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They call it soul food for a reason.

And if it’s heaven on a plate you’re after this June Bank Holiday weekend, Cork’s lively Victorian Quarter is where your prayers will be answered.

Music fans will be flocking to MacCurtain St and its surrounds from June 1st -3rd as the annual Soul in the City party brings another weekend jammed with live bands and mouth-watering culinary delights.

Some of the country’s best exponents of soul return to stages from Bridge St to St Luke’s, culminating in Soul Journey with Karen Underwoood, Live At Saint Luke’s on Sunday.

Karen will lead a stellar soul band with special guests Gemma Sugrue, Niall McCabe, Christiana Underwood, Leah Ahern and Isaiah G from Chicago.

Joining them throughout Cork’s Victorian Quarter will be Velvin Lamont, Bad Boy Blues, Ms Ken D, The Niall McCabe Band, Senita Appiakorang & The Appiakorangtones, Neo-Soul Collective, Strange Attractor and Rebecca Ruane, to name but a few.

In between acts, local restaurants will be embracing the festivities by serving up delicious soul food over the course of the weekend

Here’s a taste of what’s on the menu:

Stephen Vaughan, owner of the White Rabbit Bar & BBQ: “This year we’ve got corn cakes, an old-fashioned staple from the American south.

“We’ve also got smoked chicken wings with Alabama white dipping sauce, a southern tradition, which will be available during the festival.”

Bruno Pasquali Bortolotti, chef at The Shelbourne Bar, said: “I am Brazilian, and our history of colonisation by the Portugese means a lot of our food is very much ‘soul’ – rice, beans, and lots of flavour. So I’ve used that, as well as sweet potato, which is popular in Deep South America, to create beef cooked in spices, crunchy sweet potato fries with a saffron rice.”

Amit Katti, chef at Gallagher’s, has created classic shrimp and grits with spicy Italian sausage, tempura vegetable with slow cooked beef and sweet potato puree, and a Bananas Foster dessert.

He said: “Soul food is known for bold, punchy flavours. We’ve interpreted it in our own way to give it that comforting twist but keep it modern and interesting. Our dishes have that hearty ‘hit the spot’ feel but at the same time are delicate and textured.”

To see the full Soul in the City line-up, click here

Images: Ryan O’Neill


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