The Kilkenny Design Centre Food Hall are hosting their latest meet the producer / food tasting day this Saturday (tomorrow) at the food hall opposite Kilkenny Castle from midday to 3pm.
On hand tomorrow will be Inistioge Food’s Denis Fallon who will be serving up some of his homemade relishes and chutneys with cheese and crackers. There’s also an exclusive gift going for anyone making a purchase during the tasting.
You can keep tabs on the tastings via the Kilkenny Design Centre Facebook page.
Audrey Hasset and Norbert Thul of Tastefully Yours arrive in Kilkenny tomorrow for a tasting demo at the Kilkenny Design Centre Food Hall from midday to 3pm. It’s no secret I’m a big fan of their chutneys with everything from pineapple to chilli, pickle mix to cheeseboard on offer so I’ll be taking the opportunity to stock up on Saturday.
The tasting events for the foodhall for July to October have also been finalised and will see Julie Calder-Potts of Highbank Orchard Syrup (21 July), Joan the Baker of Kilkenny Design Kitchen (28 July), Tom Sinnott of Wexford Preserves (1 September), Olivia Goodwillie of Lavistown House (8 September), Nicole Dunphy of Pandora Bell (15 September), Muriel Coughlan of Gookies Cookie Dough (22 September), Paddy O’Connor of Paddy O’Granola (29 September), Susan Kelly of Naturamatics Skincare (6 October) and Inistiogue Food’s Dennis Fallon (13 October) all demonstrating and offering tastings of their products at the food hall.
If you’re in Kilkenny this weekend for the Rhythm & Roots Festival (bring on the music!) you might be interested to know that Lavistown House are the latest to step into the Kilkenny Design Centre Food Hall for their tasting series.
Lavistown House have been producing sausages in Kilkenny for over twenty years. With Knockdrinna taking over the Lavistown Cheese side of things, Olive Goodwillie and the Lavistown team have a range of gourmet sausages including Lavistown Garlic, Lavistown Chilli, Lavistown Breakfast and Lavistown Italian Style Cocktail.
The sausages are gluten free / coeliac friendly and without doubt, are absolutely divine. The hotdogs they were doing the past few years during the Savour Kilkenny Food Festival are among the nicest I’ve ever had.
Since reopening in February, the Food Hall has been doing great turns for local producers in lining up the free tasting events. Pop your head in from midday for this weekend’s one or if you can’t make it, you’ll also find Second Nature Oils in there next weekend (Saturday 12th) and Janet’s Country Fayre in there on Saturday 26th May.
With the sounds of Jose Gonzalez playing in the new speakers fitted in the roof, I work my way through a hazelnut latte as I type, having digested a pork and chicken terrine (shot below) with salad in the newly refurbished and now reopened Food Hall at Kilkenny Design Centre. It’s Wednesday February 22nd and having closed the space recently for development work, the doors have been finally reopened to a new dining experience for those seeking a sit down sweet, drink or lunch or food on the go if you’re in a rush.
Walking in the door from the Castle Road where silver and pink star balloons adorn the flowers outside, you’ll face a selection of fresh breads, croissants and cakes to have here or at home.
There’s huge hunks of fresh coffee cake, chocolate cake, big rocky road slices and more on the cake counter but it’s lunch I’m after where the main counter houses a nice size pork & chicken terrine, various wraps, sandwiches, salads, tartlets, and more. Soup of the day, from what I overhear, is Carrot & Ginger with a mint option available for takeaway.
There’s also an open Goatsbridge Trout sandwich (which the guy in front of me ordered), a Food Hall toastie, a baked ham, leek and wild mushroom puff pastry, oriental chicken noodle salad and more besides visible on the chalk board hanging on the wall.
What might look small and crowded when you come in to the Food Hall with a busy queue in front of you actually opens up into a large seating area with seating for 20 and plenty of room for buggies, wheelchairs and the likes. A selection of artwork from Wexford artist Simone Walsh also hangs in the main dining area, the original works available for purchase with prints also available in the main Design Centre shop.
But it’s not just the sit down meals that they’re doing. A quick look in the fridges shows plenty of fresh made soup, lunch and dinner options available to take home and cook including a tasty looking marinated chicken and roast vegetable dish, baby potatoes with shallots, chick & brocolli crumble and more.
I had a chat with one of the staff over a hazelnut latte (the coffee and machines are Bewleys) and got the lowdown on how things have come to develop over the past few months, how the first day of trading was going and where things are headed for the future.
Chef Edward Hayden has been working with the restaurant’s own cooks to put some fine polish on the menu options being served up and there’s a real drive to only use local produce on the menu. They’re also planning to use the space for some tastings, demos and music evenings (there were two music nights in the restaurant upstairs during last year’s Kilkenny Arts Festival, long before the refurbishment works went into play) and they’ve extended the opening hours from 8.30am out to 6.30pm, seven days a week.
Lunch was really enjoyable. I get in, have some good food, a good coffee, get to work away on the laptop and there’s more than enough there to bring me back. It’s a bright and airy space, high ceilings, plenty of natural light, dining room for (I estimate) 24 people before you look at moving to the restaurant upstairs.
You can follow the progress of the food hall and get some more pictures from their opening today on the Kilkenny Design Centre Facebook page.