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Food Fair

Situated in the heart of the West Cork food movement, the festival will also feature and pay tribute to the outstanding and creative food producers whose names are today synonymous with the best quality foods in Europe. West Cork boasts an un-spoilt countryside and a long, beautiful coastline, making it a natural haven for unique high quality foods.

A selection of festival treats will be on offer to cater for all tastes from handmade wood-fired pizzas to locally sourced barbecued meats to vegetarian stews and more, using selections of produce from locally made cheeses, artisan smoked fish, specialise chartcuterie, baked goodies and much more.

The Theatre of Food will feature local food heroes taking part in rousing discussions, demos, debates and more.

'Theatre of Food' in association with Lissard House presents

The inaugural Liss Ard Festival, Skibbereen, West Cork this August bank holiday weekend promises to be a fantastic event, not only for music lovers but food lovers too. The Theatre of Food area will celebrate local food heroes & the finest produce from the West Cork area with tastings, demonstrations and talks from some of Ireland’s greatest producers, chefs and food writers, focusing on forgotten skills and with workshops on how to build your own wood fired pizza oven, to how to make your own cheese, what food works best with what beers and more. A Farmers Market in the Theatre of Food will also allow festival-goers to sample and purchase fresh, tasty local produce.


Continuing her love affair with West Cork, award winning food writer, journalist and blogger MEI CHIN, who has also lectured in food writing at Yale University, will be giving a talk and cooking demonstration as part of the festival.


(@darinaallen), founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School and author of countless cookbooks not to mention her numerous TV appearances, will be giving a talk on Forgotten Skills. Based on her book ‘Forgotten Skills: The Lost Art of Creating Delicious Home Produce’, which won the 2009 Andre Simone Food Award, and details how these lost skills, such as yoghurt making, making bread and keeping hens, can be of great use in the current economic climate - this talk is one not to be missed.


Bibliocook blogger and founder of the Irish Food Bloggers Association CAROLINE HENNESSY (@bibliocook) will be talking all things beer. As head of marketing at Eight Degrees Brewing, Caroline knows what she’s talking about and will be running tastings as well as giving tips on food pairings and baking with beer.


(@veronicamsteele) began making the multiple awards winning Milleens Cheese in 1976. The cheese, credited as the first modern Irish farmhouse cheese, is regularly served in some of the best restaurants and hotels around the world. As part of the festival Veronica will present “Blessed are the Cheese Makers” where she will host some ‘cheesy discussions’ as well as tastings and cooking demonstrations.


TOBY SIMMONDS of Toonsbridge Creamery, who, along with business partner Johnny Lynch produces award winning mozzarella and ricotta from the milk of water buffalo, will be joined by other local cheese makers to talk cheese and creating the perfect cheesy toasty. There will also be on-site cheese making and more!


SALLY BARNES from Woodcock Smokery, which won the 2006 and 2009 Great Taste Award for Best Irish Specialty to name but a few, will give a class on how you can ‘Smoke Your Own’. Sally will be teaching us how to smoke fish, and more, using a biscuit tin, as well as talking sustainable fish in line with the company’s commitment to only use wild fish caught using sustainable methods.


HENDRIK LEPEL from is a wood fired oven expert & will be running a pizza workshop over the weekend. Learn how to cook the perfect pizza and even get tips on how to build your own pizza oven at home.


BROCK LEWIN (@BadgerAndDodo) of Cork based specialist coffee roastery, Badger and Dodo, will be showing us how to make the perfect cup of coffee at home. Brock, who will be known to many from the Badger and Dodo cart at the weekly Douglas farmers market, will also be running coffee tastings and selling his delicious coffees onsite.


SUSAN STEELE (@TheSusanSteele) of Bord Iascaigh Mhara will share her passion about fish innovation and ideas. Talking about a rang of topics from types of fish and eating of them; teaming up with SALLY MCKENNA of the Bridgestone Guides (@BridgestoneEd) to talk about seaweed and eating of it and JIM KENNEDY from Atlantic Kayaking about foraging for it. Susan will also discuss the ups & downs of setting up a small seafood business whilst Sally will also give a demonstration of bath salts and cosmetics in association with Organico; Sally’s husband, and fellow founder of the Bridgestone Guides JOHN MCKENNA, will be on hand to MC some discussions throughout the weekend.

Beekeepers from the Cork County Beekeepers Association will be holding a honey tasting for all those looking for something sweet over the weekend.


ROSS McDOWELL who recently left the world of engineering to set up a business based in West Cork producing ‘Tong’, a dried beef snack that promises to be an Irish twist on the South African delicacy, biltong. Ross will be talking about starting up a new food business as well as his new high protein, low fat snack.


Cork craftsman MARTIN O’FLYNN who has been making baskets for over two decades will be running traditional basket making demonstrations and workshops for festival goers looking pick up a new skill over the weekend. Martin grows, harvests and processes his own willow and straw on his organic traditional farm for use in the baskets, which he sells from his Willow Basketry shop in Bantry.


Catering for fans of the Sunday roast, local favourite, chef CHRIS HEDGES, will be cooking the perfect Sunday roast - spit roast lamb, marinated in a rub of turmeric, ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander and olive oil. Having worked as a chef for the past sixteen years in Ireland, the UK and the US Chris has a wealth of experience to draw on. Make sure you don’t miss it!