2017 Press Releases

Food, glorious food...

8 Mar 2017
Food historian and co-organiser of the conference, Regina Sexton, UCC. Image: Provision

Food has always had complex and varied functions beyond simply being an item of sustenance or an item of pleasure according to UCC food historian Regina Sexton. 

Sexton is co-organiser of a free food conference to be held in UCC this weekend, March 10-12.  Darina Allen of the Ballymaloe Cookery School and Professor Patricia Lysaght of UCD are the two keynote speakers at the "Innovation in Irish Food and Drink: Past, Present, Future" conference. The University will demonstrate its involvement in Irish food and drink scene as academics, food producers, and the wider food community join together for the event.

'The conference will start a discussion on Irish food and Irish food culture, past, present and future, particularly in the context of Cork and the wider region,' says Sexton.  She says that the conference will be all about showcasing what UCC has to offer. ‘From the outset, we wanted the conference to showcase the food-related research of the university not just in terms of the programme content but also in satellite events like the tour of the Glucksman's Gut Instinct exhibition and the Saturday lunch for speakers, which will feature past and current Diploma in Speciality Food Production students. We also want it to be an engaging event for the wider community and to that end we decided that the conference would be free and that it would connect as much as possible with the Cork food community. We believe the programme reflects these ambitions and is broad enough to attract good public interest.’

The conference is being organised by food historians, Regina Sexton and Dr Chad Ludington, and will feature food geographers, food scientists, business leaders, food historians, food producers, restaurateurs, and writers. Sexton says that the conference is timely given the growing interest if not preoccupation with food. She says, ‘In recent years, there has been a strong mainstream interest in all dimensions of food and food production from how people make their food choices to how they procure food to how they cook and consume it. In some quarters, people’s relationship with food is more than a lifestyle choice, it has become a statement of personality and in many instances it has become a statement of political intent.’

This will be the first conference of its kind at UCC and it is hoped that the gathering will build on the University’s strong international reputation of excellence in terms of food science and research in the food industry.

Speakers at the two-day conference include Rebecca O'Keeffe of Taste Cork, Joe Fitzmaurice of Real Bread Ireland, Kevin Aherne of Sage, Midleton, Seamus O'Connell of the Ivory Tower Cork, Rory O'Connell of Ballymaloe Cookery School, John McKenna of McKennas' Guides and Dennis Cotter of Café Paradiso, Cork.

Academics from UCC, UCD, NUIG, DIT and the University of Western Australia are also amongst the speakers.

The conference is free and open to all but registration is advised. Information on the conference can be obtained at http://www.uccconferencing.ie/product/ucc-food-conf/

Cork Food Conference Programme
“Innovation in Irish Food and Drink: Past, Present, Future”

UCC, March 10-12, 2017

Friday, March 10: Aula Maxima, UCC
5-00-6.00 pm, Tour of the Glucksman’s “Gut Instinct” Exhibition

6:30-6:45 pm, Opening Remarks, Professor Patrick O’Shea, President UCC

6:45-7:15 pm, Professor Paul Ross, Head of College, College of Science, Engineering,
and Food Science, UCC, “Food Research at UCC”

7:15-8:00 pm, Keynote Address: Darina Allen, Ballymaloe Cookery School
“Towards a Meaningful Irish Food Culture: Making Irish Food Stand Apart”

8-00-9:00 pm, Public Reception, Aula Maxima, UCC

9:15-11:30, Welcome Dinner for Speakers, Ivory Tower Restaurant, Cork

Saturday, March 11: Boole Lecture Theatre One, UCC

10:15-10.25am Welcome by Dr. Chad Ludington, Marie Curie Fellow, History, UCC

10:25-10.35 am, Rebecca O’Keeffe, Taste Cork (Local Enterprise Offices Cork), “'Taste
Cork: Developing a regional identity & network for Cork's food sector”

10:35-10:50: Professor Thia Hennessy, Head of Department, Department of Food
Business and Development and Director, Centre for Co-operative Studies, UCC:
“Opportunities and Challenges Facing Ireland’s Food Sector”

10:50 -11.15 am, Regina Sexton, ACE and School of History, UCC, “ ‘Traditional Irish
Food: Little More than the Art of Staying Alive’ ” How Education Can Play a Role in
Changing Perceptions of Ireland’s Food Culture”

11:15-11:30 am, Coffee and Tea

11:30 am-12:30 pm, Milk and Dairying (2 x 23 minutes presentations + question time)
Pat Fox and Therese Uniacke, Food Science, UCC, “Milk: Nature’s Perfect Food”
Pat Fox and Alan Kelly, Food Science, UCC, “The Irish Dairy Industry”

12:30-2:00 pm, Lunch

2:00-2:45 pm, Keynote Address: Patricia Lysaght, UCD,
“‘Town of Food’: Creating a Food Region in Southeast Ireland”

2:45-3:00 pm, Coffee and Tea

3:00-4:05 pm, Cooking and Eating in Ireland Today and Tomorrow: A Roundtable
with Four Chefs (10 minutes each, followed by 35 minutes of conversation with
audience), moderated by Dr. Mairtin Mac ConIomaire, DIT.
Denis Cotter, Café Paradiso, Cork, “The Changing Role of Vegetables in Irish Food
Kevin Aherne, Sage, Midleton, Co. Cork, “The Importance of Understanding and
Defining the Meaning of Local”
Séamus O’Connell, The Ivory Tower, Cork, “Contemporary Continental Technology
within the Remit of Traditional Irish Cuisine”
Rory O’Connell, Ballymaloe Cookery School, Shanagarry, Cork, "The Value or
Otherwise of 'Innovation' in the Kitchen with Particular References to Kitchens as
Teaching Places."

4:05-4:20 pm, Coffee and Tea

4:20-6:15 pm Alcoholic Beverages (4 x 23 minute presentations + question time)
Diarmuid Ó Drisceoil, Independent Scholar, “Like Beer, Beer History Repeats”
John Borgonovo, History, UCC, “The Buena Vista Café and ‘Inventing’ Irish Coffee”
Brian Murphy, ITT, “Fourth Space: A Novel Way of Approaching Food and Drink
Chad Ludington, Marie Curie Fellow, History, UCC, “Irish Merchants and Innovations
in Bordeaux Wine Production”

8 pm, Conference Dinner for speakers and sponsors, Farmgate Café, English Market,
Sunday, March 12: Boole Lecture Theatre One

10:00-11:30, Literature and Folk Culture (3 x 23 minute panel + questions)
Claudia Kinmonth, NUIG, Cork Butter Museum, “Spoon in their pockets: Evolution and
Innovation in Irish Horn Spoons, an interdisciplinary approach.”
Flicka Small, UCC, School of English, “Novel or Nouvelle: Innovation in Irish Food and
Madeline Shanahan, Latrobe University, “Damper, Taties and ‘Roo Stew: Towards a
History of Irish Australian Food Culture”

11:30-11:45 am, Coffee and Tea

11:45 am-1:15 pm, Archaeology and Material Culture (3 x 23 minute panel +
Meriel McClatchie, Archaeology, UCD, “Early Innovators: Ireland's First Farmers”
 Gilligan, Archaeology, UCD, “Food Production and Consumption in Early
Medieval Ireland, AD 400-1200”
Maeve L’Estrange, Archaeology, UCD, “Did we knead Sourdough Bread in Late-
Medieval Ireland? A need for Experimental Archaeology”

1:15-2:15 pm, Lunch

2:15-3:45 pm, Producing and Writing Food (3 x 23 minutes presentations + questions)
Joe Fitzmaurice, Real Bread Ireland, “Sourdough – a Slow Food Undergoing Rapid
Change – An Irish Baker’s Perspective”
Joe McNamee, Irish Examiner, “Cupcakes in a Time of Crisis – How Ireland’s ‘Foodie’
Culture Masks the Cracks in a Fractured Food System”
John McKenna, McKennas’ Guides, “Wittgenstein’s Cheese”

3:45-4:00, Coffee and Tea

4:00-5:30, Food Systems: Past, Present, and Future (3 x 23 minutes presentations +
Colin Sage, Geography, UCC, “The Imperative of Innovation in Irish food in the
Helena O’Connor, Adult Continuing Education, UCC and Caroline Smiddy, Independent
Scholar, “Farmers: Innovators, Adopters or Adaptors?”
Oliver Moore, Food Business, UCC, “Green Origins: The Organic Movement in Ireland

5:30-5:45, Farewell Remarks by Chad Ludington and Regina Sexton


For more on this story contact:

Ruth Mc Donnell, Head of Media and PR, Office of Marketing and Communications, UCC  Mob 086-0468950

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