Savour Kilkenny turns ten this year. It’s no small feat either with local hotels, restaurants, food producers, retailers and more importantly – the local public – having consistently gotten behind the festival year on year.
As a Kilkenny head, it’s long marked in my calendar every year with the weekend usually finding me hovering for hours around the market and food village that occupies the Parade plaza in the centre of town.
While this year offers one of the festival’s biggest and most in-depth programmes, I’ve picked out a handful of events here that should be worth popping along to. Keep in mind I’ve excluded the fact that you’ve got the main market / village to walk around for two days on Saturday and Sunday. Find the full programme here.
1. Fishwives Book Launch
You’ll find at this year’s festival that books (and their authors) are very much a large part of the programming.
Goatsbridge Trout’s Mag Kirwan has pulled together a massive selection of fish-based recipes for new book Fishwives, a first from the Thomastown-based producer.
Featuring mainly trout recipes, Goatsbridge Trout have funded the cost of designing and producing the book, with procees from sales going to Hospice Africa Uganda (Mag’s sister Miriam has been working with the charity in recent months). With 3,000 copies printed it is reckoned that €15 of the €20 retail price heads to charity with the other €5 covering the per-book print costs.
Do the maths and that’s a potential €45,000 fundraiser.
If you’re interested in attending, email firstname.lastname@example.org, then make your way to the Parade Tower for 6pm this Friday.
2. Cakeface Pop Up Night: Just Desserts (Tickets)
Join one of Kilkenny’s newest eateries for their first pop up evening, ‘Just Desserts’. This after-hours evening guarantees to be full of fun & surprises with tricks and a little bit of theatre.
Six exquisite courses from their specially created tasting menu. Expect to have your taste buds amazed with quirky and unusual flavour combinations, textures and tastes. On arrival enjoy a cocktail or bubbles and then embark on a playful six sweet course sensation.
If going down the road of a ticketed night out is too much for you, be sure to check out the café in Irishtown (3-4 min walk from The Parade) – cakes are the flavour of the day, but they’ve a mean sandwich, good coffee too and will grind you a blend to take home if you’re that way inclined.
3. Savouring Kilkenny with Costello’s
I’ve bundled a heap of mixed events here under the Costello’s banner as they’re back at the festival for a third straight year. The Kilkenny craft brewers launched in 2014 and as a heads up, they’re also chasing a head brewer and are taking applications up to 11 November.
Between pairings and demos, producer talks and hanging out in the Craft Beer tent, they’ve also linked up with a few local eateries to serve up beer-enhanced dishes. Get all the details here.
4. Le Caveau: Back to the future with Natural Wines
Wine lovers around the country will be familiar with Le Caveau at Market Yard in Kilkenny and regular festival goers will be familiar with their talks and tastings. As a family-led business that lives and breathes wines, the session led by proprietor Pascal Rossignol (left) along with Colm McCan should be an interesting one. Find them in The Global Kitchen within the Savour Village on the Parade, 3.30pm on Sunday.
5. Mill Dinners with The Market Kitchen
I’ve written about the Mill Dinners in more detail here, but this pop up night from The Market Kitchen (find them around Temple Bar) has a strong local connection and is taking over the 13th century Mullins Mill on the Kings River in Kells.
It’s about a fifteen minute drive outside of the city, kicks off at 7pm on each of the nights and runs around €50 a head but if you’re looking for something very different that will be gone come Monday, this one could be for you.
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.