Events & FestivalsFood

Food dates for your 2017 diary

There’s plenty of food events and food festivals taking place in Ireland in 2017. As I’m a sucker for paper, I’ve been filling up a small Lidl-bought Filofax clone with dates and notes for the year ahead to share here.

While you’ll find this list growing (and you’re welcome to submit your own), here’s some of the picks for the year ahead.

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February 23-25: Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair

Attendees taste some of the delights on offer at the Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair, 2016.
Attendees taste some of the delights on offer at the Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair, 2016. Photo: eu.alltechbrewsandfood.com

Local and international craft beers, heaps of local nibbles, talks, masterclasses, live music and more over two days in the Convention Centre in Dublin. A grand way to step into the spring.

April 21-13: West Waterford Festival of Food

The 9th annual West Waterford Festival of Food. Photo: David Clynch/Facebook
The 9th annual West Waterford Festival of Food. Photo: David Clynch/Facebook

One of the highlights of this festival is the food market, attracting in excess of 20,000 people to the town with over 100 stalls. The emphasis is on local and artisan producers so you’re bound to find lots of people from Waterford county and the surrounds. This year there should also be around 40 stalls quayside with plenty of seafood on offer.

April 28-30: Connemara Mussel Festival

Connemara Mussel Festival
Connemara Mussel Festival. Photo: Festival website

2017 will be the 12th outing for the Connemara Mussel Festival, held in Tully Cross on the Renvyle Penninsula. Even the drive to get you there is magical. Get a real taste and feel for the Wild Atlantic Way and kick off your May Bank Holiday weekend with a heap of oysters and a rake of Guinness.

May 19-21: Ballymaloe Litfest

Ballymaloe Litfest

Surely by now one of the ‘foodie’ highlights on the annual calendar. I’ve been down twice in recent years and between the calibre of speakers, the setting, the big shed, the food, the folks you’ll meet and more, once you’ve been down you’ll realise why you want to go back.

The naming of this years festival has changed somewhere with Litfest now ‘A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival’ at Ballymaloe (as opposed to Literary Festival of Food and Wine). The lineup is out now and you can read more about it here.

SEE ALSO: Full list of 2017 Irish Food Festivals

June 15-18: Taste of Dublin

Discover chef's secrets at Taste of Dublin
Discover chef’s secrets at Taste of Dublin

Enjoy signature dishes from Dublin’s finest restaurants, learn tricks of the trade from world-class chefs and sample gourmet food and drink producers all in the surrounds of Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens. Tickets go on sale in March.

October 9-10: Food On The Edge

Food on the Edge is a two day symposium that takes place annually in Galway city, Ireland. It is for chefs & food enthusiasts all around the world who want to create a better global network. It’s a Monday and Tuesday surrounded by some of the best food minds in the world, and it’s in Galway. What’s not to like.

October 27-30: Savour Kilkenny

Lydia Jaber during her Lebanese cooking demonstation with Guy Jones in The Global Kitchen. Photo: Ken McGuire/kenmcguire.ie
Lydia Jaber during her Lebanese cooking demonstation with Guy Jones in The Global Kitchen. Photo: Ken McGuire/kenmcguire.ie

It would be remiss of me not to include the hometown festival, now heading into its eleventh outing. 2016 was the most enjoyable yet (see pictures of Savour Kilkenny here) and I’m sure there’s great plans in place for 2017. With the bulk of the activity set against the backdrop of Kilkenny Castle, whatever the weather, you’re in for a serious food treat.

These are a mere handful of top food events taking place across the year. Find an ever-growing comprehensive list here and feel free to submit your own event or details in the comments or by contacting me here.

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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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