Taste of Dublin event has fire pit, bake-off - and cheaper tickets

Attendance hoped to reach 30,000 during June 12th-15th festival at Iveagh Gardens


A fire pit, a bake-off and cheaper ticket prices are among the features of this year’s Taste of Dublin food festival, which runs from June 12th to 15th in the Iveagh Gardens.

Event director Avril Bannerton said ticket prices and the price charged to exhibitors had been reduced this year to make the festival more accessible. “The festival will look totally different this year. We’ve opened up the whole venue and we’re working with a lot of restaurants to create new experiences - not just showcasing two or three dishes.”

She said prices would start at €15 instead of €25, and early bird tickets are on sale for €10 the next nine days. “As a nation we are much more price savvy and we are all looking around for value for money,” she said.

Last year’s event attracted 24,500 people, and Ms Bannerton said the level of interest so far suggested it could reach 30,000 this year. She said there was more interest in group and corporate bookings. “We are seeing companies starting to entertain again, after holding back for a few years. It’s good to see.”

Tom Kitchin, Simon Hulstone and Monica Galetti are among the international chefs lined up for the event. The festival will include a large fire pit, which will be fronted by a celebrity chef whose name is still under wraps. “It’s the whole new way of barbeque cooking, very Americanised, very different and new,” Ms Bannerton said.

“We’ll also have a bake-off, which will be headed up by Ross Lewis of Chapter One,” she added. “And he’s introducing our first ever dessert restaurant at Taste, which will be very different.”

Also cooking at the festival will be Darina Allen, Rachel Allen, Kevin Thornton, Derry Clarke, Kevin Dundon, Clodagh McKenna and Catherine Fulvio. Thai food specialist Chef Bo will also make an appearance.

A new workshop area will focus on nutritional health and lifestyle, while another area will provide rotating garden pods with waiter service.

The festival will again operate its own currency, called florins, which must be used to buy signature dishes from the restaurants, drinks from bars and products from exhibitors. Florins can be bought when booking tickets or at one of the florin banks at the festival.

The average dish will cost five florins (€5) for a tapas-sized serving. Visitors will be able to buy dishes from restaurants such as The Hot Stove, Saba, Diep le Shaker, Chapter One and the Green Hen.