Plenty of food for thought at Lis­towel Food Fair 2018

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - COMMUNITY NEWS - By STEPHEN FERNANE

THE re­fined el­e­gance of a swan above water, while work­ing busily be­neath the sur­face, is a good way to de­scribe the prepa­ra­tion in­volved in stag­ing the an­nual Lis­towel Food Fair. It’s an event that gets it right ev­ery year so peo­ple can en­joy a culi­nary and ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence in north Kerry’s cap­i­tal. But it’s all thanks to the hard work of the co­or­di­na­tors and vol­un­teers, who have worked dili­gently be­hind the scenes mak­ing sure ev­ery­thing is in place for the open­ing night on Thursday, Novem­ber 8.

Lis­towel Food Fair is now one of the best and most pop­u­lar food fairs in the coun­try with a rep­u­ta­tion stretch­ing back al­most a quar­ter of a cen­tury. Cather­ine Kelly is one of the co­or­di­na­tors and she de­scribes Lis­towel Food Fair as ‘a sta­ple in Lis­towel’s cal­en­dar of events’.

“It’s a fes­ti­val that re­ceives so much sup­port from lo­cal busi­nesses. Peo­ple look for­ward to it, and for good rea­son given its suc­cess,” Cather­ine said.

“One of the main suc­cesses of this fair is that so many peo­ple do phe­nom­e­nal work be­hind the scenes. The very fact Lis­towel has so much to of­fer as a town make it per­fect for a food fair. We had a huge amount of en­tries again this year in our com­pe­ti­tions and this is re­ally en­cour­ag­ing to see year af­ter year.”

Cather­ine stressed that one of the se­crets to the food fair’s suc­cess is a com­bi­na­tion of ru­ral tra­di­tion and entrepreneurship. The dual ap­pre­ci­a­tion that peo­ple have for the cul­ti­va­tion and show­cas­ing of lo­cal pro­duce is part of the rea­son why Lis­towel Food Fair has gone from strength to strength.

“It’s re­ally a won­der­ful few days and while there are sev­eral head­line events tak­ing place, so much else is go­ing on be­hind the scenes. For ex­am­ple, our Schools Food Acad­emy will hardly touch most peo­ple’s radar but this is so far-reach­ing in terms of its suc­cess.”

Cather­ine said that this year’s open­ing night event is not to be missed. The 2018 in­au­gu­ral event will cel­e­brate 90 years of food in north Kerry with a spe­cial nod to the late great John B Keane, who would have been 90 this year. The an­nual Busi­ness Sem­i­nar is also a richly re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for peo­ple with an in­ter­est in food pro­duc­tion, mar­ket­ing and ex­plor­ing new tends in how food is cel­e­brated and shared.

Cather­ine also points to Fri­day night’s event with star run­ner Cathe­rina McK­ier­nan when the Ca­van ath­lete will dis­cuss run­ning tech­niques. More­over, the im­por­tance of nu­tri­tion and diet in run­ning is also likely to be dis­cussed. This event is sure to at­tract plenty of in­ter­est as the Kerry Cru­saders Lis­towel 10k and half marathon takes place the fol­low­ing day. This is a per­fect chance for par­tic­i­pants to en­joy a re­lax­ing evening be­fore the race, while pick­ing up some handy tips from one of Ire­land’s best fe­male run­ners. Aoife Han­non will also be there to dis­cuss the ben­e­fits of Pi­lates for run­ners. No one can say that jog­gers haven’t been spoilt for choice at this year’s Lis­towel Food Fair.

Cather­ine added: “Peo­ple are so in­ter­ested in food to­day that they will­ingly take it upon them­selves to learn more about it, both from a leisure or busi­ness point of view. It’s bril­liant to see this. We’re de­lighted the Lis­towel Food Fair pro­vides a plat­form for these in­ter­ests to flour­ish. The main thing to re­mem­ber is that there is some­thing for ev­ery­one at Lis­towel Food Fair.”

For fur­ther de­tails of the pro­gramme of events, visit www.lis­tow­elfood­fair.ie You can also fol­low Lis­towel Food Fair’s Face­book page for up­dates on events.

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