Savour all that Kilkenny has to offer at bank holiday festival
Bank holiday weekend food festival has big plans for its 10th birthday celebrations this week
More than 30,000 people are expected to attend the Savour Kilkenny food festival later this week. Photograph: Pat Moore.
Savour Kilkenny, the food festival that celebrates a decade in existence this year, takes over the city and its environs this coming bank holiday weekend, with a wide range of events running from Friday to Monday.
There are lots of new features in the 10th anniversary programme, including a tie-in with Gill Books that will see a sizeable contingent of cookbook authors travelling to the city to do cookery demonstrations, as well as meet and greet readers at the new Pop-Up Cafe and Bookshop.
Darina Allen and Rory O’Connell will be Cooking for Christmas at 1.30pm on Saturday, and Garrett Fitzgerald will demonstrate recipes from his Brother Hubbard cookbook at 11.30am, also on Saturday, followed by Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly cooking from their book The Ketogenic Kitchen.
Rosanna Davison opens Sunday’s demo kitchen programme at 11.30am with Eat Yourself Fit and later in the day Dearbhla Reynolds will demystify fermentation while cooking from her book, The Cultured Club. The demonstrations, at The Food Stage on The Parade, are all free to attend.
Continuing the literary link, Mag Kirwan from Goatsbridge Trout will launch her book of fish recipes, Fishwives, on Friday at 6pm in the parade tower at Kilkenny Castle. Proceeds from the book will support Hospice Africa’s work in Uganda, where Kirwan’s sister Miriam Donohoe spent eight months volunteering earlier this year.
Global Kitchen is another innovative strand to the programme that will give a stage to people from around the world who have made Kilkenny their home, as well as to local food enthusiasts with something interesting to showcase. There is a daily programme for this, so you can plan who you want to watch.
Savour Kilkenny is also hosting the inaugural Smallholders Gathering that will bring together enthusiasts from Ireland and the UK for a series of workshops, demonstrations and discussions.
Foraging, fermenting, buttermilk making, starting with poultry and with pigs, keeping bees, and marketing and selling your produce are among the topics that will be covered here.
So far, you won’t have had to spend a euro to attend these diverse attractions, but there are also partner events, including themed dinners and drinks events, that may carry a fee.
Anocht’s head chef Rory Nolan will cook a six-course duck dinner on Thursday (€55); Fish Face offers a three-course seafood dinner with wine on Friday night (€35) and Cakeface Patisserie has a six courses dessert tasting menu, also on Friday.
Lyrath Estate’s elegant interior will host a Dinner Journey Through the Decades, 1916-2016, on Saturday (€85, including drinks and wine pairings). Zuni restaurant pits Kilkenny chef Edward Hayden against Tipperary-born, LA-based chef Stuart O’Keeffe in an inter-county cook-off on Sunday night (€70, including prosecco reception).
Given the city’s brewing tradition, there will be lots of opportunities for refreshments, including a Smithwicks Experience (Friday, €15) and a masterclass at Sullivan’s Brewing Company (Saturday, €10). A craft brewers and distillers pavilion will be open on The Parade on Saturday and Sunday. Wine drinkers can take in a tasting session at The Wine Centre (Friday, 6pm), and a food and wine pairing event hosted by Wines Direct in the Left Bank (Saturday, 4.30pm).
There are lots of children’s event too, and the Savour Market will be open on Saturday and Sunday at The Parade. See savourkilkenny.com for the full programme of events.