Recipe for success as Making Arklow brings local food fanatics together

Foodies from the Arklow and surrounding areas met last week in Arklow to discuss the future landscape of the food scene in Arklow.

The Space for Food event which took place last Wednesday, 28th February at the newly opened Making Arklow hub saw a number of local food businesses, chefs, nutrition experts, gardeners, entrepreneurs and local representatives come together for an open discussion.

Local Chef and more recently film director, Tadgh Byrne opened the evening with a look at the many past and present food establishments in Arklow and the surrounding area. From the award winning Old Ship Pub, (officially listed amongst the top 10 of restaurants on Worldwide platform, Tripadvisor) to one of the Nation’s Culinary treasures, Ireland’s only Certified Organic Restaurant, The Strawberry Tree at Macreddin Village, it’s hard to believe that Wicklow has yet to earn a Michelin star for itself!

Wicklow Produce
Some of the Wicklow Produce used in the evenings menu

Registered Dietitian, Nutritional Educator and Published Research author, Didi de Zwarte continued the discussion with a look at the role of food in overall health and wellbeing. Didi who is also a passionate advocate for Permaculture and its benefits to society including our overall health, explained the links between good food and keeping well throughout all stages of life.

Guests and contributors on the night were treated to a selection of canapes on the evening prepared by Tadgh Byrnes own Crioch Catering. Crafted using a selection of ingredients from some of Wicklow’s finest producers including McDonnells Yoghurt, Janet’s Country Fayre, Wicklow Farmhouse Cheeses, Goatsbridge Trout, Mic’s Chilli and oils from both The Hemp Farm and Wicklow Rapeseed Oil.

Ballynerrin Egg Mayo with Mic's Chilli, Goatsbridge Smoked Trout on Joanne's brown bread
Ballynerrin Egg Mayo with Mic’s Chilli

Donal McCormack, Chair of Community Gardens Ireland wrapped up the evenings panel talks with an insight into community gardens. Shedding light on the depth of the roots of community gardens, Donal shared statistics which indicated that Community Gardens were an important part of the Wicklow landscape as far back as the 1940’s with hundreds in place across the county at the time.

Ironically, there are currently no community gardens provided by the County Council of ‘The Garden County’.

Making Arklow, a social initiative set up by Niall O’Cleirigh and Cllr. Peir Leonard has just completed the fourth in their series of community events at their new hub on Arklow’s Abbey Lane. The project aims to get people thinking and talking about what they would like to see in the town in the future.

Large Scale Town maps and photographic streetscapes on the walls have turned the space into an interactive hub where visitors of all ages are invited to add ideas verbally, visually and most importantly, easily.

The message is that with the current Local Area Development Plan for the Arklow Area due to expire this year, it is a critical time for the residents of Arklow and the surrounding areas to consider their needs and wants as a rapidly growing community.

We will reap what we sow now!

Strawberry Tree Restaurant, Macreddin Village
Strawberry Tree Restaurant, Macreddin Village – Ireland’s only Certified Organic Restaurant

For more information on great Wicklow food suppliers, check out Wicklow Naturally

To get involved in the conversations and find about upcoming events about Arklow check out the Making Arklow Instagram or Facebook

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