Savour Kilkenny celebrates success for the strangest of food festivals in 2020

Festival moved activities for 2020 online and has had thousands of virtual visits to live and recorded cookery demonstrations


Laura Gannon and her daughter Riley from Cakeface Patisserie and FACE2 - CakeFace for Kids was an online baking demo series for SavourOnline 2020 PICTURE: VICKY COMERFORD

There has been a huge public response to the new online format introduced by Savour Kilkenny for this year’s festival.

Savour Kilkenny are delighted with the response and the support of so many of their long-standing collaborators over the past two months. The festival moved all of its activities for 2020 online and has had thousands of virtual visits to their live and recorded cookery demonstrations, profiles of local producers and businesses, charity wine tastings and wellness events.

They have featured some of the highest profile celebrity chefs in Ireland including Darina Allen, Rory O’Connell, Paul Flynn, Neven Maguire, Kevin Dundon and local culinary stars Edward Hayden, John Kelly and Anne Neary. New stars have also emerged with Riley Gannon, the daughter of Cakeface and FACE2 owner Laura and Rory, becoming an online star as she helps her mum out in a series of demonstrations which has got the next generation of Kilkenny bakers learning new skills.

Festival manager Marian Flannery said the festival was delighted with the uptake as people tune in and watched from home.

“While we missed the wonderful atmosphere of our normal three action-packed days on the Parade and all over Kilkenny on the October Bank Holiday Weekend, our team, committee, supporters, sponsors and the public have really come on board as we all learn to embrace watching events in a new way from our sofa or through our phones or devices as we practice the recipes in our kitchens,” she said.

“We are delighted to have given a platform to our local producers who have been so central to the success of our festival over the past 14 years as Kilkenny woman Siobhán Donohoe has travelled the roads of our county to interview farmers, makers and producers of all sorts, highlighting the rich food heritage of our county. The festival’s partnership with Kilkenny Lions Club in bringing their annual wine tastings with Kilkenny’s Wine Centre got a great reaction, as people support the Lions Christmas

Appeal for St Vincent de Paul while tasting some of the best wines from around the world in front of their own fires to warm up the Winter.

Festival Chairperson, Ger Mullally, said they had been pleasantly surprised by the uptake from the public.

“There is definitely an appetite from the public to do things in a new way,” he said.

“We have seen in recent years that traditional cookbooks, although still hugely popular are now being replaced by people accessing recipes and information about food production through their phones and devices. There are elements of the online work we have done this year that we will keep as part of our programme into the future.

“Our small team at Savour has done a great job learning new skills and bringing new expertise on board to make sure that our reputation as one of the foremost and longest established food festivals in Ireland continues.”

Ms Flannery concluded with a call for everybody to buy local produce for Christmas and the New Year.

“We are hugely aware that our producers, food retailers and restaurants have had the most difficult year ever,” she said. “We appeal to all our supporters to spend what they can supporting local, seasonal, and fresh products as seasonal gifts and to play their part in getting out to enjoy our local food when it is safe to do so, in keeping with government and public health guidelines.”

The festival will continue with online events until mid-January, stay tuned to all social media channels.

To continue reading this archived article for FREE,
please just kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.