BRITISH film director David Puttnam will open one of the country’s best known food festivals on Saturday by addressing an international food conference.
An enthusiastic supporter of locally grown produce and producers, he will open the conference entitled Food For The Future – Can Ireland Feed Itself? to mark the beginning of the Taste of West Cork festival.
Mr Puttnam advocates an increased focus on agriculture and horticulture and has advocated for more allotments for local people to help meet any possible future food shortages.
Through his work with UNICEF, and his interest in climate change, organisers of the Taste of West Cork festival said they are delighted he has agreed to deliver the conference’s opening address.
Other speakers include Swithun Goodbody, from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN, Beirut-based chef, foodvisionary and writerKamal Mouzawak, Ian Dempsey of the West Cork Development Partnership, farmer Derek Deane with Giana Ferguson, director of Gubbeen Farmhouse Products; Jason Whooley, the chief executive of BIM, and BAFTA award winner Rob Heyland.
The festival continues in and around Skibbereen with a mix of food markets and demonstrations, cookery competitions, special dinners, brunches and banquets, food-tastings, talks, exhibitions, children’s events, guided walks, boat tours and live music.
A gala dinner takes place in the West Cork Hotel on Saturday night with The Chinese Ambassador Liu Biwei and his wife, and the US senior commercial officer, Stephen Anderson, as special guests.
Some of the festival’s highlights include discovering gluten free meals, a children’s food trail, art and food, let food be your medicine, bee keeping and a cookery demonstration by Martin Shanahan from the Fishy Fishy Restaurant in Kinsale.
The Sunday Food Festival Fun Day on September 19, meanwhile, will feature a big screen showing the All Ireland football finals.
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