30 September 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Cianna McNally

The 2011 Taste of Monaghan Festival was officially launched on Tuesday evening, 27th September in the Market House in Monaghan town.
This is the third year of the popular Festival of Food which will run from 6th – 9th October.
Upon arrival to the Market House guests were welcomed with a drinks reception and music provided by local musicians Michael O’Donoghue on the guitar and Tiarnán Ó Duínnchínn on the Uilleann pipes.
Chairman of Taste of Monaghan Frank McEnaney welcomed all those present and acknowledged the support of Monaghan Town Council and Monaghan County Council for its sponsorship of celebrity chef Donal Skehan and associated events within the festival.
Mr McEnaney also sincerely thanked the four main sponsors of the Taste of Monaghan Festival, Flemings Department Store, Mallon’s Food Hall, Silver Hill Foods and Castle Leslie Estate and said that it would not be possible to run the festival without them.
Over the four days there will be a total of 21 events, ranging from cookery demonstrations and wine tastings to a teddy bears picnic.
There will be cookery demonstrations from TV chefs Neven Maguire and Donal Skehan which will both be held in the Four Seasons Hotel. Neven Maguire will appear on Thursday, 6th October at 8pm and Donal Skehan’s demonstration will be on Friday, 7th October also at 8pm.
Neven Maguire is offering dinner for two and an overnight stay at his award-winning MacNean House as a prize at his demonstration.
More than 60 exhibitors will take part in the festival and 14 participating restaurants will offer special Taste of Monaghan menus.
The chairman then passed the floor to Riona Carroll who gave a presentation on the festival website which has all the details and information on Taste of Monaghan 2011 and can be translated into numerous languages.
Mayor of Co Monaghan Seamus Coyle was in attendance at the launch on behalf of Monaghan County Council’s Environment Section.
He said that the Environment Section was delighted to be associated with the festival and was particularly pleased that TV chef Donal Skehan would be giving a cookery demonstration as he champions the elimination of food waste.
Mayor Coyle also said that the whole area of food waste was becoming more topical for both businesses and households.
Monaghan Co Council hoped that by being involved with events such as the Taste of Monaghan that more could be done by the restaurant sector to reduce food waste as a recent survey by the Restaurants Association of Ireland showed a whopping €125 million was lost in food waste by restaurants each year.
Mayor Coyle concluded by wishing all involved with the Taste of Monaghan every success.
Monaghan Town Cathaoirleach David Maxwell commended the hard work done by the festival committee in organising the programme of events.
He reserved particular praise for the fact that celebrity chefs Neven Maguire and Donal Skehan would be giving cookery demonstrations.
Colr Maxwell felt that the buzz the Taste of Monaghan created in the town each year was very important as it brought people in and encouraged them to spend money which in turn benefited the traders.
President of Monaghan Chamber of Commerce Gordon Fleming acknowledged the “ferocious” amount of effort that had been put into organising the festival.
He also thanked all the sponsors and was appreciative of the support from Monaghan Town Council as it showed the local authority cared about the ratepayers in the town.
Mr Fleming stressed the importance of supporting local industry as many jobs depend on it. He concluded by encouraging the public to attend and make the 2011 Taste of Monaghan Festival and even bigger success than last year.
For more information on the festival visit the website or alternatively, visit the festival’s Facebook page.

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