5,000 years of Irish food and culture is on the brink of national access
OPRAH Winfrey is advocating small businesses as one of her favourite things for this year while chefs around the world are talking to local farm producers for what’s best on their tables and meanwhile, a small region on the island of Ireland has been quietly building towards a national identity of food and drink culture.
In rural communities, towns and cities across Ireland, family-run businesses peopled by local makers and producers are being heard and recognised for their regenerative vision of food and culture, and one region in Meath Ireland is on the brink of rolling out a national plan.
Borne out of 5,000 years of food and culture, the Centre of Food Culture in the Boyne Valley has just recently received financial investment from two local county authorities in Meath and Louth – a huge achievement, given these financially straitened times. The makers, producers and small business owners involved are ones to watch as they aim to usher in a future where the food and drink culture of Ireland is celebrated locally in every county, where education and discourse are advocated as a means for people to connect to local food, soil and sea and the world.
“Our vision is to create a national centre of food and drink culture, to facilitate education, enterprise and discussion by connecting people to a creative source,” said Olivia Duff of the Headfort Arms Hotel in Kells, County Meath. “It is a mirror reflection of our identities of the past, of which we are now very much where we need to be for the future.”
Along with Olivia Duff, makers and producers that have sanctioned the plan include Sheridan Cheesemongers, Listoke Distillery, Eureka House Tea Rooms and Coole Swan Irish cream liqueur. The country’s national tourism development authority, Failte Ireland supports the small regional centre with a big vision for the nation alongside the renowned SuperValu Food Academy.
It’s a vision of food and drink, linking cultural, environmental and educational opportunities to every community in Ireland and beyond, the sculpting of an identity that is truly, wholly Irish.
“(Food) education is about everybody speaking to each other, learning from each other,” said Kevin Sheridan of Sheridan Cheesemongers. “It is bringing together all the elements of a community that are so important.”
Locally sourced, locally produced, made and designed – find out more about the Centre of Food Culture in the Boyne Valley, County Meath Ireland and what a vision for the future can mean for every community online at https://boynevalleyflavours.ie.
Tags: Food & Drink Arts & Culture
Image credits: Kim Mullahey