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Michelin-star chefs for Burren Slow Food Week Festival

John Sheedy of Sheedy's Restaurant, Birgitta Hedin Curtin of Burren Smokehouse, Jason Horner of Leen Organics and Gerry Sweeney of Burren Seafoods photographed in the Burren which hosts the Burren Slow Food Week Festival from May 16th to 24th. Photo Yvonne Vaughan

John Sheedy of Sheedy’s Restaurant, Birgitta Hedin Curtin of Burren Smokehouse, Jason Horner of Leen Organics and Gerry Sweeney of Burren Seafoods photographed in the Burren which hosts the Burren Slow Food Week Festival from May 16th to 24th. Photo Yvonne Vaughan

The rising popularity of the Slow Food movement in Ireland will be demonstrated in County Clare this May when Michelin Star chefs and food producers come together for the Burren Slow Food Week Festival 2015.

Supported by the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark and featuring members of The Burren Food Trail and The Burren Adventure, the 9th annual festival will feature 34 food events ranging from workshops and demonstrations to food sampling and foraging walks throughout the Burren.

The theme of this year’s extended festival from May 16th to 24th is ‘Land and Sea’, which will be the central focus of cookery demonstrations by Michelin Star chefs Derry Clarke of L’Ecrivain and JP Mc Mahon of Aniar in Galway. Using local ingredients Burren Beef & Lamb and New Quay Lobsters & Crab, the chefs will highlight the range and quality of local food produce available in the Burren. The demonstrations take place held in the Lisdoonvarna Pavilion Theatre on May 23rd and 24th.

Other highlights of the week include a talk by Sally and John McKenna of McKennas’ Guides (formerly The Bridgestone Guide), a Food Producers Forum, a guided walk outlining the history of family farming in the Burren, a Wild Food Foraging Walk, a Farmers Market, a Food History Lunch focusing on the history of food preservation in Ireland, and a family Grow It Yourself (GIY) Demonstration and workshop. Meanwhile, food producers will open their doors to the public in daily events from May 16th to May 22nd.

With many of the week’s events taking place at the Lisdoonvarna Pavilion Theatre, the Festival Programme also features events at other Burren locations such as Tubber, the Cliffs of Moher, Ballyvaughan, Inagh, Doolin, Aillwee Cave and Fanore.

Other festival participants include Richard Donnelly of Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), organic gardener and food writer Kitty Scully, local award winning chefs John Sheedy and Aidan McGrath, Lamb Producer Donal Monaghan, Erik Robson from the Ely Restaurant Group, Craft Butcher Neil Hawes, Oonagh O’Dwyer from Wild Kitchen, Kasia Connolly of Hazel Mountain Chocolates, Master Brewer Peter Curtin and Thomas Galvin of Moyasta Oysters.

Oonagh-ODwyer-wild food walks

Pic by Oonagh O’Dwyer

“Slow Food is all about finding and enjoying the very best and freshest local food,” said Birgitta Hedin-Curtin, founder member of Slow Food Clare and the Burren Slow Food Festival.

Ms. Hedin-Curtin, who recently received a prestigious Irish Food Writers Guild Award for her ‘notable contribution to Irish food’, added: “Our festival aims to promote the Slow Food ethos enabling members of the public to rediscover the flavours and savours of regional cooking while at the same time banish the degrading effects of Fast Food. By doing so, we also hope to showcase the Burren’s established local producer and supplier network and how it is utilised and promoted by local businesses.”

“This is the first time the festival has extended to a weeklong event highlighting the breadth and scale of activity ongoing in the Burren as well as the prospering local food tourism sector,” commented Tina O’Dwyer, Sustainable Tourism Co-ordinator, Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark.

“This Festival is an important showcase event not only for the Slow Food movement in Ireland but also for the Burren’s food sector, which itself is thriving and continuing to gain national and international renown for its high quality produce. Ultimately, it is our intention to offer Burren food producers the opportunity to showcase their wares to the local community and tourists alike, while at the same time learn from the experiences of industry experts from outside the region,” said Ms. O’Dwyer

Visit http://www.slowfoodclare.com of Facebook (slowfoodclare) for more on the Burren Slow Food Week Festival 2015.

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