A mouth-watering programme of events has been unveiled for this year’s Waterford Festival of Food which promises to attract thousands of visitors to the south-east and to provide a major boost to the local economy.
The 4th annual festival, which will be held in Dungarvan from April 14th to 17th, sees the return of many popular events but also includes exciting new elements including a Food Camp, BBQ by the Quay and a Mind/Body/Spirit event.
A host of celebrity and local chefs will be on hand to whip up some exciting dishes at cookery demonstrations, and Sunday will feature a Farmers Market Extravaganza in Grattan Square with the best of artisan food produce from the South East.
Michelin star chef Ross Lewis and Martin Shanahan from Fishy Fishy will take part for the first time – while flying in from the UK for a return visit to the Festival will be Richard Corrigan accompanied by well-known UK chef Mark Hix. They will all be joined by well-known local chef, Paul Flynn of The Tannery.
The launch of the festival programme was marked by a colourful Pig Fair in Walton Park. A team of judges, which included RTE South East Correspondent Damien Tiernan, Sean Og Duffy of Truly Irish Country Foods, sponsors of the fair and local artist Danny Cunningham, selected a ‘crafty’ pig from Cappoquin National School to be the Festival mascot.
The pigs will be paraded through Dungarvan on the opening day of the festival, April 15th, and dropped off in local shops and restaurants where they will be on display over the festival weekend.
Waterford’s County Manager Ray O’Dwyer said at the Festival launch: “Waterford County Council is delighted to have established the Waterford Festival of Food Dungarvan in 2008 and it is great to see how the Festival has become a much anticipated event each year since”.
Mr O’Dwyer said the Council continues to invest in and work closely with the business community, the team of volunteers from the community and the other state agencies to ensure that this wonderful festival continues to thrive and provide a platform for the fantastic food culture of Dungarvan and County Waterford.
“This spirit of public private partnership has proven to be very successful in this case and has generated real economic benefits regionally. I want to assure the Festival of Food company of the Council’s continuing support.”
A pre festival event will take place on March 14th where local students with their mentors including Paul Flynn from the Tannery, will take to the stage in the Town Hall to cook up dishes, against the clock, whilst being watched by their peers, parents and teachers. This event is being sponsored by Barrons Bakery of Cappqouin. ‘Our Daily Bread ~ A History of Barrons Bakery’ by Roz Crowley is also being launched by John McKenna over the Festival weekend.
Due to popular demand restaurant trails are being offered on the Thursday evening of the festival weekend this year.
The FoodCamp, a new event of the programme this year on Friday April 15th, will see people passionate about food share their experiences in a one-day ‘speak your mind’ session in King John’s Castle.
FoodCamp participants will include food producers, chefs, restaurateurs, consumers, food writers and bloggers and representatives of Bord Bia
The Food Camp is different from a conference in that people don’t have to pay to attend and anyone can register to speak. It allows food lovers to discuss all aspects of the food industry in an informal though thought provoking atmosphere.
The Camp will culminate with a panel discussion featuring key industry figures such as Jim Power from Love Irish Food and Ella McSweeney from RTE’s Ear to the Ground programme.
Another new addition to this year’s festival programme is The Mind | Body | Spirit morning which will take place in Walton Park on Saturday April 16th from 10.00am until 2.00pm. The “Wellbeing” free, informative event will feature sessions on Pilates, Yoga, Acupuncture, Life Coaching, Beauty Therapies and much more.
There are free and ticketed events over the weekend with something for all age groups.
Other features include:
• The ever popular ‘Bus Bia’ taking people to visit producers through the west of the county over the weekend.
• ‘Biscuit Baking’ for children and ‘Bread Making’ at the evocative old world Barrons Bakery in Cappoquin.
• The AgriAware mobile farm at King John’s Castle
• ‘Picnic in the Park’
• Restaurant Trails
• ‘Dish for the Déise’ competition which invites recipes for dishes that are part of the heritage of Co. Waterford,
• BBQ on the Quay
• A community walk in the country with tasty treats along the way
The Festival continues to thrive due to the continued support from Waterford County and Town Councils, Waterford County Enterprise Board and the loyal support from commercial sponsors, Flahavans, FBD, Glanbia, Dawn Meats and Pallas.
Conor Gouldson of FBD said: “We have been partners with the Festival of Food Dungarvan since it began in 2008 and have found it a very positive partnership. It proves to us that working with local people, on local projects for the good of local communities is the way forward. FBD was built by farmers for farmers and I believe our economy will be re-built at local community level for the good of local communities.”
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