COFFEE and cake lovers might have the added bonus of being served by GAA legend and heart-throb Seán Óg O hAilpín if they’re in the Kinsale or Innishannon areas.
The former inter-county player’s wife, Siobhan Quirke, has just launched her new food truck business called The Quirkey Kitchen and says Seán will be helping out at weekends.
“Seán Óg will also be donning his apron at weekends. Forget Jamie Oliver, the newest ‘Naked Chef’ in town will be ‘The Rebel Naked Chef’! Form an orderly queue ladies!” she joked.
The food truck venture has been a long held dream of hers after a successful career both here and in the UK in the food and finance sectors.
After a degree in Economics and French from UCC, she spent time in Nice: “That’s where I garnered a real love for the French café culture, specifically, the retro, vintage style French café.
“Enter the fabulous Quirkey Kitchen Citreon HY, there were no other contenders, I had to have one. It took a while to source, but I finally purchased my French Beau in July. It took about three months to kit it out to full HSE requirements but was worth the wait.”
On her return from France, Siobhan pursued a career in finance and went on to complete a Masters in International Marketing at UCD’s Micheal Smurfit School of Business.
“As part of this programme, I spent 18 months in London working on behalf of Bord Bia, promoting small Irish food companies across the UK. This time really fuelled my desire and passion to get back into the food industry and gave me great insight into what is required to create a great business.”
She admits working in finance was the antithesis of her creative personality, but says that as a business owner she now feels the benefits.
“Although this is where my husband comes in, he works full time in the financial sector and is great at reeling me in when it comes to finances! He totally supports all my creative ideas, follies and sometimes hare-brained ideas but always brings me back to some semblance of reality and compromise,” she joked.
The truck’s concept is simple, says Siobhan: “We supply great tasting coffee (sourced locally in Innishannon from West Cork Coffee) and homemade, locally sourced delicious sweet treats from a unique and eye- catching vehicle. But we can also come to you and cater for events and special occasions, specifically tailored to your requirements.”
Siobhan grew up in Innishannon, where she got her love of food and cooking, so it makes sense that this is where she’s chosen to launch.
“I gained my baking and cooking prowess, really by osmosis in my Granny’s kitchen on Farnahoe Farm in Innishannon.
“Everything they made was packed full of local and natural ingredients, be it apples from the farm orchard, eggs from the hen coop in the backyard or butter from their herd of Friesians. I think this is where I learned of the importance of the provenance of local ingredients when producing exceptional food.”
For now, the truck will be going between Kinsale and Innishannon but Siobhan says: “We hope to establish a regular/long term spot — this will depend on customer feedback, so feel free to suggest locations @thequirkeykitchen and we will try to oblige.”
Follow her on Instagram at thequirkeykitchen.