The first Totally Tipperary Food Festival took place on June 25th and was a great success with a host of bloggers, chefs, Tipperary food producers and many more gathering to create a unique foodie experience. The festival was organized by the Tipperary Food Producers Network to raise awareness about local food production throughout Tipperary.
The festival was held in the grounds of the historic Cloughjordan house, owned by fellow Tipperary Food Producer, Sarah Baker and her family. Once inside the grounds, you were greeted by a long line of brilliant white marquee tents, each with a producer selling his/her own produce. There were also a number of other tents with a variety of activities to choose from including the Cultivate Tent, the Meat Tent, Music Tent, Face Painting Tent for the kids, the Milk Tent and the Seomra Blog Bia tent.
The Seomra Blog Bia tent was a concept inspired by the French, Salon du Blog, with cooking demonstrations from an array of food bloggers and Michelin starred chefs alike, all using the finest Tipperary produce to create their dishes. Cooking in the Seomra Blog Bia tent were Sarah Baker (Sarah Bakers Cookery School), Kristen Jensen (Dinner du Jour), Barbara Russell (Barbara Russell Catering), Nessa Robins (Nessa’s Family Kitchen), Joanna Schaffalitzky (Smorgasblog) and Yvonne Carty (Hey Pestoie). We were also privileged to be joined by 3 of the most prestigious chefs in France; Maurice Alexis from the Elysee Palace, Didier Coupeau and Joel Reynaud. All of the cooking demonstrations were streamed live at the event and are now available to watch from our blog. The Seomra Blog Bia Tent was also the centre of social media activity on the day with free WiFi enabling foodie bloggers from all over Ireland and two from France to cover the event live via social networking sites like Twitter.
Directly behind the Seomra Blog Bia tent were the Cultivate and Milk tents where talks/discussions and more demonstrations were taking place all afternoon. The Cultivate tent had a total of 6 talks discussing topics such as the potential for Artisan, Organic and Local Food producers to the Raw Milk debate and everything in between. The Cultivate tent had a number of high profile speakers including Ear to the Ground’s Ella McSweeney, Bobby Kerr from the Dragon’s Den and former minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Trevor Sargent.
The Milk Tent featured a number of really interesting demonstrations, showing you how to make your own dairy products. Bruce Darrell showed how to make mozzarella and ricotta cheese while Imen McDonnell demonstrated how to churn your own butter.
The Meat Tent featured a demonstration in the morning by myself and T.J. Crowe from Crowesfarm where we butchered both lamb and pork. In the afternoon, Una O’Dwyer made sausage rolls from scratch and Nora Egan from Inch House demonstrated how to make her award-winning Inch house black pudding. I was amazed to see the black pudding being made as it was the first time I had seen the process on a domestic level. It’s a truly amazing product and one of my all time favourites and if you haven’t tried it to date go out and get some. It’s available almost nationwide in all good foodie stores or alternatively you can buy it online from our Pork Counter.
I had great fun on the day when we took the French chefs over to Ollie Hayes’ Pub in Moneygall, or should I say Obamatown for a pint. We were all treated to a great Asada (Argentinian Style BBQ) in the evening cooked very ably by Sarah Baker’s Dad. T.J. and Ned Crowe cooked a pig on the spit which was enjoyed by over 250 people who afterwards danced the night away.
The first Totally Tipperary in my opinion was a marvelous success and has now become a firm foundation for what will be an annual occasion.
We hope you enjoyed reading this post by Pat Whelan of James Whelan Butchers. Pat is a 5th generation butcher, cook book author and the director of James Whelan Butchers with shops in Clonmel, the Avoca Food Market Monkstown and Avoca Rathcoole. Sign up to our newsletter for more updates from James Whelan Butchers