Savour Kilkenny is now one of Ireland’s leading food festivals. Heading into this year’s 13th annual festival, the event celebrates the produce and food culture of the surrounding rich pastureland, home to some of Ireland and Europe’s best food. While the produce of its dairy and meat sector are internationally renowned, the festival celebrates local artisan products and a vibrant local restaurant and café culture which has seen the area become a leading food destination.
The festival takes place over the October bank holiday weekend at the end of Autumn and at the end of the traditional harvest season and draws tens of thousands of visitors; increasingly it is now also a homecoming festival for local people living away from the Marble City.
The focus is on an informal gathering on the city’s medieval parade public space in front of the eight centuries old Kilkenny Castle.
Here people sample the fare from dozens of artisan food stalls and listen and watch demonstrations from leading Irish and international chefs and food personalities.
The packed programme of demos have featured leading figures like Darina and Rory Allen, Steven Lamb of the River Cottage team, JP McMahon, Kevin Dundon and Kevin Thornton, Neven Maguire and Ireland’s latest Michelin sensation Takashi Miyazaki to name but a few. Local food stars like Ken Harker of the Lady Helen in Mount Juliet and the ever-popular Edward Hayden and Anne Neary have also tread the Savour boards over the years!
Special food events take place in local hotels, restaurants and eateries and these book up early every year 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 tent on the Parade and expert tasting events taking place across the city too.