Plenty of food for thought at Listowel Food Fair 2018
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.