• Cyril McAree

Food From Ireland’s Ancient East Delights at Oxford Banquet


Ireland’s Ancient East and its rich food ingredients received a boost to their profile as Fáilte Ireland supported a reception and welcome dinner on Friday night (7th July) at the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery, an annual weekend-long conference on food, its culture and its history which took place in Oxford, UK, from 7-10th July 2017. The oldest and most important gathering on this topic, Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery brings together up to 265 international scholars, journalists, chefs, scientists, sociologists, anthropologists — and even committed amateurs — among others, for a serious discussion on a specific food related theme.

The theme of this year’s conference focuses on the relationship between food and the landscape and promises three days of convivial exchange of ideas and information over great food.

New Ireland’s Ancient East video shown at Banquet:

The banquet, coordinated by Fáilte Ireland Food Champion Olivia Duff, and Chairperson of the Boyne Valley Food Series, introduced the attendees to the complex historical layers of the Boyne Valley in Ireland with all the food and drinks for the event coming from the region. The banquet itself was prepared by a team of four Ireland’s Ancient East chefs - Rob Krawczyk (ex-Tankardstown House), Mary Farrell (Wicklow), Ryan McGivern (Drogheda) and Dearbhla Moriarty (Navan) and local Fáilte Ireland Food Champion Olivia Duff gave a 15 minute presentation on the Ireland’s Ancient East brand and the Boyne Valley Food Series supported by a three minute video showcasing Ireland’s landscape and its food which has been created by award winning videographers The Perennial Plate. WATCH HERE.

Speaking ahead of the event, Head of Food and Hospitality for Fáilte Ireland, John Mulcahy explained –

“Fáilte Ireland was delighted to host the welcome dinner at The Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery as it helps us to promote our food tourism offering and demonstrate that Irish food is a high quality intrinsic part of the tourist experience and a key part of what Ireland offers the visitors.”

Olivia Duff, Fáilte Ireland’s local Food Champion commented: “This is a remarkable opportunity for the Boyne Valley region in terms of telling our Food and Heritage story which spans 5,000 years. It couldn't be more fitting for this years theme of 'Food and Landscape' and we are very excited about showcasing our producers and talent from the region on such a prestigious stage such as Oxford. We have a beautiful menu which focuses on our wonderful produce, the stories behind it and the landscape that gives us the opportunity to produce it.”

One of the chefs preparing the banquet, Rob Krawczyk, formerly Head Chef at the Brabazon Restaurant, Tankardstown House, commented: “I am very humbled to be part of this wonderful event, showcasing the best of Ireland’s Ancient East food and cookery skills at the Oxford Symposium. We have all worked so hard on this Project and we are delighted to have been given this amazing opportunity for myself and the team, providing some of our regions fantastic produce and to cook it in Oxford with passion and pride.


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