One of Ireland’s longest running Food Festivals, The Kinsale Gourmet Festival, now in its 43rd year, is taking place across Kinsale from October 11th to 13th. Now a pillar festival in the new Taste the Island initiative by Failte Ireland, the annual Kinsale Gourmet Festival is a food lovers dream weekend by the sea.
The Friday and Saturday of the festival sold out in record time with the Saturday Taste of Kinsale selling out in days when tickets were released in February. A limited number of extra tickets have been released for the Sunday Fruit de Mer Luncheon in Actons Hotel.
The festival attracts food enthusiasts from all over the world to experience a culinary feast over three days. Featuring the best of local produce from Kinsale and West Cork, prepared by chefs from the member restaurants of the Kinsale Good Food Circle, with special guests from Kinsale's sister city Newport Rhode Island along with great food and drink from producers and suppliers such as Irish Distillers, Blacks of Kinsale, Ballywillin Farm, Horizon Farms, Hegarty Cheddar, Haven Shellfish, Ballykeefe Distillery, Grace O Malley, Stonewell Cider, Stag Ban, Ummera, O Connells Meats, Matt O Connell Seafoods, Longueville Wines, Goodfish, Allfresh, Counterpoint, Barry and Fitzwilliam, Kinsale Mead, Rockshore, Tindal Wines, Christys Wines, Gleeson C & C, BWG, Clona, Pallas Foods, Musgraves, Oh La La Donuts, The Lemon Leaf, Glenilen, Bluebell Cheese, Tia Maria, Five Farms and many more.
On Saturday the Mad Hatter’s Taste of Kinsale, sponsored by Musgrave’s Market Place, starts with Christy's Champagne Reception along with an important briefing of the days proceedings from MC Comedian Barry Murphy! Guests are then taken by group leaders Alice, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and the Queen of Hearts on a magical foodie walking tour around colourful Kinsale, sampling the gourmet delights, as they move from location to location showing off their colourful headwear while enjoying the amazing creations by the teams of chefs from Kinsale. Prizes are awarded for the best hats from Kinsale’s own award winning and world renowned hat boutique and milliner, Hattitude. The day concludes with an aperitif at The White Lady Hotel where guests get to dance off the days indulgences to the sounds of DJ Anthony Collins of Glastonbury fame. For the very brave the party continues to the sounds of Jazz Diva herself Sharon Crosbie at the Blue Haven Hotel.
The Festival concludes on Sunday with the Clona Sponsored Seafood Spectacular with Pallas Foods at Actons Hotel. This year there is an MC double act with Daithi O’Shea and Comedian Barry Murphy sharing the MC duties for the first time which promises to be an interesting combination for the afternoon! The day commences with a Blacks Gin and Gleesons C & C Champagne reception, followed by a Seafood Feast prepared jointly as one team by the chefs of the Kinsale Good Food Circle Restaurants. Victorias Antiques have kindly once again sponsored a fantastic diamond ring for the Dial A Diamond fundraiser for The Road to Kinsale Charity. The day end with the incredible Pat Fitz Band where the party really begins!!
Participating restaurants in this year’s Festival are The White House, The Blue Haven, Finns’ Table, Fishy Fishy, Jim Edwards, Man Friday, The Trident Hotel, The Bulman, Acton’s Hotel, The Supper Club and The White Lady.
The 'March Hare' Noel Henderson; 'Alice' Karen Gibson; 'The Queen of Hearts' Natacha Farley and 'The Mad Hatter' Charles Henderson pictured at the Mad Hatter’s Taste of Kinsale during the 41st Kinsale Gourmet Festival.
Picture. John Allen