The 39th Kinsale Gourmet Festival takes place from 9-11 October 2015, promising a weekend of fine food and wine in a fun atmosphere. The Festival is hosted by Kinsale’s eleven Good Food Circle restaurants, which go to great lengths to display the talent of their chefs, and their beautifully presented food. The emphasis is on locally-sourced ingredients from sea and land, accompanied by carefully selected wines. The United States Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley, will be a guest in Kinsale for Friday and Saturday’s Good Food Circle events. Kinsale Gourmet Festival has many regular visitors from overseas, including the United States and Canada. There are still some tickets left for Friday evening’s opening event, a champagne reception, courtesy of Laurent Perrier, and a 5-course ‘Taste of West Cork’ dinner in a Good Food Circle restaurant of your choice. Meanwhile, everyone is welcome to the ‘Cork Heat’ of the All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off on Friday afternoon, sponsored by Clóna.
Acton’s Hotel is the venue for the Cork Heat of the All-Ireland Chowder-Cook off at 3pm on Friday 9 October. The €5 admission fee includes the chance to win a €100 gift voucher from the Kinsale Good Food Circle, as well as a tasting sample of each chef’s chowder, and free samples from specialised local brewers of craft beers and cider makers. Some outstanding chefs are expected to compete, including the very popular winner of last year’s Cork Heat, The Cornstore. An entertaining afternoon is guaranteed, as the chefs display their skills with seafood, sharing their secret ingredients, as they compete to produce the tastiest chowder. The winning chef will represent Cork at the 6th All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off, which will take place in Kinsale in April 2016, when chefs compete for the coveted title of All Ireland Chowder Champion. The winners of the All-Ireland chowder event will subsequently travel to Newport, Rhode Island to show off their skills.
Friday evening continues with a champagne reception at 6.30pm at the Trident Hotel, courtesy of Laurent Perrier, with guest of honour Simon Coveney, Minister for the Marine. Members of Kinsale’s Good Food Circle restaurants, will greet guests with luxurious canapés from their own kitchens. Tickets are excellent value at €55 for the opening reception and a 5-course ‘Taste of West Cork’ dinner in a restaurant of your choice. Ingredients include Clóna Dairy Cream & Butter, Kilbrittain Lamb, Courcey Beef, Skeaghamore Duck, Christy Hurley’s Prawns, Ballinaclashet Mussels, Horizon Farm Salad & Beets, Coolea, Milleens, Gubbeen & Durrus Cheeses, to name but a few. Contact the Festival Office (see below) to book.
Saturday’s Mad Hatter’s Taste of Kinsale, sponsored by Musgrave MarketPlace, is an escorted ‘foodie walking tour’, in a fun atmosphere, as people show off their colourful headgear and fancy dress costumes (inspired by the Mad Hatter). Participants follow Alice, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and the Fieldmouse to four venues for a dazzling lunchtime spread of the finest food from Kinsale’s Good Food Circle restaurants. Prizes will be awarded for hats and costumes in various categories, including one from Kinsale’s own hat shop and milliner, Hattitude. The Mad Hatters assemble at Acton’s Hotel at 11.30am for a sparkling send-off, sponsored by Christys Wines & Spirits and will meet up again at The White Lady to end the afternoon with dancing to live music from Crazy Chester. On the trail they will experience food delights from festival sponsors Clona, Horizon Farm, Haven Shellfish, Ballymaloe Relishes, and beverages from Barry Fitzwilliam, Christys, Blacks of Kinsale, Gleeson, Stonewell and Tindal.
The Festival concludes on Sunday with the 4-course Fruits de Mer Luncheon, sponsored by Pallas Foods and Bewley’s, including lobster, crab, prawns and other delights from the sea. MC Daithi O’Se will entertain the guests and keep the banter flowing while rugby fans can watch the France vs Ireland World Cup Match, and there will be dancing to live music from Lady and the Tramps. Last year €14,500 was raised for Action Breast Cancer at the Charity Auction and there will be more a amazing prizes to bid for this year.
Book your tickets through the website or the Festival Office, where you can also buy a 3-day ticket to all events.
Find a list of participating Good Food Ireland members below