International gastronomy centre launch at Boyne Valley Flavours’ Samhain Festival

THE end of the old Celtic calendar was marked last November with a move by Boyne Valley Flavours hosts, to bring the concept of a gastronomy centre into actual being.

Speaking to Pynck.com at the Samhain Food Festival based in Kells and Virginia in Meath Ireland, Rebecca Meade of marketing and public relations said that with around 20 different food producers, artisans and growers already involved the well developed concept was ready to launch in the region and beyond.

Rebecca Meade, head of Samhain Food Festival Marketing & Pr (left); renowned Irish chef Darina Allen, founder of Ireland’s Ballymaloe Cookery School; Bronagh Conlon, Boyne Valley Flavours Chairperson

Niamh Fawl and Martine Grogan with Hugh Morris, Eureka House Kells Ireland

“The belief that between so many different areas from food education to agriculture to producing, everyone has the one vision that this can happen,” said Rebecca Meade. “We have the opportunity and the idea and we can make it happen.”

The nationwide Sheridan’s Cheesemongers is already a big part of the gastronomy centre concept along with Cork based couple John and Sally McKenna, founders of the renowned McKenna’s Guides to Ireland’s restaurants. Cork’s On the Pig’s Back artisan food producer and The Burren Smokehouse in County Clare have as well joined forces with Boyne Valley Flavours.

John and Sally McKenna of McKenna’s Guides to the best Irish restaurants in a food demonstration at the Samhain Food Festival

The Boyne Valley region covering Meath and Louth Ireland has long been synonymous with food production as far back as 10,000 years ago and the group intends to establish a permanent gastronomy centre within the region to welcome food and drink producers, chefs and the restaurant and accommodation industry.

Boyne Valley Flavours is currently chaired by Bronagh Conlon, Listoke Distillery & Gin School in Louth: “We are launching the concept of the gastronomy centre, which we did at a (Samhain Festival) symposium with Paolo Ferrerani of the University of Gastronomic Science in Pollenzo Italy. We also had Asier Alea, director of Global Development at Basque Culinary Centre in San Sebastian Spain and Devenish Nutrition.

“Samhain itself is the end of summer, the start of winter so we were celebrating all that is food and also all that is the landscape,” Bronagh Conlon added. “It is regional (food) but also national and this year for the first time we launched the international element. Everyone is coming together and Boyne Valley Flavours wants to work together and help each other. It really brings through the passion.”

Boyne Valley Flavours food producers Hilary McGrath and Kevin Sheridan at a food demonstration for the Samhain Food Festival

A lesson in cheeses at the Samhain Food Festival, courtesy of Sheridan’s Cheesemongers headquartered in Virginia Ireland

 

For information about Boyne Valley Flavours and international gastronomy see https://www.boynevalleyflavours.ie.

Tags: Arts and Culture Food and Drink Boyne Valley Flavours Samhain Food Festival

 

Kim Mullahey

Kim Mullahey is Pynck.com’s Ireland Correspondent. She holds an honours undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Chicago and has taught Adult Education Creative Writing Studies. Through a media career spanning nearly 25 years Kim has written and photographed regional news, national and international horse sports, fashion and lifestyle. Kim lives with her husband and son in Kildare Ireland, and a stray marmalade cat who has adopted the family.

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