Focus on local food at Kinsale festival
One of the biggest changes to Kinsale’s Gourmet Festival over the years has been the move towards locally-sourced food, according to festival co-ordinator Maria O’Mahony.
The sold-out festival, now in its 36th year, began today and runs until Sunday.
One of the major draws to the festival is its focus on local products, according to Ms O’Mahony.
“Irish food has come full circle in the last few years. People want to eat and source locally-produced food. That goes for the likes of beef and fish to the herbs and berries which would compliment a meal,” she said.
“It is all about sustainability. People are supporting Irish markets because they realise that the food is fresher, will last longer and there are no chemicals. It might seem like the more expensive option at the time, but it is better in the long run.”
One of the festival’s attractions is the 50 Mile Meal Award, which is won by the best dish prepared with ingredients produced within 50 miles of Kinsale. Ms O’Mahony says that this award is often won with ingredients sourced much closer than that.
“The 50 Mile Meal Award was launched at the 2007 festival and has featured each year since. A lot of the time though, it is won with food from around five miles around the town.”
The festival is set to attract a large number of international tourists to the region, according to festival director Roman Minihan.
“We are really looking forward to another exciting Gourmet Festival this October. Every year, Kinsale welcomes visitors from around the world to this hugely enjoyable event which is an absolute must for food lovers.”
The festival will include the Mad Hatter’s Taste of Kinsale event and an Alice in Wonderland themed tour around participating venues.