September is a busy month on the food festival calendar, with both Feast Cork and the Waterford Harvest Festival taking place in the early part of the month, followed by Dublin Vegfest and the Galway International Oyster Festival. Oyster festivities will also take place at the Cliff House hotel group’s properties in Dublin, Kildare and Dungarvan, and at the Shelbourne hotel in Dublin.
Feast Cork takes over Midleton and its environs on September 2nd-9th, with a gala launch in the Jameson Heritage Centre on the opening night. Musician and Celebrity MasterChef contestant Mundy will perform at this, and there will be a multiplicity of food and drink events in the town and its surroundings throughout the week.
Highlights include a whiskey cocktails and dinner event at Sage restaurant, for which chef proprietor Kevin Aherne will team up with 2017 World Bartender of the Year, Andy Ferreira (Friday, September 7th, €80). Sage also hosts East of East, Like!, a long Sunday lunch with guest chef Takashi Miyazaki on the closing day (3.30pm-7pm, €100), and Catherine Cleary brings her Appetite Talks discussion series to the restaurant's courtyard that morning (11am-noon). For the full programme of events, see feastcork.ie.
The Waterford Harvest Festival (September 7th-10th) reaches double digits this year as it celebrates its 10th anniversary. Headline events here include several chef collaborations, and themed nights in the city’s restaurants, as well as the Blaa Eating World Championships (Sunday, September 9th, 3pm) and the Food the Waterford Way demonstration area.
In what will be some people's dream dinner, Eric Theze of La Boheme will serve a seven-course tasting menu of Just Desserts (Friday, September 7th), as well as teaming up with Kevin O'Toole of Chameleon in Dublin for a Taste of Bali lunch (September 9th).
Keith Boyle will be joined in the kitchen of his Bay Tree Bistro by fellow chefs Eddie Attwell (Eccles Hotel), Glen Wheeler (28 Darling Street) and Jim Mulholland (Novelli City Quays) on the final night of the festival.
The Dublin Vegfest pops up at the Griffith College campus in Dublin 8, September 22nd-23rd, with a two-day festival devoted to all things vegan. There will be talks, demos and food stalls galore selling burgers, hot dogs, pizzas, ice cream, chocolate and cakes – as well as salads and other veg-centric foods.
Cookbook author Áine Carlin, whose third book, Cook Share Eat Vegan, was published earlier this year will do a cookery demo on the 22nd, and topping the bill on stage on the 23rd will be broadcaster and journalist Holly White, whose debut book, Vegan-ish, is due out on August 31st.
Oyster season is in full swing, and both the Shelbourne hotel in Dublin and the Cliff group of hotels in Dublin, Kildare and Dungarvan are devoting all of September to celebrations of the shellfish.
Among the special offers, oyster and wine pairings and tasting menus, is a chance to visit the Harty oyster farm in Dungarvan, Co Waterford, and return to the Cliff House in Ardmore for a three-course Harty Oyster Supper (€60 including the farm visit).
The 64th Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival rounds off the month on September 28-30th, with the headline feature being the World Oyster Opening Championship. The opening night festivities and the competition day, which take place in the festival marquee, and the Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball, which will move between three venues in the city, are all ticketed events.
But the final day is a family day with chef demos and fun in the marquee. This will run from noon to 7pm and is free to attend, but tickets must be booked in advance at the festival box office.