05 Jul 2022

Kilkenny serves up a 'Taste of the Island'

Photos by Dylan Vauaghan

Kilkenny Design Centre, treated us to an evening of ‘Taste the Island’ in their award-winning Anocht restaurant in association with Failte Ireland.

‘Taste the Island’ is all about encouraging people to utilise the wonderful food and drink produce available in Ireland and support their local communities.

It was lovely to meet on the night - Marian O’Gorman, CEO Kilkenny Group, her husband Michael and her daughter Michelle who is Head of Retail at the Kilkenny Group.

Listening to Marian O’Gorman talk about buying Irish and shopping local was inspiring. She has worked from the age of 16, when she started selling Aran sweaters and Irish souvenirs to tourists from a thatch cottage at the side of the road in Blarney alongside my father Christy Kelleher.

Today Marian O’Gorman is CEO of the Kilkenny Group. Last year, the Kilkenny Group acquired the Kilkenny Design Centre when the fabulous Kathleen Moran retired.

Marian spoke passionately on the night about the power of supporting Irish and shopping local. She told her guests that €5 billion euros is spent on line, with 70% of that going out of the country, she added “we need to think about our children because they are going to come into towns and villages someday and there will be no shops.” She finished by saying “a little more spent on Irish goods can only be good for the economy.”


The ‘Taste of Island’ bespoke menu produced by head chef Rory Nolan was full of local Kilkenny produce, with each producers on hand to tell us about their love of growing nutritious Kilkenny food.

The first course of Riversfield Organic Farm was baby leek, mushroom with cured egg yolk and truffle and served with Smithwicks Blonde. Goatsbridge trout with traditional Kilkenny Draught was the second pairing of the night.

The third course of braised top rib of Kilkenny prime Hereford beef, from Kenna’s Butcher, Riversfield Organic Farm, buttermilk potato, savoy cabbage with onion and beef sauce and was accompanied by Smithwicks Original.

Have I made you hungry yet?! To finish, a bitter chocolate tart with passion fruit and cocoa nib was served alongside Guinness Draught.

Well known Kilkenny chef Anne Neary of Ryeland House Cookery School was on hand as MC. She did a fabulous job with her knowledge of the Kilkenny food on offer.

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