Up and out of bed early we started Saturday off with a bit of culture by attending the senior art exhibition at The Crawford Institute of Technology College of Art and Design. Then it was onto the culinary arts! The annual Taste Fest Cork was on in Fitzgerald park where we met up with some friends and sampled cuisine from some of the best restaurants in town. Post food indulgence, a little shopping, and a few beers at the Franciscan Well Brewery rounded out a lovely Saturday.
A large majority of the student exhibition seemed to be installation pieces. Many utilized video, lighting, and sound to convey the artist's "message". I am in no way saying that it is not art, because who am I to judge what is art. I just personally do not enjoy having to search for meaning in a pile of rocks on a gallery floor. I guess I am just more of a canvas and paint kind of gal. I simply gravitate towards more traditional art in regards to subject matter and medium. Maybe that is boring, maybe landscapes and still life aren't your thing, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion right? That subjectivity is what makes art, any art, intriguing.
My favorite piece of art was not even a part of the exhibit! There happens to be a nice view of St. Finbarrs Cathedral from one of the third floor windows, and some creative student thought so too!
Going from art to food was not such a stretch. Most chefs are artists in their own way, and the appeal of their craft is largely subjective. Fortunately this is Ireland and not Paris or LA, and the majority of the food at the Taste Fest was unpretentious and didn't leave me searching for meaning like some of the art we viewed earlier in the day. Rather it left me scraping my plate and searching for seconds instead!
Don't misunderstand when I say unpretentious. The Irish are not all cabbage and potatoes as many Americans have been brainwashed to believe. Most of the participating restaurants at Taste Fest were upscale and quite gourmet. I simply mean that the majority of the dishes utilized locally sourced ingredients, flavors were thoughtfully paired, and plates, albeit paper ones, were served with pride.
|herb goat cheese crostini and spiced beetroot relish.|
|Maire enjoying a lemon lime custard with honeycomb and mint.|
|saffron risotto with peas and chorizo|
Overall, it was a wonderful way for us to familiarize ourselves with some of the local restaurants, especially some of the pricier ones that we might not normally visit. We shared a bottle of wine with friends and made our way around the park sampling some tasty treats!
My only complaint was that in addition to paying between 2 to 7 euro for each tasting, there was also an entry fee at the gate. We paid 15 euro a piece to get in! I would have rather paid an extra euro towards each plate. 30 euros would have gone a long way towards trying a few more restaurant offerings I wish I had had a chance to taste!