Taste, Trails and Theatre take center stage at 12th annual West Waterford Festival of Food
West Waterford Festival of Food
Dungarvan & West Waterford
Friday, April 26th – Sunday, April 28th
Each April, food lovers from across Ireland descend upon the scenic seaside town of Dungarvan for the West Waterford Festival of Food. It is now a staple in the Irish Food Calendar with its impressive and inspirational line-up of culinary events that includes everything from foraging trails through the Comeragh Mountains, dinners in historic castles and theatre in a cattle mart.
One of the largest community festivals in Waterford, it simply couldn’t take place without the generous support of its funders, Waterford City & County Council, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Fáilte Ireland, Foras na Gaeilge, LEO Waterford, Waterford Leader Partnership and its sponsors Flahavan’s, Glanbia, Dawn Meats, Garvey’s, Eurofins, FloGas, Blackwater Distillery, San Pellegrino, Coillte, FBD, LocalLink and AIB.
Taking place from Friday, April 26th to Sunday, April 28th, the schedule of events encompasses a long tradition of food production and innovation where producers have worked with the rich agricultural land of the region that is nestled between the Comeragh Mountains and Celtic Sea. Set to be the biggest year yet in its 12-year history, the festival has now announced details of its jam-packed 2019 bi-lingual festival programme which pays homage to the strong Gaeltacht roots of West Waterford.
Once again, members of Food the Waterford Way will feature strongly, and many are house-hold names whose reputations are unparalleled in the foodie world. Harty’s Oysters, Comeragh Mountain Lamb, Barron’s Bakery, Knockanore Cheese, Legacy Irish Cider, Dungarvan Brewing Company, Blackwater Distillery, The Sea Gardener, Coffee House Lane, Baldwin’s Ice Cream, Early Bird Eggs, Mezze, Pure Food and Nutrilicous will all have starring roles throughout the festival duration.
For the first time ever, a host of well-known and highly accomplished female chefs fill many of the top festival spots and they will outnumber the boys!
Michelin-starred Chef Danni Barri (Eipic), Maeve Walsh (Canteen), Holly Dalton (Gertrude Restaurant / 3fe) Paula Stakelum (Ashford Castle), Rose Green (formerly of In de Wulf, Belgium) and Lily Ramirez-Foran (Picado Mexican) are all part of the 2019 line up alongside Michelin-starred Ross Lewis (Chapter One), Martin Shanahan (Fishy Fishy) and Peter Everett (Everett’s Restaurant).
They will be joined by Judit McNally (Ormond Café), Nicola Crowley and Dvir Nusery (Mezze Middle Eastern), Marie Power (The Sea Gardener), Louise Clark (formerly Nude Food) and Tom Walsh (new executive chef of The Old Bank, Dungarvan), ensuring an abundance of riches for hungry food lovers in Dungarvan that weekend.
Festival highlights include:
- For the first year ever and set to open the festival in spectacular fashion, the historic Lismore Castle will play host to discerning diners seeking a taste of the past, bundled into 800 years of history. Diners will have the opportunity to enjoy a Michelin starred menu designed and prepared by Chefs Ross Lewis and Danni Barry along with Paula Stakelum.
‘Dinner at the Castle’, Lismore Castle, 7.00PM, €135.00, Friday April 26th.
- Chef Martin Shanahan (Fishy, Fishy) will prepare a lunch showcasing the regions seafood and enterprising local food producers who will join him to share their stories and discuss the food heritage of West Waterford.
‘Fishy Fishy Lunch’, Causeway Tennis Club, 12.00PM, €35.00, Friday April 26th.
- Embracing the diversity of the region, a Middle Eastern Feast will be served up by husband and wife duo Dvir and Nicola. Inspired by Dvir’s homeland of Israel, the feast will be followed by entertainment with Belly Dancer Bonnie Boux. Separately, Lilly Ramirez-Foran (Picado Mexican) will return with a flavour of Mexico prepared with Chef Anthony O’Toole.
‘Middle Eastern Feast’, Town Hall Theatre, 7.30PM, €35.00, Friday April 26th.
‘Picado Mexican Pop-Up’, Causeway Tennis Club, 7.30pm, €55.00, Friday April 26th.
- Jim and Sally Thompson will open Woodhouse Estate in Stradbally for ‘A Great House Dinner’ where some of Ireland’s rising female chefs will be guest chefs for the evening. Rose Green (formerly In de Wulf, Belgium), Holly Dalton (3fe / Gertrude) and Maeve Walsh (Canteen and Eurotoques Young Chef of the Year 2015 & 2016) will delight diners with a wonderful celebration of Irish food and share their passion for food and their vision of what the future holds for Irish dining.
‘Great House Dinner’, Woodhouse Estate, Stradbally, 8.00PM, €85.00, Saturday April 27th.
- Lovers of fresh air and food can revel in hill walking through the Comeragh Mountains with the assistance of the Dungarvan Hillwalking Club over an 8km course (Hill Walking, Park Hotel, 10.00AM – 4.00PM, €10.00, Saturday April 27th) or the Georgian quarter restaurant trail which will take in some of the town’s historic buildings and three different restaurants over three courses (‘Restaurant Trail’, The Georgian Quarter, 12.00PM – 3.00PM, €35.00, Saturday April 27th).
- Foraging: Ireland’s leading forager Andrew Malcolm will enlighten participants on the edible delights which grow all around us (‘Crude Food Trail’, Colligan Wood, 3.00PM, €10.00, Saturday April 27th) while acclaimed forager Marie Power will lead a seaside trip and share her knowledge of the bounty that is available on the coast (‘Tapas from the Sea’, The Lady Belle, 1.00PM, €20.00, Saturday April 27th).
- Supper theatre in Dungarvan Mart returns for the second year with Aidan Dooley who will deliver a performance based on the travels and tales of intrepid Antarctic Explorer Tom Crean followed by a ‘Ship’s Supper’ served by Chef Louise Clark.
Supper Theatre, Dungarvan Mart, 7.00PM, €50.00, Saturday April 27th.
- In what will be an Irish festival premiere, The Cushty Dining Experience is an Only Fools and Horses experience as the traditional Irish pub, An Seanachaí , transforms in The Nags Head for a night of wheeling, dealing and dining with Rodney, Del Boy and friends.
‘Only Fools and Horses’, An Seanachaí Pub & Kitchen, 7.30PM, €55.00, Saturday April 27th.
- Tour West Waterford on the ‘Bus Bia’ and visit the regions food producers. With three routes to choose from, diners who are on tour will have plenty of choice. The ‘Turas Dátheangach’ route will take in the Gaeltacht area of An Rinn and stop off at Harty’s Oyster Farm, The Dungarvan Brewing Company and the seaweed sanctuary of Sólas na Mara. Travel along the river on the ‘Blackwater Route’ Knockanore Cheese, Baldwin’s Farm, Barron’s Bakery and apple growers in Crinnaughton. ‘Way out West’ will do exactly what it says on the tin as the Blackwater region is further explored with visits to Meadow Fresh Foods and Fortwilliam Fisheries, carrying on to Ballyduff to visit the newly opened Blackwater Distillery finishing with a light lunch in the Corner House Café.
‘Bus Bia,’ Shandon Carpark, 10.00AM – 12.00PM, €25.00, Saturday April 27th.
- Enjoy a series of rolling demos and chats at the Festival Demo Marquee with Food the Waterford Way. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet with the people who make The West Waterford Festival of Food and hear their stories.
‘Food the Waterford Way’, Festival Demo Marquee, 10.00AM – 3.00PM, Free, Sunday
Now one of the largest and best-known food festivals in Ireland, this year’s event will tie together the best of indigenous produce from the region, taken from the land and the sea, along with a line-up of household name Chefs, dinner in historic venues, pop up dining events, workshops, demos and tasty restaurant and foraging trails.
There is also a full children’s programme, bus tours along with a Farmer’s Market on Thursday, Dungarvan Country Market on Friday, The Quayside Market on Saturday and The Festival Market on Sunday, when over 100 stalls will fill Dungarvan town with the best of local and Irish artisan food. Over 50,000 people from across Ireland attended the annual event in 2018.
More information and Festival brochure available at www.westwaterfordfestivaloffood.com/