Posted by: Mike Grenville | 22 October 2008


Birthplace of Transition Towns, Kinsale recently hosted a local food awards event.

Transition Town Kinsale (TTK) ’50 Mile Meal Award’ took place this year on 11th October as part of the Kinsale Gourmet Food Festival’s Mad Hatter’s Taste of Kinsale. This year saw an even wider array of delicious local dishes produced using ingredients from within a 50 mile radius of the town to highlight the importance of local food production and to raise awareness of food miles. Let’s face it, why transport food across huge distances when we can be growing the same stuff up the road?

This year we were very fortunate to have Sandra Nowlan MSc, (pictured on the left receiving a copy of Transition Handbook from Liz Creed) a food critic and writer who was on a visit from Novia Scotia, who acted as our judge, and who based her critique on presentation, flavour and innovation. She was very impressed with the ‘amazing’ food the chefs of Kinsale had prepared and by the wide variety available on the day.

The award for ‘Most Exquisite 50 Mile Meal’ went to Pearse (pictured left) and Mary O’Sullivan of Toddies Restaurant who along with chef Jerome Bar created the Ummera smoked eel, beetroot and watercress salad. These guys had gone to great lengths to create some truly imaginative, original and very local dishes including mackerel and potato salad, local shrimp cocktail and a pumpkin and mussel soup so a big congratulations for their conscious effort to source Toddies’ entire array of food from local producers and providers.

The TTK Special Commendation went to Peter Tiernan from The Spinnaker whose excellent traditional meat dishes of oxtail spring roll and tongue were sourced from O’Crualaoi Butchers in Ballincollig, tripe and drisheen from the English Market in Cork and salmon from Matt O’Connell. Special mention goes to Fishy Fishy’s sublime ‘Back to the Future’ herring prepared by chef Jonathan Carter and a rather wonderful seafood chowder from chef Martin El-Sahen of Restaurant d’Antibes at the White House which contained seafood from Matt O’Connell, bacon from Gubbeen and herbs and vegetables grown in owner, Michael Frawley’s back garden.

Local producers also participated at the event: Gubbeen, Ummera, Haven Shellfish, Carrigaline Cheese whose Pat O’Farrell was delighted to inform us that their smoked cheese had just won a Gold at the International Cheese Awards in Dublin.

It has to be said that the vast majority of the food used at this event was locally sourced, but it’s great to see some extra special effort being put in by the chefs for this award. TTK would like to thank Carole Norman, the Good Food Circle and all the chefs for their talent, committment and enthusiasm in participating in this event.

Nicholas Harvey


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