Savour Kilkenny Food Festival Launched

Savour Kilkenny Launch
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Savour Kilkenny Launch

The programme of events for the 2011 Savour Kilkenny Food Festival has been launched. This year's festival runs October 27-31st in Kilkenny City & County.

THE 2011 Savour Kilkenny Food Festival has been officially launched. Sitting at the desk after attending this evening’s launch at the National Craft Gallery (and dodging enough rain drops on the way home) I’ve got the programme in my hand and I’m looking at around 80 different events taking place over the October Bank Holiday weekend, starting with a movie night on Wednesday the 26th (pre-festival) and finishing with a vintage tea party on the bank holiday Monday.

The big draws for folk this year should be the open air food market on The Parade and now extending into the Design Yard opposite Kilkenny Castle (it being the Year of Craft and all) but there’s loads of new additions to this year’s festival.

Set Theatre, a newcomer in terms of a festival venue but no stranger to holding other festival events in Kilkenny, will play home to the majority of cooking demos and workshops as Donal Skehan, Catherine Fulvio, Edward Hayden and Anne Neary will showcase their wares and talents at Set over the weekend. Catherine Fulvio’s return will be most welcome, her demos last year on the back of releasing Catherine’s Italian Kitchen should have people filing into Set for more while Donal Skehan (Kitchen Hero) makes a festival debut as he hosts A Taste Of Craft demonstration in association with the Crafts Council of Ireland and Year of Craft 2011.

On the Saturday, Mrs. Any Given Food-to-be takes to the stage in Set for the Avonmore Live Celebrity Cook-off alongside Ann Phelan TD, John Walsh (KCLR96FM) and an all-star hurler (who we figure will be from Kilkenny – anyone want to see what Tommy Walsh or Henry Shefflin can do in the kitchen?)

Tickets For This Year’s Festival

Ticketing has changed over last year’s festival. Where there was a charge for the tented village on The Parade this year (with a day pass or weekend pass), the food village will now be free and is extended from The Parade into the Design Yard. A charge will apply, however, for certain talks, seminars and cookery demos, all of which will be covered by a Festival Wristband, on sale from this weekend for €10. The wristband covers every event marked WB in the programme (such as Donal Skehan and Catherine Fulvio’s demos) though the events are offered on a maximum capacity venue. Set Theatre will hold a few hundred people at a time but arriving early for events to grab a seat is recommended.

Tickets are also required for the Know Your Wines (€10) evening at The Pembroke Hotel and the Dame Alice Medieval Banquet (€50) at Kilkenny Castle on the Sunday night. Tickets and wristbands for all events will be available to buy online from, from local tourist offices around the country and via the Savour Kilkenny festival office after the weekend.

Festival Hightlights

  • The Great Irish Food Fight – Is traditional Irish cuisine and embarrassment of riches – or just an embarrassment?
    Replacing the panel discussion from last year’s Foodcamp, this debate chaired by John McKenna should be a good one on the Friday afternoon at Newpark Hotel
  • The Dame Alice Medieval Banquet on Sunday October 31st at Kilkenny Castle Kitchens.
  • A Feast of Chefs – 5 of Kilkenny’s top chefs cook up 5 courses at Campagne on Thursday October 27th. Tickets €50 with proceeds to The O’Neill Centre.
  • Seafood Workshops – Taking place at The Fishman’s Market Stand at The Parade food market, six Kilkenny chefs give you an insight into prepping and cooking different seafood dishes.
  • Young Producers’ Market – Held at MacDonagh Junction
  • A pop-up allotment over Saturday and Sunday at Canal Square
  • A Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail Tour (two tours over two days)
  • A Nutrition for Sport and a Healthy Lifestyle seminar

While I missed out on it last year, I’m hoping to catch the Sensory Dining night at the Clubhouse Hotel over the weekend (eating your food blindfolded, sure why not) but there’s loads of events taking place over the course of the festival that should ensure there’s something for everyone. If you are looking for me on the Friday, I’ll be at Foodcamp at the Newpark Hotel and if you haven’t registered yet you can sign up for Foodcamp (for free) here.

You can get the full rundown of events at or browse through the programme online here.

Written by Ken McGuire

Writes and talks a lot about food, spending way too much time in the kitchen or behind the lens taking photos. Digital Media Specialist by day, broadcaster by night, living in Kilkenny with Mrs. Any Given Food and two crazy rescue hounds.