Summer was in the air last Thursday afternoon as the Created in Cavan food network launched their upcoming calendar of events in the Oak Room restaurant. Created in Cavan is a collaborative food, drink, and hospitality community in County Cavan. It brings together local businesses to work together to raise the visibility of their superb offering across the county, Ireland and internationally.

Created in Cavan launch. Photo: Lorraine Teevan

The afternoon started with networking, and attendees were treated to some culinary delights from the kitchen team in the Oak Room Restaurant, led by head chef Norbert Neylon, chairperson of the network. Some of the delicious bites on offer were Corleggy cheese bon bons, sushi from Sushi Mania based in Virginia and lots more local delicacies. Attendees got the chance to share ideas for upcoming events, give advice on issues currently facing the food, drink, and hospitality industry and more.

Created in Cavan launch. Photo: Lorraine Teevan

Patricia Smith, food strategy co-ordinator for Cavan opened the event by thanking everyone for their support over the last number of months to get the calendar of events up and running. “I want to especially thank everyone who is here today for their contributions to the network. We are well on our way to making Created in Cavan a nationally if not internationally known brand”

Created in Cavan launch. Photo: Lorraine Teevan

Norbert Neylon then spoke of the importance of promoting within the network. “We are a small network of members, but we can make a big impact when we work together. Promoting each other’s products and destinations is key to success”. The Created in Cavan brand launched in February 2020, just weeks before the hospitality industry entered its first of many lockdowns. “We had a tough start two years ago but the fact that we are still here and welcoming new members every week is a testament to hard work being done by everyone involved”

Created in Cavan launch. Photo: Lorraine Teevan

New members of the network that were present on the day had the opportunity to introduce themselves and tell other members about their business. Bas Wiebenga, co-owner of Sushi Mania based in Virginia spoke about their new “Irish Sushi” product taking the County and surrounding areas by storm.  Their aim is to only source 100% Irish and locally grown fresh produce wherever possible.  They are looking forward to opening their new premises in Virginia in the coming weeks.

Aisling from SeanNua farm also introduced her business to the network. SeanNua farm is about applying new principles to older styles of farming. Their produce includes beautiful nutrient dense vegetables from organic seeds and eggs from pasture raised hens. SeanNua farm operates a direct sales system, so their produce goes straight from the farm to the consumer or restaurant. The perfect example of low food miles.

Sandra from Crafts of Ireland spoke about her delicious afternoon tea where every possible element of the menu is created in her own kitchen. This includes the breads for the savouries, the scones and all the pastries.  She even makes her own chilli jam and salted caramel.  All raw ingredients are sourced locally where possible including fruit from her own gardens when in season.

Josh from BogBoy Booch spoke of his love of micro brewing and how this love turned into a Kombucha business which he now runs from a mobile truck around the region. He trades at a selection of farmers markets as well as being stocked in health shops and small cafes.  You will also find his Kombucha in The Local Green Box Cavan.

Ray Slaughter, Castle Sports Bar. Photo: Lorraine Teevan

Ray Slaughter, proprietor of the Castle Sports Bar in Belturbet spoke about the food journey that he and his team were on since Covid restrictions hit. His is a good news story in that Covid gave him the push to branch into gastro food service as well as a new restaurant. He spoke of how his head chef Pauric has made sure that their menu features mostly local produce including Corleggy cheese and local meat from McGurrens butchers in Belturbet.

Finally, Eileen Gormley from Killeshandra Camino Calling spoke of their upcoming walk which is nearly sold out. The walk is one of the Created in Cavan events this year that will feature Mary Ellen’s Meadow, Drumully Boxty and Ice Cream treats. Other events include The Cottage Market Cavan artisan food and craft market on the 18th and 19th of June, the Taste of Belturbet Steak night in the Castle sports and gastro bar on the 24th of June and many more.

The appetite for locally produced and sourced food and drinks is strong in this part of Ireland and Created in Cavan are certainly leading the way for food experiences. To view the full list of events for 2022 just visit the website on www.createdincavan.ie/events