The Network Ireland West Cork Food Glorious Food event with keynote speaker Richy Virahsawmy, TV chef and restaurateur took place recently in the Maritime Hotel, Bantry. Virahsawmy wowed the crowd with a food demonstration, followed by a panel discussion with esteemed food business entrepreneurs, including Caroline Murphy of West Cork Eggs, Avril Allshire of Rosscarbery Recipes, Rachel Dare of Organico, Clovis Ferguson of Mutonics and Liz O’Leary of Keohane Seafoods.
Renowned TV personality, restaurateur and business man Richy Virahsawmy has survived and thrived in his Clonakilty-based restaurant for 17 years. Virahsawmy’s love for cooking began at 14 years old, when he began working in a kitchen. Since then, the chef has worked at No. 10 Downing Street catering for the British Prime Minister, for the world-famous Michael Flatley and for RTÉ where he is a regular chef on the Today Show with Maura and Daithí.
Speaking at the Network Ireland West Cork event, Richy Virahsawmy told the crowd of the successes and challenges he’s faced as an entrepreneur. “When we first opened, our restaurant was very different. Since then, we’ve survived six major floods, the recession and two years of roadworks. It’s been challenging, but I have an amazing wife and a team of over 10 years behind me. The past 17 years in business have brought with them a lot of rewarding experiences; I’ve become a regular chef on RTÉ’s Today Show and TV3, won best customer service against some strong players, bought a farm. The list is endless!”
Richy’s story inspired the audience, and he offered advice to those following in his footsteps. “Go for it. Learn from your mistakes and have fun, while doing it. There will be bumps along the way, but don’t get bogged down by things that don’t work. Keep going and believe in yourself.”
Speaking at the event, Adrienne Harrington, President of Network Ireland West Cork, said: “West Cork is famous for its cuisine and we are spoilt with fresh produce on our doorsteps. For our last official Network Ireland West Cork event of 2018, we decided to celebrate the food scene here in all its glory by showcasing local food producers and entrepreneurs. The night did not disappoint. Once again, our branch is ideally placed to host unique events like this because of the talent of our members and in the locality.”
Network Ireland West Cork holds networking events for members and guests in different locations in West Cork on the last Wednesday of every month. The organisation currently has almost 100 members and welcomes new members from across West Cork.