Over the years the festival has been a showcase of the food of the region, as well as being host to some of our top chefs, fresh flavours, interesting influences and good ideas. This is one festival where there is definitely something for everyone - a full children’s programme, foraging trails, bus tours, cooking demos, dining experiences from high end to very casual plus of course our markets. Taste the best of the county with our local Farmer’s Market on Thursday, our weekly Country Market on Friday, the festival’s quayside market on Saturday with a seafood theme, all culminating in our famed Festival Market on Sunday when over 100 stalls fill the town centre to bring you the best of local and Irish artisan food.
west waterford festival of food over the years
2021 Spirit Festival
Ireland’s top chefs reinvented fine dining at home as part of Festival Spirit, a brand new event created by the organisers of West Waterford Festival of Food. It ran from 23 – 25 April, over 10 curated talks, experiences and workshops — virtual and socially distanced — and celebrated West Waterford’s food culture and heritage. It included a unique collaborative six-course meal kit from some of Waterford’s top chefs such as the Tannery’s Paul Flynn and Ian Doyle of the Michelin-starred restaurant at the Cliff House Hotel, along with a virtual talk on foraging sustainably hosted by Paul Flynn and GIY founder Michael Kelly.
The three-day mini-series of events will also saw the launch of an online gifting portal and the pilot of a children’s adventure trail maps initiative in partnership with six local cafés.
Announcing Festival Spirit, Festival Director, Lynne Swarbrigg said: “Having postponed our beloved West Waterford Festival of Food last year, we wanted to find a way to celebrate the dedicated producers, makers, growers, brewers and chefs of the region safely.
“Festival Spirit was imagined in the ‘spirit’ of West Waterford Festival of Food. This small gesture comes with a big heart, as it is dedicated to all those who keep food in West Waterford alive in our hearts, minds and appetites. We look forward to running our three-day mini-series of events, shining a spotlight on what makes Waterford one of Ireland’s top foodie destinations.”
Look back on the Spirit Festival Cookalongs, demos and workshops View Videos and Highlights
The six-course Taste of the Festival meal experience for two — priced at €165 — was available for delivery nationwide, and is a collaboration between chefs Roisin Horsom of Crews Restaurant, Paul Flynn of the Tannery, Ian Doyle of Cliff House Hotel, and Judit McNally of Ormond's. Irish Gourmet Butter provided lightly salted butter for the occasion and Eunice Power her Dungarvan Black Rock Irish Stout bread. Annemarie and Carol Prendergast of The 2 Sisters Restaurant created a sublime collection of petit fours, and cheese and crackers course was by Eamonn Lonergan of Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese, Susan Denn of Interlude and Greg Harris of Cookhouse 360. There was a bespoke aperitif cocktail from Blackwater Distillery crafted by mixologist, John Coleman, in collaboration with The Old Bank Dungarvan.
A free-to-view stunning film showcases the adventure of foraging in two of Waterford’s most beautiful landscapes and features Marie Power aka The Sea Gardener and leading Irish forager, Andrew Malcolm.
Filmed in-line with Government guidelines at Annestown Beach and Curraghmore House and Gardens, Land & Sea Forage is hosted by Paul Flynn and GIY founder Michael Kelly and includes conversations from several Waterford food enthusiasts.
Lynne added: “Festival Spirit presented by West Waterford Festival of Food is supported by Waterford City & County Council, Waterford Local Enterprise Office and LEADER Partnership. With their help, and that of our producers, chefs, makers, supporters, venue hosts, friends and volunteers, we want to celebrate all our region has to offer. Festival Spirit is here to remind us that even though things are very different these days, there is still so much to celebrate and enjoy.”