Break bread with celebrity chefs at festivals in Co Down and Co Meath this weekend

Baker Richard Bertinet headlines the International Bread Festival at Castleward on Saturday

Baker Richard Bertinet headlines the International Bread Festival at Castleward on Saturday

Wed, May 22, 2013, 15:00

Bread may be the staff of life, but it’s also a festive food this weekend, with no fewer than two gourmet gatherings celebrating the humble loaf. Brittany-born baker Richard Bertinet headlines the International Bread Festival at Castle Ward, the National Trust property on the shores of Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland, on Saturday. The Irish Food Festival, run by Sheridan’s Cheesemongers at their headquarters in Kells, Co Meath on Sunday, features a competition to find the maker of Ireland’s best brown bread.

Brittany-born Bertinet, who now runs a bread school, bakery and cafe in Bath, will be joined at the Castle Ward event by chefs Paul Rankin and Nick Nairn. Rankin and Nairn will be making traditional Irish breads, while Bertinet will demonstrate the French breads for which he is known. There will be a bake-off, bread tasting sessions, artisan foods on sale and talks about baking better bread. For more information see castlewardbreadfestival.com.

The fourth Sheridan’s Irish Food Festival is expected to draw a big crowd for its programme of demonstrations, discussions, workshops and well supported food market, entry to which is confined to Irish produce offered for sale by the people who made it. The winner of the best brown bread competition will be announced at 2.45pm. There is a €5 car parking fee, otherwise entry to the festival is free. You can register to attend the workshops, and find more information, at sheridanscheesemongers.com.