Taste of Dublin opens in Iveagh Gardens

Rain or shine, Ireland’s foodies will be line for all manner of treats at this year’s festival, which continues until Sunday


The organisers of Taste of Dublin have spent recent days burying statues of the Child of Prague around the grounds of the Iveagh Gardens in an attempt to keep rain off the menu at the four day food festival which started last night.

“We’d like it to have been on last weekend when it was glorious,” said event director Rachel Kelly with a wry smile at the launch of the event yesterday afternoon. “But the forecast is good for the weekend so fingers crossed.”

Rain or shine, Ireland’s foodies will be in line for all manner of treats at this year’s festival which continues until Sunday. The weekend’s special event will be the appearance of Bristol-based Jonray and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias, two brothers who became the youngest chefs to be awarded a Michelin star for Casamia in Bristol back in 2009 when they were just 25 and 23.

As if winning a coveted star wasn’t enough, the pair went on to impress Gordon Ramsay as he searched for Britain’s best independent restaurant as part of a Channel 4 series which turned them into instant celebrities.

They still have their feet firmly on the ground. “We are going to have a bit of fun here and show people what we can do,” Peter told The Irish Times. “The success so far has been bonkers but we are very dedicated to our food and in our own little bubble so it hasn’t turned our heads.”

People who see their demos can expect to see a lot of peaches and cream as the pair plan to re-imagine a childhood favourite dessert for Dublin’s delectation.

All told, more than 30,000 food fans are expected to walk through the garden’s gates to have their taste buds tickled by cookery demos, food and drink tastings and classes at the festival, which is in its eighth year.

Sanchez-Iglesias will not be the only game in town and demonstrations will also be given by many of Ireland’s most well known chefs including Clodagh McKenna, Rachel Allen, Pichet’s Stephen Gibson and Ross Lewis from Chapter One.

McKenna, who is preparing to open her second restaurant – in Dublin’s Blackrock – later this month, was in ebullient form yesterday. “There is so much happening on the Irish food scene, so many new restaurants and pop-ups opening. And the value is getting better all the time too.”

And speaking of value, Kelly defended the admission prices of between €20 and €28 which does not include any food. “The prices have actually fallen this year and there will be a lot of free samples out there.”