September 04, 2015
Last night "A Taste of West Cork Food Festival" kicked off with our Gala Dinner here in the Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa. Our Head Chef, Adam Medcalf, treated all of us royally to a feast that will linger long on the taste buds. In a packed and lively Inchydoney Room, the night was a dizzying assortment of the best of the best foods from West Cork. Adding a touch of sparkle to the night was Bibi Baskin who has recently moved back to these shores from Kerala, South India where she owns Raheem Residency, a Boutique Heritage Hotel in Alleppey Beach. Now back in Ireland she has made Cork her home. You may have recently heard Bibi’s dulcet tones on Corks 96FM “Opinion Line” and hopefully we will be hearing much more from her now she’s back. The ever entertaining George Hook, fresh from broadcasting his Newstalk Drivetime show from the hotel earlier in the evening, regaled us all from the stage with some of his choicest anecdotes!
To the sound of Carys Ann Evans our regular harpist, everyone sat down for the main event, the food and the accompanying wines. Our first course of Skeaghanore Duck smoked with Barry’s Tea, Rosscarbery Nectarine and Ginger Salad with a Hazelnut Dressing certainly whetted our appetites. This was followed by delectable handpicked Scallops with Clonakilty Black Pudding, McCarthy’s Carrots and an Orange Reduction. Cockles from Keohane's Seafood Bantry took centre stage for our soup course of Cockle Soup with Herb Cream Cheese. Our main course was every fish lover’s dream, a Quartet of Atlantic Seafood. Monkfish and Hake, landed by the "Fair Maiden” Castletownbere, Chargrilled Mako Shark and Bluefin Tuna Loin were served alongside a Mussel, Lemon and Dill Cream Sauce. A decadent Desert of Strawberries and Cream was not just Strawberries and Cream but Clóna Dairy Cream flavoured with Bushby's Strawberries, Dark Chocolate and Caramel….In a word, Divine! Last but by no means least we indulged in moreish Inchydoney Lemongrass and Thyme Truffles and for those with a savoury tooth, Bandon Vale Cheese and Apple Beignets.
Each course of food was accompanied by exquisite wines chosen by Anthony Tindal of Tindal Wine Merchants. We got to taste his own label, “Swallows Tale” Chenin/Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa, a Riesling from Alsace, Organic Pinot Noir from Marlborough New Zealand and many more. Anthony, a true wine adventurer and very much travelled, kept us abreast throughout the evening of the provenance of each of his selections and some of the stories involved in their choosing. All the wines we had on the night are available from his online store Searsons Wine Merchants.
It was a wonderful evening and we would like to thank everyone who came for making it such a fantastic start to the Festival. Congrats to Adam Medcalf, Alan Forde and the entire brigade for treating us to such a sumptuous evening. We must also say a big thank you to Anthony Tindal for kindly introducing and sponsoring the wines, to the Inchydoney Team for their hard work and gracious hosting and lastly our thanks to Newstalk and George Hook. It was a great privilege to have you broadcast your show from Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa. I have no doubt the "A Taste of West Cork Food Festival" will wow all of our guests and visitors over the next week. Enjoy!
Sales & Marketing Executive