Feast Your Eyes on Dingle Food Fest

Now in its 12th year, Dingle Food Festival is set to kick off from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th October, turning the gorgeous fishing town in Kerry into a food connoisseur’s dream.

The event promises to be a weekend of exceptional food and entertainment, offering a packed programme of cookery demonstrations, family fun, food workshops, tastings and much more.

A festival highlight is the famous Dingle Taste Trail. Mouthwatering tasty delights are on offer in pubs, shops, restaurants, galleries and cafes throughout Dingle town. Festival goers can purchase a book of ‘taste trail tickets’, containing tokens which they then exchange for a taste of food or drink at the many outlets. A book costs €20. Each book contains nine tickets worth €2 each with the remaining €2 going to the successful running of the festival. For one token you receive a tasting at any of the venues.

This year a whopping 78 locations have signed up for the Taste Trail. The variety of food is huge with West Kerry restaurants like Bacus & Kerry Escargot, The Little Cheese Shop, Marina Inn, Murphy’s Ice-Cream, O’Cathain Fish Shop, Reel Dingle Fish and Solas Tapas Restaurants all taking part.

Meanwhile, for those who enjoy a drink, there is a mini Beer and Cider Craft Trail included in the Taste Trail. People can use their tokens at spots such as Dick Mack’s Yard, Kennedy’s Bar, McCarthy’s Bar, Nelliefreds Bar & Garage and O’Sullivan’s Courthouse Bar.

However, if beer or cider are not your drink, wine tastings and whiskey masterclasses are available. Random Restaurant located on Dykegate Lane are running wine and cheese sampling events at 1pm on the Saturday and Sunday of the festival, as well as whiskey masterclasses in collaboration with distillers Method and Madness, as well as Powers. They advise to book a spot in advance due to the popularity of the events last year.

For caffeine addicts, there is a free tasting session of a variety of coffee brewing methods in Nelliefreds Garage, Spa Road on the Saturday, starting at 11am.

There is also The Great Dingle Bake Off where baking hopefuls will compete to see who has made the most delicious pavlova. Taking place from 11.30am at Dick Mack’s Yard on the Sunday, festival attendees are encouraged to cheer on the competitors in the judging process. Organisers say if you do, there might be some slices of meringue up for grabs.

Also running is Blas na hEireann, the biggest competition for quality produce in Ireland. Over 2500 products were entered into the 2018 competition to win Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards in over 100 food and drink categories as well as in key awards such as Supreme Champion and Best Artisan Producer.

Many of the finalists will also be taking part in the food market & taste trails so be sure to look out for the Blas na hEireann symbol and to take a chance to taste what has made it this far.

On top of all of the above, there will be the Farmers Forum. This year, the topic is “Farming and Energy – A Time of Transition?” Experts will discuss how climate change initiatives – such as a move away from fossil fuels – will affect the harvesting of food on the Dingle peninsula.  This takes place on the Friday at 8.00pm in An Diseart, Green Street.

Meanwhile as adults fill their stomachs with quality artisan food and drink, there are events to keep children entertained including Face Painting, Falconry and Bumper Ballz.

Talented chefs from across Ireland and from Dingle town will be cooking up delights in the historic St. James church. The streets will be lined with the finest of Irish produce to purchase and sample, as over 60 Market stall holders set up on the Saturday and Sunday. Outdoor live music and street entertainment will add to the fantastic atmosphere.

Proud to be greening the Dingle Food Festival this year is the Festival Eco pack – which includes a plate, bowl, cup and cutlery made from durable and reusable eco-friendly bamboo in an organic cotton carry bag. The pack costs €15.

Check out www.dinglefood.com for all the latest updates and more information on the festival.

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