When the Kinsale Gourmet Festival started in 1976, it was a groundbreaker initiated by Brian Cronin, Gerry Galvin, Heidi Roche, and other restaurateurs of the time. I’m probably one of the few who was there, having been brought by a visiting American aunt.
For years, regulars included ‘Texas Bob’ and ‘California Bob’, plus a contingent from Montreal’s McGill University. The festival — which runs from October 7 to October 9, and has its 40th birthday celebrations this year — is still special. It kicks off on Friday, October 7, at the Trident Hotel with a Laurent Perrier Champagne reception, followed on Saturday by the fantastic madness that is the Mad Hatter’s Taste of Kinsale, see left — a spectacular escorted foodie walking tour, encompassing the 11 members of Kinsale’s Good Food Circle restaurants. The festival culminates with the black-tie Fruits de Mer Seafood Spectacular on Sunday, October 9. See kinsalerestaurants.com