West Waterford Plates Up New Irish Culinary Celebration with Festival Spirit

West Waterford Culinary Festival
Picture: Patrick Browne

Ireland’s top chefs are to reinvent fine dining at home as part of Festival Spirit, a brand new event created by the organisers of West Waterford Festival of Food. Running from 23–25 April, over 10 curated talks, experiences and workshops — virtual and socially distanced — will celebrate West Waterford’s food culture and heritage. It includes a unique collaborative six-course meal kit from some of Waterford’s top chefs such as the Tannery’s Paul Flynn and Ian Doyle of the Michelin-starred restaurant at the Cliff House Hotel, along with a virtual film on foraging sustainably hosted by Paul Flynn and GIY founder Michael Kelly.

The three-day mini-series of events will also see the launch of an online gifting portal and the pilot of a children’s adventure maps initiative in partnership with six local cafés, which will be rolled out across Waterford over the coming months.Full details of Festival Spirit presented by West Waterford Festival of Food are available at www.westwaterfordfestivaloffood.com.

Announcing Festival Spirit, Festival Director, Lynne Swarbrigg said: “Having postponed our beloved West Waterford Festival of Food last year, we wanted to find a way to celebrate the dedicated producers, makers, growers, brewers and chefs of the region safely.”

The six-course Taste of the Festival meal experience for two — priced at €165 — is available for delivery nationwide, and is a collaboration between chefs Roisin Horsom of Crews Restaurant, Paul Flynn of the Tannery, Ian Doyle of Cliff House Hotel, and Judit McNally of Ormond’s. Irish Gourmet Butter will provide lightly salted butter for the occasion and Eunice Power her Dungarvan Black Rock Irish Stout bread. Annemarie and Carol Prendergast of The 2 Sisters Restaurant are creating a sublime collection of petit fours, and the cheese and crackers course is by Eamonn Lonergan of Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese, Susan Denn of Interlude and Greg Harris of Cookhouse 360. There is a bespoke aperitif cocktail from Blackwater Distillery crafted by mixologist, John Coleman, in collaboration with The Old Bank Dungarvan.

A free-to-view film showcasing the adventure of foraging in two of Waterford’s most beautiful landscapes is to air at the weekend, and features Marie Power aka The Sea Gardener and leading Irish forager, Andrew Malcolm. Filmed in-line with Government guidelines at Annestown Beach and Curraghmore House and Gardens, Land & Sea Forage is hosted by Paul Flynn and GIY founder Michael Kelly and includes conversations from several Waterford food enthusiasts.

Festival Spirit presented by West Waterford Festival of Food will also see the launch of two initiatives that will run throughout the year, and will reach out across the entire county — a gifting portal of the best Waterford food and drink products available to purchase and children’s adventure maps through partnerships with cafés in a wide variety of locations. There will also be a series of family-friendly online workshops, including Home Grow Along with tips on gardening at home — be it a windowsill or a field — and a chocolate masterclass.


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