A FESTIVAL to promote local artisan foods, arts and culture while highlighting Kilmallock’s rich historical heritage will take place on the October Bank Holiday weekend.
A Taste of Ballyhoura is joining the Friars’ Gate annual theatre event to create a truly unique festival which is expected to attract over 4,000 people to the area.
The Taste of Ballyhoura festival, which runs from Friday, October 24 to Sunday, October 27 includes a gala banquet on the Friday night in the Deebert Hotel presenting Ballyhoura country produce, as well as a schools cookery competition, and cooking demonstrations by celebrity TV chef Brian McDermott.
“The aim of the festival is to support and promote local businesses by enabling them to showcase their uniqueness through the creation and development of a sustainable and dynamic festival that embraces community, sport, food, the arts, heritage and tourism,” explained James O’Doherty, chairman of the festival organising committee.
The schools’ cookery competition - the Ballyhoura School Cook Off - features the culinary delights of transition year students from the secondary schools across the county.
“There will be six students from each class and they will be broken up into two groups of three - one will do a mains meal and the other will do either a starter or a dessert - again it has to be used from local products,” James explained.
The first round heat takes place at Recipe for Success cookery school in Castletroy on the Saturday while the final cook-off takes place on the Monday in the marquee on the former Neodata site.
Other big attractions over the weekend include guided historical tours, a haunted house at the site of the old post office on Lord Edward Street on the Sunday, a carnival at the family fun day, a fireworks display in the hurling field on the Sunday evening, a barbecue and the Ballyhoura Food Fair on the Bank Holiday Monday.
“The whole idea is to bring people into the local businesses and the historic tour is to showcase the town and show that Kilmallock is a destination to come to. I think the schools competition could be made into an All-Ireland competition within a few years,” said James.
For further information see A Taste of Ballyhoura Facebook page or contact James on 087 2717721.