Cooking up a storm at Féile na Tuaithe

Friday, 29th April, 2016 12:00pm

Cooking up a storm at Féile na Tuaithe

Andrew Pelham-Burn of Carrowholly Cheese

THE Museum of Country Life - Turlough Park will come alive with family fun for everyone during Féile na Tuaithe on Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22, from 12 noon to 5 p.m. both days.

Over the last few years food has become a very significant part of Féile. As well as the established food village featuring a selection of wonderful artisan producers, the catering (hot food) area includes cookery demonstrations. Drop over and see Féile’s very own master chefs sharing their tricks and secrets with the audience.

There will be three different demonstrations running from 12.30 p.m. on each day with the themes of Farm to Fork, Cooking with Buttermilk and Seafood Skills.

Farm to Fork will use free range velvet pork from Andarl Farm and DeBurca Butchers, demonstrating some simple and delicious ways to cook it. Sunday’s Farm to Fork chef is Áine Maguire from The Idle Wall in Westport.

After barely nine months in business, Áine’s restaurant was listed in the Sunday Times 100 Best Restaurants List and has received nationwide acclaim and great reviews. It won the Best Newcomer in Mayo award at the recent 2016 RAI Awards (Connaught), and Áine herself was crowned Best Chef in Mayo. Áine was immersed in a rich food culture from her earliest days and her abiding fascination is with all things Irish and local.

Cooking with Buttermilk combines two wonderful Mayo institutions – Cuinneog Buttermilk from Shraheens, Balla, and Rua from Castlebar. Cuinneog is natural buttermilk made in the traditional way by the Butler family. It is prized for its flavour and creaminess and has won no less than three Great Taste Awards.

Buttermilk has remained one of the foundations of Irish cooking for over a thousand years. As versatile as it is delicious, this natural low fat product contains less than .5% fat and is rich in lactic biotics.

Café Rua and Rua are two outstanding Castlebar cafés run by the McMahon family. Head baker Derek Gallagher will demonstrate some delicious buttermilk recipes including delicious soda breads using dilisk and wild garlic, a buttermilk panna cotta style pudding and a wonderful ‘Caesar’ style salad dressing.

BIM (Bord Iascaigh Mhara) are new to Féile this year and are the hosts for the two Seafood Skills demonstrations, one on each day. They will focus on a variety of traditional skills, including smoking, preserving and curing fish, as well as opening oysters and picking crabs. Ideal for fish lovers who don’t always know how to best approach their intended dinner!

Call into the Artisan Food Village in front of the main house and meet some of the best food producers Ireland has to offer. You’ll find everything from vinegars infused with wild herbs to handmade preserves, cheeses and, of course, delicious baking. Tempting and tantalising for the taste buds!

Let’s Take Three and meet some of those food producers:

Shines Seafood of Killybegs: Something that we did not know is that tuna is caught in Irish waters. John and Marianne Shine’s Albacore tuna is caught off the south-west coast using traditional methods, hand filleted and packed in jars of olive oil to preserve every bit of goodness. It’s a smaller species of tuna than the skipjack that we normally see in the supermarkets and the moist, delicate flesh is a rich and delicious source of complete protein, selenium, vitamin B-12 and Omega-3 fats. See

De Búca Butchers: De Búrca’s Traditional Butcher Shop in Castlebar was opened in 2014 by husband and wife team Seán and Sarah. They describe themselves as a whole animal shop, striving towards 100% sustainability in terms of meat. They are proud winners of a Grand Prix d’Honneur for three of their sausages at the Commanderie des fins Goustiers du Duche Alencon in France in 2015. For more, see

Carrowholly Cheese: Award-winning Carrowholly Cheese is a gouda style farmhouse cheese made on the shores of Clew Bay near Westport. Cheesemaker Andrew Pelham-Burn describes it as full flavoured with a slight nutty aftertaste. It comes in several flavours including nettle, cumin and pepper. Awards include gold and silver medals in the world cheese awards. Find them on Facebook.

Thanks to the Féile sponsors and partners: Mayo County Council, Local Enterprise Offices (Mayo, Roscommon, Galway, Donegal),, Bord Bia, Teagasc, Music Generation, Mayo Artsquad, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, The Connaught Telegraph, Midwest Radio, Spear Design and Cashin Print.

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