Aoife McEl­wain pre­views the food on of­fer at Strad­bally

Food plays a large part of the Elec­tric Pic­nic’s line- up, with a new ad­di­tion this year, writes Aoife McEl­wain

The Irish Times Magazine - - INSIDE -

With per­for­mances from Chaka Khan, A Tribe Called Quest, Le Galaxie, Saint Sis­ter, Ru­sangano Fam­ily, Soulé and heaps more, Elec­tric Pic­nic is shap­ing up to be son­i­cally de­li­cious this year. But what will we be eat­ing at Strad­bally this Septem­ber?

The site will be once again gar­nished with firm favourite food stalls such as spud stal­warts Home Fries, Pak­istani spice mer­chants Ki­nara Kitchen and Vir­ginia O’Gara’s raw, fer­mented and ve­gan treats at My Good­ness.

For the food- lov­ing fes­ti­val- goer, The Theatre of Food at Mind­field is once again the place to set up camp. Cu­rated by John and Sally McKenna, The Theatre of Food of­fers Ir­ish food a stage of its own and of­fers a plat­form to the bright­est, best and most in­no­va­tive of the Ir­ish food scene to show off their wares along­side a few in­ter­na­tional guests.

On the stage this year chefs Paul Flynn and Kevin Thorn­ton will be sharp­en­ing their knives on stage, while Dublin 8 pizza kings Gail­lot & Gray go head- to- head with their neigh­bours As­sas­si­na­tion Cus­tard.

Bak­ers Scéal Bak­ery and Pa­trick Ryan of Fire­house Bak­ery will be do­ing their thing with dough, and Ralph Rolle, the drum­mer from Chic, will be back in town to talk about his Soul Snacks Cookie Com­pany.

Food lovers’ favourite Takashi Miyazaki of the renowned Ja­panese take- away in Cork will host a work­shop called Love It To The Bone to high­light the po­ten­tial of fish bones, us­ing trout from Goats­bridge in Kilkenny.

Apart from cook­ery demon­stra­tions, The Theatre of Food will play host to de­bates around food, with sus­tain­abil­ity be­ing a hot topic.

Ir­ish food leg­end Susan Steele, the head of the Sea Fish­eries Pro­tec­tion Agency, will host a talk called Vi­ta­min Sea out­lin­ing the health ben­e­fits of sea wa­ter and the im­por­tance of pro­tect­ing it. Steele will be back on stage with Fin­tan O’Toole and JP McMa­hon to widen the lens on food sus­tain­abil­ity, as well as how to pro­tect the sea.

Fake News will be a topic ex­plored by Mind­field, and so The Theatre of Food will look at Fake Food News through a se­ries of de­bates. Culi­nary cre­ative Ali Dun­worth and chef Hi­lary O’Ha­gan- Bren­nan will take a closer look at the re­al­ity of In­sta­gram food, and Niall Toner will host a con­ver­sa­tion with food and farm­ing jour­nal­ist and au­thor Suzanne Camp­bell, food writer Dee Laf­fan and chef Gary O’Han­lon.

Kitchen equal­ity will also be on the ta­ble through a con­ver­sa­tion with Jess Mur­phy ( head chef at Kai, Gal­way), Mag­gie Roche ( head chef at Hugo’s, Dublin) and Da­rina Allen ( Bal­ly­maloe House) led by Au­drey McDon­ald ( The Cook­book Café, Dublin).

Some­thing new this year is The Peo­ple’s Pic­nic hosted by Jac­inta Dal­ton, Olivia Duff, Pa­trick Ryan and Niall Sabongi, four of Fáilte Ire­land’s Food Cham­pi­ons.

The or­gan­is­ers are hop­ing to cre­ate the first ever com­mu­nal pic­nic at the Elec­tric Pic­nic at 4.30pm on Satur­day, Septem­ber 2nd. Tick­ets, which in­clude an ar­ti­san ham­per of pic­nic good­ies, can be booked at event­gen. ie/ the- peo­ple- s- pic­nic and are ¤ 20 per per­son. All pro­ceeds from the event will be do­nated to Jig­saw, the Na­tional Cen­tre for Youth Men­tal Health in Ire­land.

The Peo­ple’s Pic­nic will link live via Periscope with The Peo­ple’s Feast tak­ing place in Aarhus, Den­mark, which will hap­pen si­mul­ta­ne­ously. You can fol­low The Peo­ple’s Pic­nic on Twitter @ EPpeo­ple­spic­nic.

Keep up to date with The Theatre of Food hap­pen­ings on­line. elec­tricpic­nic. ie/ stage/ theatre- food

The Theatre of Food of­fers Ir­ish food a stage of its own and a plat­form to the bright­est, best and most in­no­va­tive of the Ir­ish food scene

PHO­TO­GRAPH: RUTH MEDJBER

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