Events & FestivalsFood

5 more picks for Savour Kilkenny Food Festival

Following on from Sunday’s 5 picks for this year’s Savour Kilkenny Food Festival, I’ve gone for another five as you’re really spoilt for choice. Ignoring the obvious choice of simply tipping around the Savour market on The Parade, here’s a few other events you could tip to over the October bank holiday weekend in Kilkenny.

1. Small Holders Gathering

Grow local - there's loads of people in Kilkenny who can help out.
Grow local – there’s loads of people in Kilkenny who can help out.

There’s a heap of smallholders events hitting the Parade this Saturday and Sunday as a mix of talks and demos. From a DIY herb workshop with Greensideup’s Dee Sewell, to a buttermaking demo, starting from scratch, rearing poultry and pigs, making the most of your polytunnel, beekeeping, direct selling, marketing and boosting your online presence and loads more are all part of the mix.

If you’ve already involved, or you’re thinking on doing something with the garden, a bit of land, or otherwise, you’ll find a wealth of info here from some great minds (both local and visiting). Running across Saturday and Sunday at various times.

2. Myths & Magic of Kefir at Little Green Grocer


For one, this event gets you in the door of The Little Green Grocer and secondly, you get to learn about kefir with Conor Saunders, founder of SmartEaters and a nutritional therapist

Kefir is a unique fermented milk product with legendary health promoting properties. Did you know that it is mega-probiotic? It delivers way more probiotic power than any other probiotic products, either foods or even processed supplements – the tastings based around Kefi, a new kefir icecream.

Find out more in the shop at 2.30pm on Saturday.

3. Brother Hubbard’s Garrett Fitzgerald Demo

The Brother Hubbard Cookbook
The Brother Hubbard Cookbook

Four years ago, Ballymaloe Cookery School graduates Garrett Fitzgerald and James Boland set up Brother Hubbard, a small, independent café on Dublin’s Capel Street where they make all their own cakes, tarts, dressing and sauces using local suppliers and high-quality, fresh ingredients. Garrett has just brought out his first cookbook, The Brother Hubbard Cookbook, designed to encourage everyone to make and enjoy healthy, wholesome food.

Garrett will be demoing at 11.30am on The Food Stage at The Parade on Saturday.

4. Young Producers Market

The young producers market in Workhouse Square at MacDonagh Junction
The young producers market in Workhouse Square at MacDonagh Junction

One for the junior festival goers (and the adults alike), the Young Producers Market in MacDonagh Junction runs as a two day event from midday to 5pm each of Saturday and Sunday. There’s over 120 young food lovers, budding bakers and chefs set to take part. If you’ve got youngsters who love spending time in the kitchen, this should provide a lot of inspiration.

5. The Craft of Eating with Akiko Hirai

Akiko Hirai on The Craft of Eating

If you’re knocking around a little earlier in the week and find yourself in Kilkenny this Thursday evening, there’s a ‘late date’ at the National Craft Gallery exploring The Craft of Eating with Akiko Hirai.

Ceramic maker Akiko Hirai will speak about her carefully crafted ware; teabowls, teapots, sake bottles and platters. She creates series’ of beautiful practical ceramic ware in organic hues, seeking to reflect beauty that is found in the natural world. Her work is influenced by ceramic traditions of Japan and Britain; and seems to nod to the sense of ceremony around sharing food held in both cultures.

It all takes place Thursday at 6.30pm Find out more at

I’ve given one of these talks and tours in the past and been to a few of them myself and there’s always loads to take in. With food on the mind, if you’re any way arts inclined, pop in for the chats and a tour and take in the exhibition at the Gallery before tucking into the festival proper on Friday.

See also: 5 picks for 2016’s Savour Kilkenny

Bonus: Rosquil House Pop-up Restaurant Night (Savouring 10 years in Kilkenny)

Phil & Rhoda Nolan at Rosquil House and, right, guest chef for the night Steve Levine
Phil & Rhoda Nolan at Rosquil House and, right, guest chef for the night Steve Levine

Some of those involved in Savour Kilkenny at the very beginning are very much part of the fold these days, others have dipped in and out, come and gone, but have helped establish the festival and turn it towards what it represents today.

One of those is Rhoda Nolan of Rosquil House on the Castlecomer Road (opposite Newpark Hotel) and on Saturday night they transform their guesthouse into a restaurant for the night with chef (and son-in-law) Steve Levine.

“Trained in New York City’s oldest culinary program in Brooklyn, Steve launched his fine dining training with Jean George Vongerichten at “Jean-Georges” in 2005 and has since worked for some of the city’s best chefs; including Mario Batali in Del Posto and Lupa Osteria, also Susur Lee at Shang. In 2009, he began running his own kitchen at Inoteca Ristorante, in the Lower East Side.”

Now based in Dublin’s Beckett & Bull, Steve has created a three course modern Irish menu, featuring the finest of Kilkenny produce and each course matched with wine tastings courtesy of the Wine Centre on John Street in the city. It’s €49 a head, but for something different on a Saturday night, it could be for you.

I’m reliably informed he’s a super cool New Yorker and also and ‘AWESOME’ (in caps) chef – you be the judge.

Ticket details and more here.

The 10th edition of Kilkenny’s food festival kicks off in earnest this Friday (albeit with one or two events earlier in the week), running across the October bank holiday weekend. If you spot me at the weekend with a coffee in one hand, a bag of home made crisps in the other and a camera on my shoulder, come say hi.

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Ken McGuire

Broadcaster and sports writer at KCLR96FM; digital media head with a production eye on theatre, film and video; lover of all things food and music. Currently working on his Brazilian jiu-jitsu game.

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