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Would you like to get involved in our 2024 festival? Please get in touch if you’re a Cork food/drinks business, farmer, producer or grower:


Food Future Feast Competition - Inspiring the Next Generation of Cork Chefs

We have launched an open call competition inviting young chefs aged 16 to 23 to design a dish that could be featured at our Cork Future Food Feast on Sunday, August 18th, at The Metropole Hotel. The five most promising chefs from the competition will be chosen to receive mentorship from two of Cork’s top sustainability chefs—zero-waste chef Orla McAndrew and Alex Petit, the Group Executive Chef at Trigon Hotels. This mentorship will include a farm visit, a foraging session, and guidance on scaling their dish to serve 100 people at the event.

Sponsored by the Cork Branch of the IHF, the event aims to encourage and inspire the next generation of chefs in Cork, instilling in them a passion for sustainable and innovative cooking practices. Ciarán Fitzgerald, Chair of the IHF Cork Branch said, “This experience offers a rare opportunity for young people to showcase their culinary skills and innovative ideas to a large audience, potentially launching their careers in the hospitality industry.  The Future Food Feast is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the hospitality industry in Cork.  We have some of the best chefs and the best local produce, so it will be an amazing experience.”

The Future Food Feast calls on aspiring chefs aged 16-23 to submit their most creative and forward-thinking recipe ideas. Participants are encouraged to feature a selection of future food ingredients in their recipes, including tomatoes, beetroot, berries, crab, lobster, langoustine, mackerel, corn, new potatoes, broad beans, runner beans, peas, courgettes, aubergines, marrows, lettuce, garden herbs and edible flowers. These ingredients represent the bounty of local produce available, emphasising the festival's commitment to seasonality and local sourcing. A zero-waste approach in the recipes is also highly encouraged.

Participants can submit one or multiple recipes under the following categories: canapes, starter course, soup or sorbet, main course, dessert or cheese board. Each submission should include a photograph of the dish and a paragraph explaining what Cork’s future of food means to the chef and how this vision is embodied in their creation. The submissions must be sent to with "Cork’s Food Future Dinner" referenced in the subject line by July 1, 2024.

From the pool of submissions, five promising chefs will be selected to participate in the Future Food Feast dinner and tickets will go on sale once the chefs have been chosen.  The Future Food Feast aims to not only highlight the talents of young chefs but also to inspire a broader conversation about the future of food in Cork. Each chef will have the chance to introduce their dish during the dinner, sharing their vision with guests. It is an exciting prospect for attendees also to be present at the culmination of the project. This event is more than just a dinner; it is a platform to encourage young people to pursue careers in hospitality and to think critically about food sustainability. By focusing on local ingredients and zero-waste practices, the Future Food Feast embodies the spirit of Cork on a Fork Food Festival, celebrating the rich culinary heritage and the innovative future of Cork’s food scene.

Why Cork on a Fork Fest


Cork has always been known for its rich culinary heritage and vibrant food scene and now you can get a taste of all that the region has to offer at Cork on a Fork Festival, which takes place across Cork City from August 14-18.  Over five days, the city centre will turn into a gastronomic paradise, celebrating the vibrant and diverse food culture of the region.

Drawing food enthusiasts from near and far, Cork on a Fork offers a diverse array of experiences for all palates including unique dining events, pop-up restaurants, chef collaborations, live cooking demonstrations from top chefs, interactive workshops, food and drink pairings events, bite-sized talks, and plenty of kids’ food activities  

It’s not just a festival; it’s a unique celebration of Cork’s food culture and everything that makes Cork’s food scene special. It’s a testament to the city’s rich culinary heritage, its talented chefs, its commitment to local produce and sustainability, and its multiculturalism. For anyone passionate about food, this is an unmissable festival that offers magic ingredients and a true taste of Cork.  

Organised by Cork City Council in partnership with local businesses, producers and stakeholders, the week highlights the region’s exceptional culinary talents, featuring Michelin-starred chefs, beloved local eateries, fascinating food history and delicious local produce.

Festival Highlights

The festival features almost 100 events big and small over five days, involving most of the city’s chefs, restaurants, hotels and venues. Notable participants include Michelin-starred chefs Takashi Miyazaki of Ichigo Ichie and Rob Krawczyk of Restaurant Chestnut, Chef of the Year Aishling Moore of Goldie Fish & Ale, Brian Murray from The Glass Curtain, zero waste chef Orla McAndrew, the bean queen Ali Honour, celebrity chef Rachel Allen from Ballymaloe. Chef Ryan O'Sullivan, a Cork native and the latest winner of Hell's Kitchen USA, will also join the festivities. 

Fearghal Reidy, Director of Strategic & Economic Development at Cork City Council said, “The festival will again focus on showcasing on all that our region has to offer - Cork Chefs, Cork City businesses, and Cork food.  We’re incredible lucky to have some of Ireland’s best chefs and almost 60% of the country’s artisan producers in the wider Cork region,

“We are also mindful of the importance of sustainability and reducing food waste, which you will see within the programme content. Furthermore, we want the festival to be accessible to all so it's a real melting pot of ticketed and free events, adult and family friendly things to do, daytime and nighttime events.  Heritage Week also takes place that week so there will be so much to see and do.”

Niamh Murphy, Festival Manager of Cork on a Fork Fest for Cork City Council, said “We have a great range of events, from free to high-end dining experiences.  There will be a chef collaboration dinner for 400 people in the middle of MacCurtain Street called The VQ Shared Table; a pop-up dining experience in a barn; a restaurant takeover of Isaacs with Rachel Allen; city farm tours; and a free cooking demo marquee and market in the heart of the city.  Not only that but there will be lots of great family friendly food experiences, or you could spend your days exploring some of our best eateries on a range of food trails.

“A new and innovative event this year is the ‘Future Food Feast’ that will celebrate innovation, sustainability, and young talent.  We’re running a competition for young chefs aged 16 to 23 to design a dish that will be featured at a dinner at The Metropole Hotel. The five most promising chefs from the competition will be chosen to receive mentorship from two of Cork’s top sustainability chefs—zero-waste chef Orla McAndrew and Alex Petit, the Group Executive Chef at Trigon Hotels. This mentorship will include a farm visit, a foraging session, and guidance on scaling their dish to serve 100 people at the event.

What to expect

  •  Dining:  Enjoy exclusive dining experiences and special tasting menus at restaurants throughout the city.
  •  Demos, Workshops & Talks: Hone your culinary skills with demos, workshops, talks, and masterclasses led by top chefs and industry experts. Sessions cover everything from bread baking and pastry making to drinks tasting and food photography.
  • Trails, Tours & Tastings:  Experience food trails through the city, one-off food tours, and tasting events.
  •  Festival Marquee & Market: Enjoy free cooking demos all weekend at the pop-up Festival Marquee on Emmet Place, explore the local food market, and talks at the Cork Opera House.
  •  Family:  There will be festival fun and food education for all the family with kids cooking classes, child friendly demos, family dining experiences, food trails, and play.
  •  Free:  Enjoy plenty of free experiences, from demos and tastings to community garden events.
  • Beerfest: Organised by the Franciscan Well, the Cork on a Fork Beerfest features beer events across the city, including free brewery tours and beer-themed dinners.

A Culinary Treasure Trove

Cork City is packed with talented chefs, great places to eat, top-rated restaurants, fun pubs, and unique dining and outdoor spaces. The farm-to-fork tradition dates back centuries to its establishment as a trading port in 915-922. Over the past 200 years, the wider Cork region has led the way in the modern Irish specialty food producer movement, boasting approximately 60% of the country's artisan producers.

Local Produce at the Heart of the Festival

Cork City and its surrounding region are known for producing high-quality artisan products, from fresh seafood and specialty meats,  artisan cheeses, organic vegetables, and craft beverages. One of the standout features of the festival is the emphasis on farm-to-fork dining. Many participating restaurants in the city pride themselves on sourcing as many ingredients as possible locally, often from the famous English Market, ensuring that every dish is fresh, seasonal, and bursting with flavour. This commitment to sustainability and local sourcing not only supports the regional economy but also allows visitors to taste the true essence of Cork.

Legacy of the Festival

Niamh Murphy continued, “One of the best things about Cork on a Fork is that it has fostered a sense of collaboration and camaraderie among the city’s food community. Chefs and restaurateurs have come together with each other and producers from the wider region to celebrate a shared passion for food and our city, leading to creative collaborations and even new longer-term opportunities for businesses.

“As a port town, Cork has always been a multicultural food destination. Many events showcase dishes from a diverse range of cultures, created by talented chefs who are bringing new flavours and dining experiences to their adopted city. “ 

Behind Cork on a Fork Fest

Cork on a Fork Festival is organised and supported by Cork City Council in partnership with local hospitality businesses, Fáilte Ireland, Ireland’s Ancient East, Pure Cork, Cork Business Association, Cork Airport, and the IHF Cork Branch.

Fearghal Reidy continued "Cork on a Fork Fest is a tribute to Cork’s rich culinary heritage and its burgeoning reputation as a food capital. Initially developed to celebrate Cork city’s ever-evolving dining and nightlife scene, the festival has grown phenomenally since its pilot in 2022. Based on excellent feedback, Fáilte Ireland and Cork City Council, along with various stakeholders, are now developing a food destination plan to make Cork the food capital of Ireland.  The focus on local and regional produce also, pardon the pun, feeds into our sustainability and climate goals that are so important.”

Head of Ireland’s Ancient East, Brian O’Flynn said:  “Cork City is an important part of Ireland’s Ancient East and has huge potential to attract domestic and international visitors. The Cork on a Fork festival provides the perfect opportunity to showcase all that Cork City has to offer. Fáilte Ireland looks for every opportunity to encourage visitors to explore and stay in the region for longer, increase spend and help to drive revenue for local businesses. We are currently working with industry and key stakeholders to identify new opportunities to create a diverse range of visitor experiences as part of our Destination and Experience Development Plans for Ireland’s Ancient East. Cork is already recognised nationally for leading the way in providing outdoor dining facilities and with the support of Fáilte Ireland has helped businesses extend opening times and grow Cork’s nighttime economy. We will continue to build on Cork’s great food provenance to enhance its reputation as a great food destination.”

Hells Kitchen Winner at Cork on a Fork - sold out

Ryan will also take part in a cooking demo at the festival’s FREE demo marquee on Emmet Place on Saturday 17th August at 11am


A special culinary event will take place during the festival, featuring renowned chef and US Hell’s Kitchen winner, Ryan O’Sullivan. This exclusive evening at The River Lee on August 18th promises a gastronomic journey with a 6-course tasting menu curated by O’Sullivan, in collaboration with Executive Head Chef Paul Lane.

Guests will indulge in a meticulously crafted tasting menu that showcases the finest local ingredients and innovative culinary techniques. Each course will be perfectly paired with wines selected by The Doyle Collection Group Sommelier, Phillip Dunne, ensuring an unforgettable dining experience.

Ryan O’Sullivan expressed his excitement for the event: "What an honour it is to be included in this year's Cork on a Fork Festival, not only to represent myself and my hometown of Cork but to be cooking alongside some of Ireland’s best chefs. We look forward to hosting a special dinner curated by myself and Chef Paul Lane, one of my first mentors who helped me hone my skills before my venture stateside. This will be one for the history books."

Throughout the evening, O’Sullivan will guide guests through each course, sharing insights into his creative process and recounting his experiences on Hell’s Kitchen. This interactive element promises to provide an enriching experience for all attendees, offering a unique glimpse into the world of a celebrated chef.

If you missed the dinner, Ryan will also take part in a cooking demo at the festival’s 100-seat demo marquee on Emmet Place on Saturday 17th August at 11am, showcasing the art of pasta making, free for all to attend.

The VQ Shared Table 

Cork on a Fork Launch 2024

Cork on a Fork Fest is thrilled to announce that tickets for the highly anticipated VQ Shared Table dinner on opening night are sold out - a wait list is now open.

This unique culinary experience will take place on August 14th, 2024, offering an unparalleled dining event that celebrates local produce, MacCurtain Street chefs and bars and the rich culinary diversity of the VQ area, which has been hailed as “Ireland’s best street for foodies.”  Sponsored by locally brewed Birra Moretti, the event will see 400 guests dine long-table style in the centre of MacCurtain Street.  

The VQ Shared Table event, which is run in partnership with The VQ and local businesses, is sponsored by Birra Moretti and supported by TS Events, Clonakilty Blackpudding, and Rebel City Distillery.   Part of festival organiser Cork City Council’s Open Streets series of events.

Get a taste of Cork’s unique food culture at Cork on a Fork Festival 2024

The 5-day food festival returns from 14th-18th August 2024 and will feature new food experiences, food trails, tasting masterclasses, street events, talks, cooking demos, specials, family fun, and more. 

Cork on a Fork Fest is the perfect opportunity to get a taste of Cork’s unique food culture as the city showcases its culinary excellence, creative  dining experiences, and quality local produce over five days of incredible food, events, talks, cooking demos and festival fun for all ages.

It’s a celebration of all things food and Cork, bringing together the magic ingredients of this authentic, innovative and multicultural food destination.  Expect a host of exclusive dining and entertainment experiences, street events, and the chance to sample incredible food from the region’s wonderful array of growers, producers and farmers.  

Plans are already well underway for events. Whether you want to taste your way through the city on a food trail, take part in one of a kind culinary experiences or street events, learn a new cooking skill, take part in a workshop, enjoy live entertainment, or hear about the city’s fascinating food history, there will be plenty to see, do and devour at Cork’s newest food festival that’s quickly becoming a favourite.

There will also be sustainability workshops, pop-up experiences in unusual locations, a farm bus tour and the centre of the festival will be the live cooking demo marquee and local food market on Emmet Place.

Cork City is packed with talented chefs, great places to eat, top- rated restaurants , fun pubs and a vibrant outdoor dining scene. It has a treasure trove of unique dining spaces from historic buildings to rooftop gardens, waterfront venues, converted churches, old forts and jails.  Cork is a farm to fork destination that dates back centuries to circa 915-922 when it was established as a trading port, and over the past 200 years the wider Cork region has led the way for the modern Irish specialty food producer movement with an abundance of the country's artisan producers along its coastal shores and rich agricultural land.  Much of this produce can be found in the famous English Market, meaning that restaurants and cafes can phone for produce and it arrives fresh 20 minutes later. It’s unique to the city and something everyone is very proud of. 

Cork also has a rich history as a key provisioning centre, so local food traditions blend with global flavours resulting in a modern fusion. With this quality and variety you can see why it’s hailed as Ireland’s food capital!   And Cork on a Fork Fest has a great opportunity to sample these key ingredients.

The imaginative 5 day food festival began with a taster of a pilot in 2022 to celebrate Cork food and Cork City’s ever evolving dining and nightlife scene, and went full steam ahead last year when many of the city’s top restaurants, food experiences and producers came on board for a collaborative festival to truly celebrate Cork’s incredible food scene. 

Cork on a Fork Festival is organised and supported by Cork City Council in partnership with local hospitality businesses, Fáilte Ireland, Pure Cork, and Cork Airport.

Details of the full programme will be announced in the coming months on but save the date for now and stay tuned on social media @corkonaforkfest for the latest updates.

Bread-and-Butter-Workshop Cork Butter Museum