Mum’s Dish 2017

The first anniversary of our mother’s death is coming up at the end of March, and my sisters Maeve and Grace had a brilliant idea on how best to mark her one-year anniversary by doing what Mum loved to do best – feeding friends and neighbours with good, wholesome food.


At the funeral last year, many of the hundreds of people who attended had fond memories of our mother’s scones, soups, dinners, Victoria sponges, apple tarts … you name it!  Makes sense that all seven of her children love to cook, love to have people over for dinners and are curious about food from the world over.

Four of us even chose careers in Food:  Grace & Mary are trained Chefs, Sinead is a Dietitian and Deirdre co-owned a restaurant for many years.  Our mother’s legacy for sure.

The idea for Mum’s Dish 2017 was born – a fundraiser to benefit Cork Penny Dinners, a charity that has been around since Famine times, serving warm, home-cooked meals to the poor of Cork City.  Unfortunately, the need for warm dinners is greater than ever in 2017 with over 1000 meals served per week as Ireland continues to struggle with it’s economy since the global recession in 2008.


Cork Penny Dinners was our mother’s favourite charity, a grassroots organization run primarily by volunteers, who try their damnedest to operate with the least amount of expenses as possible.

On Wednesday March 8th 2017, Mum’s Dish will be MC’d by  Irish Food Writer, Joe McNamee  and includes a cooking demonstration by award-winning chef Bryan McCarthy of Greene’s along with a Who’s Who of Cork’s restaurants:  Gautham Iyer of Iyer’s Cafe, Pamela Kelly of Market Lane, Ciaran Scully of Bayview House Hotel, Kate Lawlor of Fenn’s Quay and Ali Honour of Ali’s Kitchen.  Each will prepare their signature dish while the sold-out crowd of 120, sip on wine and savour some nibbles.

In addition to a raffle, each ticketholder will be presented with a copy of Mum’s Dish Recipe Book, a book filled with recipes submitted by some of the top names in Irish Food – recipes that are a reminder of cooking with their own mothers as kids.  A collectible for sure and only available to those lucky enough to attend this now sold-out event.

Many of you reading this are not in Ireland, but if you would like to donate in our mother’s name – Mary Coffey, you can do so here by clicking on Tickets, and entering your donation amount in Euros.  Tax receipts are not available for international donors.

I’m proud as punch of this brilliant fundraiser that my sister Maeve and Grace have created for such a worthy cause – Cork Penny Dinners.  To be able to engage so many Big Foodie Names of Ireland is no mean feat, and to sell out 3 weeks in advance is a measure of the hard work they have put in for a few months now, pulling this fabulous event together. Much love to you both xo xo.

Thanks too to Joe Whelehan for his great logistics, planning and coordination skills that have been an integral part of pulling this event together.

Mum would be very proud of you all.  And delighted to be featured in an article in Cork’s own d’Echo too!  Check it out here.

The way we are living, timorous or bold, will have been our life.
― Seamus Heaney, Great Irish Poet 1939 – 2013

About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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2 Responses to Mum’s Dish 2017

  1. Mick Canning says:

    That really is a great way to commemorate your mother, Kate!

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