equally catered for with a food quiz open to the general public and a Craft Beer vs Craft Cider Food Pairing competition that sees producers compete against each other to find the best beverage to pair with chef Michael Quinn’s dishes and with the general audience as judges. The audience will also be called on to adjudicate in the High Spirits Cocktail Competition as they sample cocktails from OBR member-producers and make the final call as to which they like the best.
In addition to the weekend programme in O’Mahony’s, there will be other events taking place throughout the region including food tours in Cork city, an OBR Menu available in member restaurants, cafes and eateries, OBR bus tours, an apple blossom orchard walk at Longueville House and a Berthas Revenge Gin Session on Saturday 1 June in Ballyvolane House.