Kilkenny hurling star Kevin Fennelly cheered on by Anne Neary and Edward Hayden

Kilkenny hurling star Kevin Fennelly cheered on by Anne Neary and Edward Hayden

A PACKED PROGRAMME UNVEILED FOR 5th ANNUAL SAVOUR KILKENNY FOOD FESTIVAL 2011 AT THE NATIONAL CRAFT GALLERY

A MOUTH-WATERING and expanded programme of events has being unveiled for the 5th Annual Savour Kilkenny Food Festival which takes place over the October Bank Holiday weekend, 27th – 31st October 2011.

Once again the walls of Kilkenny Castle will form a spectacular backdrop for the Festival with a free open air food market on the Parade Plaza and in the Design Yard where foodies can taste and buy the very best of local and regional produce in a bustling, autumnal setting.

In a new development this year, the Set Theatre in John Street will be the location for a range of cooking demonstrations and tasty events, with celebrity chefs Donal Skehan and Catherine Fulvio, topping the bill.

Skehan, who is often referred to as Irelands answer to Jamie Oliver, is hosting “A Taste of Craft” demonstration in association with the Crafts Council of Ireland which is celebrating Year of Craft 2011. The dynamic young chef will showcase food with the work of local craftspeople.

Catherine Fulvio makes a welcome return by popular demand after her successful appearance last year. Popular Kilkenny-based chefs, Anne Neary of Ryland House Cookery and Edward Hayden of Edward Entertains, will also feature over the weekend hosting a Made in Kilkenny Tapas workshop and a Sinful but Delicious Desserts demo.

The Avonmore Live Celebrity Cook-off will feature Anne Phelan TD, John Walsh and Edwina Grace of KCLR96FM, and an All Star Hurler with MC RTE broadcaster, Brenda O’Donoghue.
Budding amateur chefs will have an opportunity to show off their culinary skills with the Caulfield’s Supervalu Kilkenny Masterchef Final.

This year the Savour Festival is encouraging friends and supporters to buy a special Festival Wristband which will give people access to all the cooking demonstrations and events over the weekend. The wristbands are now on sale for only €10 from the Savour Kilkenny headquarters in The Maltings, or the Kilkenny Tourism office. They can also be purchased online at www.savourkilkenny.com

Other highlights of this year’s expanded Festival programme include:

  • A debate titled “The Great Irish Food Fight – is traditional Irish Cuisine an embarrassment of riches – or just an embarrassment? This will form the centrepiece of the Savour Kilkenny Food Camp in the Newpark Hotel on Friday October 28th and will be chaired by John McKenna of the Bridgestone Guide.
  • The Dame Alice Medieval Banquet on Sunday October 31st in the Kilkenny Castle Kitchens.
  • A Feast of Chefs – 5 Kilkenny chefs, 5 courses under 5 arches” in Campagne Restaurant on Thursday October 27th.
  • Seafood Workshops by six Kilkenny chefs in The Fishman’s Market Stand on the Parade Plaza.
  • A Young Producers Market in MacDonagh Junction.
  • Pop Up Allotment on the Canal Square.
  • A Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail Tour.
  • A Nutrition for Sport and a Healthy Lifestyle seminar with speakers including Kilkenny All-Ireland Hurling Star Michael Fennelly.
  • Interactive Cooking demos for children and a kiddie cook off

Local restaurants are putting on their best bibs with many organising special Savour events including: Savour the Lady Helen dinner in Mount Juliet Hotel in Thomastown, Savour the Romance in Café Sol, Savour Kilkenny Tasting Menu in Zunis, Sensory Dining in the Clubhouse Hotel and a celebration of Kilkenny Artisans Food in Statham’s Restaurant.

This year the Savour Festival tentacles will reach out right around the county with events in Thomastown, Paulstown, Castlecomer, Stoneyford, Graiguenamanagh, Freshford, and Callan.

Stalls for the open air food market are still being offered at a nominal charge – and hotels, restaurants, cafes, cookery schools, chefs and shops from the city and county are advised to reserve their space as soon as possible by emailing info@savourkilkenny.com

Ger Mullally, Chairman of the Savour Kilkenny Food Festival Committee, said at the official programme launch in the National Craft Gallery that the festival was delighted to offer an expanded and more diverse programme this year.

“We hope this festival will help local food producers, retailers, restaurateurs’ and hoteliers to meet the significant economic challenges in the present difficult environment for business and consumers.

“Kilkenny’s reputation as a food destination is increasing and we will reflect this by exhibiting the best Kilkenny and its hinterland has to offer by way of food. The festival is one of the building blocks to the development of a strong and vibrant food culture throughout County Kilkenny.”

He thanked the main sponsors Glanbia, Kilkenny County Councils, LEADER, Electrocity, Pallas Foods, Bord Bia and Failte Ireland, the Crafts Council of Ireland, Caulfields, and FBD for their support.