Some of Ireland’s finest chefs, producers, stall-holders and all round lovers of fine food come to the beautiful coastal town of Dungarvan from 21-23 April to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the West Waterford Festival of Food. Combining the best of food and drink, engaging events, pop-up restaurants, one of Ireland’s largest farmers’ markets, trails and tours, kids’ cookery, special birthday celebrations and much more, the 10th annual West Waterford Festival of food is a must visit for food lovers everywhere.
The celebrations begin on Friday 21 April, with a number of events during the day and the launch party in Dungarvan’s Grattan Square at 5pm. One of the perennial favourites, the Restaurant Trails – the ultimate movable feast – starts on Friday night too, giving participants the chance to enjoy each course in a different restaurant. The Restaurant Trail is a delicious, sociable introduction to this friendly festival.
Chefs Shane McGrath (The Cliff House Hotel), Darren Collins (The Olive Tree) and Paula Hannigan (Waterford Castle) work their magic with local produce they know and love at the Showcase Waterford Dinner while Lawlor’s Hotel will host a celebration of Dungarvan’s maritime heritage with a menu focused on the finest fresh local seafood.
On Saturday night, the Tannery continues the festival tradition of hosting an exceptional cooking talent from elsewhere – this year that role going to chef Stephen Harris of The Sportsman in Whitstable. More big names will appear at The Tannery over the weekend, as OX come down from Belfast to cook a very special Sunday lunch. Fresh from their celebrated pop-up in partnership with the World’s Best Bar, The Dead Rabbit in New York, this will be a unique opportunity for festival-goers to experience some of the finest cooking to be had anywhere on this island from the Michelin-star Belfast restaurant.
The Farmer’s Market is another hugely popular event and this year it takes place on Sunday 3 April. One of the largest artisan food markets on the island, this year is set to be the biggest yet with over 100 stalls showcasing the best producers and artisans of the region.
Every day of West Waterford Festival of Food sees a busy schedule of trails and tours, whether it’s seaweed foraging, taking one of the interesting Bus Bia tours with their three different itineraries full of fascinating visits to local farmers and producers, or dropping in to the Health Hub, a venue dedicated to the latest health and wellness trends in food, which has talks, panel discussions, films and demos running all weekend, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Kids are always well catered for at the festival and this year there are events for kids of all ages – from toddlers to teens – to enjoy. There will be fun events such as Busy with Biscuits to enjoy, as well as workshops for little pizza chefs and some family fun at King John’s Castle.
On top of all that, renowned pit-master John Relihan will be demoing his mastery of low and slow cooking with fire, Mezze will host a plant-based Middle-Eastern pop-up and The Irish Craft in a Glass series of talks will offer a series of opportunities to taste and learn about the increasingly popular craft beer, gin, cider and whiskeys of Ireland.
With so much to do, see and most importantly taste, Dungarvan is the place to be for food lovers of all ages this month as the West Waterford Festival of Food celebrates its tenth birthday in style.