It’s going to be five delicious days of fun!
The 1-month countdown is on as Cork City prepares for 5 days of feasting and fun this August 16th-20th. Cork on a Fork Fest will see the city transformed into one big food festival for the week.
The flavour-packed festival programme includes more than 100 food events, including tasting trails throughout the city, cooking demos, masterclasses, street events, bite size talks, symposiums, unique dining experiences and specials to appeal to all tastes, interests and ages.
Established by Cork City Council in 2022 as a celebration of dining and nightlife in the city and the world-class produce found in the wider Cork region, this year’s festival has doubled in scale with many new events added to the lineup.
New events announced include:
- The Cork Oyster Shucking Championship: The Metropole Hotel will host a magical evening of mollusc-related food, fun and frolics, open to all, from completely inexperienced amateurs to seafood lovers and all the way through to professional chefs. Masterclasses will also be available for amateurs earlier in the day from two-time Guinness World Record Oyster Shucker, Paddy McMurray from Toronto, Canada, who will judge the competition on the night. The event includes a sparkling oyster reception, the evening’s entertainment, a selection of finest seafood light bites and canapés and a complimentary drink.
- A BYO Teddy Bears Picnic at Fitzgerald Park: Foodie families are invited to head to Fitzgerald’s Park with your picnic blanket, picnic, and teddies in tow for this BYO (bring your own) teddy bears’ picnic. Delicious lunches can also be purchased from The Natural Foods Bakery at Fitzgerald Park, and Cork-owned ice-cream company The Good Dairy Company will be there on the day. There will be free face painting, and photo ops with the festival’s life-size teddy bear. Everyone is welcome to have lots of fun with giant Jenga, connect four, corn hole, balance board games, colour catcher games, tug of war and more, with the Let’s Play Cork play leaders. Also, Supervalu will be sponsoring free drinks to keep everyone hydrated.
- Irish celebrity chef and teacher at Ballymaloe Cookery School, Rachel Allen, Zero-waste chef Orla McAndrew, and Farmgate at The English Market have been added to the programme of cooking demos at the 100-seater cooking-demo marquee on Emmet Place on Saturday 19th August. On the day, The Glass Curtain, Sage, and Cornmarket 51 will also take part in a fun mystery box cook off with food critic Joe McNamee, and the McKenna Guides will interview top chefs in Cork on the art of culinary sustainability. These events, sponsored by Fáilte Ireland, are free to attend.
- More events have been announced for the Festival Stage in the Crawford Art Gallery Theatre including a fascinating talk exploring Cork Food Culture in Literature, History and Heritage with food and culinary historian Regina Sextant, Dr. Flicka Small and Dr. Tom Spalding from UCC; A Cork producers event with Guaranteed Irish; A magic of milk interactive presentation; and an Oyster shucking demo and talk with Patrick McMurray, international Oyster Sommelier & Champion Shucker.
- Make and Taste 3 unique coffee roasts: Definitely one for coffee lovers, Izzeddeen, owner of Izz Cafe, will take you through the process of roasting green coffee beans to make 3 different types of coffee.
- Cork on a Fork Vegan Trail: This unique vegan trail is being organised by Fab Food Trails especially for Cork on a Fork Fest. Their very own vegan guide will bring visitors and locals alike to some great places to eat in Cork City using the very best of Irish produce found in Cork. Other daily food trails will take place in Cork City over the week, including a wine and tapas trail on MacCurtain Street.
- Mix at No. 76 at The Imperial: Enjoy a cocktail-making demo with a superstar mixologist Cal Byrne, followed by a delicious brunch at No. 76 at the Imperial Hotel on South Mall.
- A FREE Authentic Italian Pizza Making & Tasting Masterclass for Adults will be hosted by Oakfire Pizza at St Peters.
Not only that but there will be special offers and early birds at venues throughout the city. For example, you can enjoy a dozen Ballycotton oysters served with 2 glasses of Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve NV Champagne for just €40 at The River Club in the River Lee.
The Glass Curtain has an early bird filled with Cork produce for just €38 – bookings have only just gone live and are sure to sell out quickly. Cocktail lovers can indulge in a carefully crafted botanical cocktail and a sharing board featuring local produce for €50 at Bloom in Hayfield Manor, or enjoy a one-off Cork brunch at The Dean.
Other fun events featured include SoulCanvas – A Night of Yoga, Art, Music & Food with The Yoga Tree; Sailing Shucking and Shanties with Cork Harbour Cruises and renowned fish-monger Pat O’Connell; a nightly Hysterical Histories Comedic Dinner Theatre Experience at Amicus; Craft beer experiences; and Cork in a Paella – a NeighbourFood event at L’Atitude 51.
Also not to be missed is the opening symposium on Feeding Cork the Sustainable and Healthy Way with Cork Food Policy; Zero-Waste Chef Conor Spacey’s ‘Wasted’ book launch and tasting dinner; Black Gold – Cork’s Blood Pudding Culture – a talk and Tasting with Kate from Flavour.ie at Farmgate; demos and events at Rebel City Distilleries; a Corkchella festival picnic in the stunning gardens of Gabriel House St Lukes, and The Montenotte’s exclusive Summer Champagne Afternoon Picnic in its Victorian sunken garden … the list goes on!
The streets will also come alive with jazz and opera music while you dine, and numerous street events will take place, and community gardens around the city will host special events over the week – including a Bees Bohemian Picnic and Soundbath at St Lukes Community Garden on 19th August.
This year’s festival programme also caters to families with ticketed and free events including a bread and butter making demo at Cork Butter Museum, pizza making workshops, sensory cooking classes with the Cool Food School at St Peters for various ages, a healthy eating puppet show and pop-up play streets at markets with Let’s Play Cork.
Cork on a Fork Fest is putting a key focus on sustainability, and promoting local food and talent, and it features a range of talks and events focused on sustainability. There will even be a library barrel cookbook exchange.
Commenting, Fearghal Reidy, Director of Services, Strategic Planning & Development at Cork City Council said, “Cork on a Fork Fest is a five-day celebration of authentic food experiences in Cork City and the rich produce of our region. We are mindful of the importance of sustainability and reducing food waste, which you will see within the programme content. Furthermore, we wanted the festival to be accessible to all so it’s a real melting pot of ticketed and free events, adult and family friendly things to do, daytime and nighttime events.”
Whether you want to taste your way through the city on a food trail, take part in unique culinary experiences at a pop-up event, learn a new skill at a talk or workshop, enjoy live entertainment at a street event, or feast on the finest local food, there will be plenty to see, do and devour. With some events close to capacity or already sold out, and with just one month left, it’s time to make a booking to avoid disappointment.
The full programme can be found on www.corkonaforkfest.ie or follow @corkonaforkfest for live updates.