Eunice Power - Outside Catering Company, Waterford, Ireland.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Waterford Festival Of Food Reels In Some Big Foodies

By Conor Kane
Originally appearred in The Irish Examiner newspaper Friday March 9th 2012

An award-winning food blogger and writer will return from her adopted home in London to her native Dungarvan next month to help showcase the best of local food and pass on some of her expertise.

Next month's Waterford Festival of Food will be the fifth year of the event, which sees thousands of food lovers descending on the coastal town of Dungarvan for four days of eating, cooking and activity.

Among those taking part will be Niamh Shields, originally from Dungarvan but who, since her move to London, has published best-selling cookery book Comfort and Spice; was highly commended in The Observer's Food Monthly awards and named as one of the top 10 food bloggers in the world by The Times for her blog.

This year's Waterford Food Festival runs from Apr 12 to 15 and has an expanded programme of features including some new elements designed to promote health and nutrition and celebrate the European Year of Active Retirement.

Celebrity local chefs will be in town for the festival to offer cooking demonstrations, take part in competitions and showcase the best of local produce to the public.

Included on the personality menu are award-winning chef Paul Flynn of renowned eatery The Tannery who, along with Martin Shanahan from Fishy Fishy in Kinsale, will give festival visitors a sneak preview of their new TV series Surf 'n' Turf. This will be expertly guided by RTÉ's Master Chef judge Nick Munier of Pichet Restaurant and Richard Reeve of the Chop House in Lismore.

Local chefs Conor Foran from Lawlor's Hotel, Eunice Power from Powersfield House, Michael Quinn from Waterford Castle Hotel, and Louise Clarke from Nude Food will take part in a Ready, Chef, Go contest hosted by RTÉ broadcaster John Murray.

The festival programme was launched in Dungarvan with a "fish and chips feast" on the Quays and will also feature the "Three Deise Girls" - The Brewer, The Blogger, and The Baker or Claire Dalton, Niamh Shields and Eunice Power - who will create a Pop-Up Restaurant especially for the festival in the unlikely venue of the Civic Offices, which will be made-over for the occasion.

Also new is a special "concert and canapes" event in association with "Storytelling Southeast" featuring Fiona O'Reilly (soprano), Christina O'Flynn (mezzo soprano) and one of Ireland's foremost accompanists Annabel Adams, with refreshments served by Louise Clarke.

Once again one of the focal points of the festival will be the Farmers' Market Extravaganza in Grattan Square featuring the very best of artisan food produce from right across the South East and beyond.