Savour Kilkenny is now one of Ireland’s leading food festivals which attracts up to 50,000 people to Kilkenny each October bank holiday weekend and it marks the end of the traditional harvest season ‘ Samhain’. Originating from ancient Celtic spiritual tradition, Samhain welcomes in the harvest and ushers in ‘the dark half of the year’ – Savour’s festival dates were selected to mark this important time in the year and has become one of the most important ‘homecomings’ for Kilkenny people living away. It also attracts overseas and Irish visitors to come to Kilkenny and enjoy the immersive food experience! Savour is about harvesting, gathering, sharing and celebrating our wonderful food culture. With some of the richest pastureland in the country, Kilkenny’s dairy and meat sectors are internationally renowned, and thanks to our skilled and committed farmers, Kilkenny produces some of Ireland and Europe’s best food.
Savour Kilkenny brings chefs, foodies and wellness experts from Ireland and beyond to the city and county and celebrates our local artisan food and drink producers as well as our vibrant local restaurant and café culture which has helped Kilkenny to become a leading food destination. The heart of festival is our bustling food market, located in front of the eight centuries old Kilkenny Castle.
Here people sample the fare from Irish artisan food stalls and listen and watch demonstrations from leading Irish and international chefs and food personalities including our own Edward Hayden and Anne Neary. Leading food personalities love to come to the festival and over the years the line up included national names like Darina Allen, Rory O’Connell, Paul Flynn, Steven Lamb(River Cottage) , JP McMahon, Kevin Dundon, Kevin Thornton, Neven Maguire and Ireland’s latest Michelin sensation Takashi Miyazaki to name but a few. Special food events take place in local hotels, restaurants and eateries as patrons seek a special night out from the informal to the five star. The festival also features the fast-growing brewing and distilling industry locally with a craft beer and spirit expert tasting events taking place across the city over the weekend.