Cork food festival to add a bit spice to weekend

A giant vegetable chilli made from food grown in community gardens across Cork city will be rustled up this weekend as part of a special food festival.

The dish, which will be served in Fitzgerald’s Park tomorrow to mark World Food Day Feast, is expected to be large enough to feed up to 500 people.

And today, attendees at a workshop on growing bee-friendly plants will sample smoothies made from fruit grown by teenagers from Ringmahon Rangers soccer club at their garden at Bessborough.

The events are being organised by the Cork Food Policy Council to celebrate community food and growing initiatives across the city such as the Mad About Cork city centre garden, and the community gardens at Knocknaheeny, The Glen, and Knocknaheeny/Hollyhill.

Free events, tours, workshops, talks and demonstrations aimed at teaching people how to grow, cook, eat and enjoy food will take place across the weekend. And Kitty Scully will lead a tour of tech company Voxpro’s garden, which includes a geodome and an outdoor pizza oven, at its Mahon headquarters.

The Cork Food Policy Council is just one of the Cork City Council-supported projects as part of the city’s designation as a World Health Organisation (WHO) Healthy City. The designation requires the city to commit to health and health equity in all of its policies under a partnership between the HSE South, the council, Niche, the Cork Community Health Network and UCC.

Meanwhile, City Hall will be bathed in purple light this weekend to celebrate the city’s retention of its prestigious Purple Flag award which celebrates excellence in the night-time economy.

Assessors visited the city in August and praised the city’s food, arts, and cultural offering, singling out the vibrant ‘Victorian Quarter’ on MacCurtain St for mention.

They said: “The city was very walkable and the success of the public bike scheme was very evident on the night. Overall willingness to invest and expand in the city was evident and makes for a promising future for many areas of the evening and night time economy, including retail, hotels, hospitality, arts and culture”.

Lord Mayor, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald, welcomed the retention of the designation: “It reaffirms that Cork is a destination not to be missed.”

The city council’s city centre co-ordinator, Paul McGuirk, praised the cooperation of key stakeholders such as Cork Chamber and Cork Business Association.

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