LIMERICK is to play host to the world’s first ever Chip Championship as part of a new festival for the city this June.
The Limerick City Business Association has teamed up with the City of Culture team to create ‘Culture and Chips’, a “quirky” food festival taking place over the June Bank Holiday weekend.
At its heart will be a large ‘spiegel tent’ which will be erected in Arthur’s Quay Park, playing host to a number of events, including a Culinary Carnival, a Children’s Culinary Theatre, and a Great Limerick Brunch event.
But the highlight is the first ever ‘World Chip Championship’, which will see chefs compete for the title of World Chip Champion, with the winner the chef who has come up with the most creative way of cooking and serving the chip.
Nigel Dugdale, City Business Association, said: “If you look at the Oyster Festival in Galway, you will see they have an Oyster Championship. We realised: there is no World Chip Championship - and everybody loves chips. So why not create the World Chip Championship?”
Due to the design of the tent - a 1922 model which originates in the Netherlands - many local businesses will be able to set up stands, and events will take place ‘in the round’.
Nigel said that they are currently looking at trying to keep the tent - which is up for just five nights - open late to allow it to become an after-hours venue.
He added the festival came about following a brainstorm.
“We started to realise that a food festival was something that has already been done. We thought: why not go a bit more quirky, and we figured there is so much which can be done when you match culture, with the humble chip.”
Many of the leading figures in Limerick’s hospitality industry are behind the festival, including Patricia Roberts, No 1 Pery Square Hotel, Paul Williams of Canteen in Mallow Street, and Mick Dolan of Dolan’s Pub, the Dock Road.
Helen O’Donnell, chairperson of the City Business Association says the festival will offer something for everyone.
“We want everyone to get on board: there is going to be something for everybody: If you are in a restaurant, a hotel, or a take-out, or any food related business. There is an opportunity for everybody to have lots of activities and get involved,” she said.
She hopes that Culture and Chips can be as successful for the city as the Great Limerick Run is on the May Bank Holiday weekend.
“We want in ten years time, for this to be in the Limerick calendar for keeps. That it is a successful weekend, and it is something that people want to come to,” she concluded.