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The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS GOING OUT -

Food fes­ti­val sea­son con­tin­ues apace – with more and more blend­ing culi­nary el­e­ments into other ar­eas of in­ter­est. The Ker­ry­gold Bal­ly­maloe Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val, which cel­e­brates food and wine writ­ing, kicks off next week­end (May 15th to 17th) in Bal­ly­maloe House, Co Cork. In two short years, it has be­come one of Ire­land’s pre­miere food fes­ti­vals, with more than 50 events over the week­end. See MarieClaire Digby and John Wil­son’s guide to this year’s events in this week­end’s Satur­day Mag­a­zine.

Mean­while in the Na­tional Craft Gallery in Kilkenny, Ap­petite for

De­sign launches to­day. Run­ning un­til the end of May, a se­ries of ex­hi­bi­tions, events and per­for­mances will bring to­gether de­sign­ers, chefs and res­tau­ra­teurs to look at the de­sign of our food, the tools we use to pre­pare it, how we ex­pe­ri­ence it and the places we con­sume it. Cu­rated by De­sign­goat – who have de­signed fur­ni­ture, in­te­ri­ors and table­ware for Brother Hub­bard, 3FE, Sis­ter Sadie, The Woollen Mills and Chap­ter One – there will also be a num­ber of talks, fam­ily events such as a Mad Hat­ter’s Tea Party, and eat­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. Th­ese in­clude four BYOB pop-up restau­rants, with Barry Fitzger­ald (for­mer head chef of Etto in Dublin and Miche­lin­starred Har­wood Arms in Lon­don) kick­ing off pro­ceed­ings to­mor­row (Satur­day 9th). His five-course menu will in­clude scal­lop with sea trout tartare, oys­ter and cel­ery, and a smoked neck and loin of lamb with baked cele­riac and net­tles. Tick­ets are ¤60. There will also be nights hosted by Do­mes­tic God­less, The Culi­nary Counter and Cúán Greene and Harry Col­ley of Dublin Pop-Up. See na­tion­al­craft­gallery.ie.

Next week­end, it’s time to slow down and smell the cof­fee (and the cheese, and the choco­late) at the

Bur­ren Slow Food Fes­ti­val, with a slow food week run­ning from May 16th to 22nd, lead­ing to the main fes­ti­val on May 23rd and 24th.

The theme this year is Land and Sea, with the fo­cus on lo­cally sourced food and lo­cal tra­di­tions, with the ac­tion cen­tred around the Bur­ren and Cliffs of Mo­her. There will be lots of demos and chances to visit lo­cal pro­duc­ers, such as Siob­han Ní Ghairb­hith of St Tola Goat’s Cheese in Inagh and Stephen & Eva He­garty of Bur­ren Free Range Pork Farm in Kil­fenora. There are work­shops on sour­dough and fer­mented foods, and bean-to-bar choco­late. Chefs Ross Lewis of Chap­ter One, Derry Clarke of L’Ecrivain and JP McMa­hon of Gal­way’s Miche­lin-starred Aniar restau­rant will give talks and cooking demon­stra­tions on top­ics such as seafood and butch­ery.

One of the fes­ti­val high­lights is on Satur­day 23rd, when the Bur­ren Slow Food Ban­quet will serve up a tra­di­tional feast, to in­clude Glen­i­nagh Bur­ren lamb on a spit and Bur­ren Hot & Cold Smoked Ir­ish Or­ganic Salmon at the Bur­ren Em­po­rium in Lis­doon­va­rna (tick­ets ¤50). See slow­food­clare.com/ fes­ti­val for de­tails and book­ing

Wex­ford Food and Wine Fes­ti­val re­turns to the southeast from May 21st to 24th, where they will be pray­ing for the weather gods to shine on the large open-air mar­ket on Satur­day and Sun­day, 23rd and 24th in Sel­skar St and South Main St, with a food trail join­ing the 10-minute walk be­tween the two lo­ca­tions. Pro­duc­ers from the re­gion in­clude the de­li­cious Wild About pre­serves and chut­neys, Thai dishes from Wex­ford-based Thai Gold, But­ler’s Ital­ian-style ice cream, and a chance to gorge on Wex­ford straw­ber­ries .

Also on Satur­day you can watch the live Le­in­ster fi­nal of The Taste of Suc­cess – the RTÉ TV show where Ir­ish pro­duc­ers com­pete to have their prod­uct stocked in Lidl su­per­mar­kets around the coun­try. Chef Paul Flynn will join host Daithi O’Se in Red­mond Square to judge the food, be­gin­ning at noon – it’s free to at­tend. Other events in­clude a wine tast­ing tour of the Rhone Val­ley and din­ner at Kelly’s Re­sort Ho­tel in Ross­lare on Thurs­day 21st, and a guided for­ag­ing walk at noon on Satur­day and Sun­day 23rd/24th by Black­stairs Eco Trails in Cur­r­a­cloe.

The fes­ti­val will come to a close on Sun­day 24th when a dozen Ir­ish craft brew­eries take part in the South Main Ale Trail. From 2pm, Simon Lam­bert & Sons and The Sky and the Ground in Wex­ford town will host the brew­ers who will do tast­ings and talks on their beers. See wex­ford­food­festeival.ie

Fi­nally, Bloom in the Park – Ire­land’s largest gar­den fes­ti­val – comes to the Phoenix Park from May 28th to June 1st. For five days top gar­den de­sign­ers will show­case 24 gar­dens with lots of ad­vice for your own patch at home. If all that green­ery makes you hun­gry, there’s a large Food Vil­lage, with cook­ery demon­stra­tions from chefs such as Catherine Ful­vio, Neven Maguire and Simon La­mont (the Lazy Chef). There’s lots of food to eat on site, in­clud­ing a cafe, out­door stalls, a bistro-style restau­rant where a two-course meal will cost ¤26.95 and a seafood bar with Ir­ish seafood plat­ters for ¤24.95. There are three mar­kets to buy ar­ti­san food, Ir­ish meat and fish, and fruit and veg­eta­bles in sea­son. Kids will love the Bloom Farm­yard, where you can see (And feed) lots of farm an­i­mals. Day tick­ets ¤18. bloominthep­ark.com.

Like all good fes­ti­vals, there’s a fringe event hap­pen­ing – Bloom

Fringe – in the city cen­tre, where ur­ban spa­ces will be taken over for the week­end and made beau­ti­ful with gar­dens, plants and in­stal­la­tions. There will be some quirky food events too, such as “Tweet to Eat”, where Dublin Pop-Up (busy guys that they are) will be serv­ing free sea­sonal snacks with for­aged in­gre­di­ents to peo­ple who tweet @Bloom­Fringe. See bloom­fringe.ie

- Rachel Collins

Bloomin’ de­li­cious Flora and food at Bloom in the Park

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