Savour Kilkenny line-up keeps up a tasty tradition

This year’s Savour Kilkenny Food Festival may have been hit by a setback when it was told by the local council that admission to its food fair on the Parade plaza would have to be free of charge, but festival organisers still managed to put together an extensive range of events in a programme that was launched on Friday evening in the National Craft Gallery.

This year’s Savour Kilkenny Food Festival may have been hit by a setback when it was told by the local council that admission to its food fair on the Parade plaza would have to be free of charge, but festival organisers still managed to put together an extensive range of events in a programme that was launched on Friday evening in the National Craft Gallery.

City Mayor David Fitzgerald (FG) applauded the festival’s perseverance and urged all in the county to support and enjoy the festival, which will take place over the October Bank Holiday weekend from October 27-31.

In addition to the free open-air food market on the Parade plaza and in the Design Yard, events will be taking place throughout the city and in Thomastown, Paulstown, Castlecomer, Stoneyford, Graignamanagh, Freshford and Callan.

Langton’s Set Theatre will also be hosting a range of cooking demonstrations and events, with celebrity chefs Donal Skehan and Catherine Fulvio topping the bill. Admission to these and numerous other demonstrations will be via a ‘Festival Friend’ wristband that can be purchased for €10.

Donal Skehan is hosting “A Taste of Craft” demonstration in association with the Crafts Council of Ireland’s Year of Craft 2011, in which he will showcase food with the work of local craftspeople.

Catherine Fulvio will present “Family Food and Food for Friends”; and Kilkenny-based chefs Anne Neary of Ryland House Cookery and Edward Hayden of Edward Entertains will also feature over the weekend hosting a ‘Made in Kilkenny’ tapas workshop and a ‘Sinful but Delicious’ desserts demo.

An Avonmore Live Celebrity Cook-off will feature Deputy Anne Phelan, John Walsh and Edwina Grace of KCLR 96FM, and an All-Star hurler with MC RTÉ broadcaster Brenda O’Donoghue; and budding amateur chefs will have an opportunity to show off their culinary skills with the Caulfield’s Supervalu Kilkenny Masterchef Final.

Other highlights include a debate titled “The Great Irish Food Fight – Is traditional Irish cuisine an embarrassment of riches – or just an embarrassment?”, which will form the centrepiece of the Savour Kilkenny Food Camp in the Newpark Hotel on October 28 and will be chaired by John McKenna of the Bridgestone Guide.

A Dame Alice Medieval Banquet will take place on October 31 in the Kilkenny Castle Kitchens; and “A Feast of Chefs – Five Kilkenny chefs, five courses under five arches” will take place in Campagne on October 27.

Seafood workshops by six Kilkenny chefs will be presented in The Fishman’s Market Stand on the Parade plaza; a Young Producers Market will be on offer in MacDonagh Junction; and there will be a pop-up allotment at Canal Square. The festival will also include a “Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail Tour” and a seminar on “Nutrition for Sport and a Healthy Lifestyle” with speakers including Kilkenny All-Ireland senior hurler Michael Fennelly.

Festival wristbands are on sale from the Savour Kilkenny headquarters in The Maltings, or the Kilkenny Tourism office. Bookings can also be made at www.savourkilkenny.com.

Stalls for the open-air food market can be reserved by emailing info@savourkilkenny.com.