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A Taste of Donegal Food Festival 2019 on from Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th August

This year’s "A Taste of Donegal Food Festival" runs from Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th August 2019 and is again sited in the beautiful tented village, on the Main Pier, in Donegal Town.

Now in its 11th year, this is the premier food event in the northwest's foodie calendar attracting excellent crowds and growing in size and stature every year. From humble beginnings this food festival now attracts food lovers from all over the world to the beautiful tented village on the Pier with the backdrop of the Blue Stack Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.

This year’s Taste of Donegal Food Festival has once again gathered together top Restaurants, Hotels, Food and Drink Providers, with over 130 exhibitors, giving you a chance to taste and purchase some of the finest food and drink available from all over the island of Ireland!

Cookery Demonstrations will be by nationally renown Celebrity Chefs such as Neven Maguire, Gary O’ Hanlon, Catherine Fulvio, Kevin Dundon, Brian Mc Dermott, Edward Hayden, Oliver Dunne, Joe Shannon & Frank Forde, Maire Dufficey.

They will also have Local Celebrity Chefs, Anthony Armstrong, Christopher Molloy, Martin Anderson, Paul Brady,  Zack Gallagher (me), Food Enthusiast Pauline Sugrue, Richard and Andrew Mc Kee.

The Cookery Demonstration tent will be hosted by  award-winning celebrity chef/author and chef-proprietor of the newly restored Foyle Hotel in Moville, Brian McDermott.

Over the weekend there will be tutored Whiskey, Gin, Vodka and Irish Liquor Masterclasses with tastings by Sliabh Liag Distillery, Muff Liquor Company, and Coole Swan. New for 2019 a Coffee Roasting Demonstration by Mark Langford of Triskele Coffee.

Once again the “A Passion to Inspire 2019 Competition”, will be seeking out the best local Chef in the region. The contestants will be tested by a world class judging panel led by our very own Anthony Armstrong C- G WAC, Peter Griffiths M.B.E. President, British Culinary Federation, Bob Mac Donald, C – G Master Chefs of Great Britain. This competition attracts entries from all over the North West Region.

It is also planned to have a Special Chefs Award in memory of one of the judges, Gerard Molly, who passed away recently, as a tribute to his love of food and his outstanding contribution to A Taste of Donegal Food Festival, over the last ten years.

Light entertainment over the weekend will be provided by the timeless music of Dean Martin and The Rat Pack performed by the wonderful Adrian Cullen and highly acclaimed and accomplished musician Zara Montgomery.

Enjoy hilarious side-splitting comedy by Irelands Comical Celebrity Chef Joe Shannon & Comedian Frank Forde in our Cookery Comedy Theatre.

Corvenieo's Entertainment will add some innovative and unique visual audio to this year's event with their Comedy Chef Mascot, Juggling Stilt Walkers and Moving Robots. Mickey & Minnie will make several appearances throughout the weekend to meet and greet young and old. Add in a bit of professional live Children’s close magic with balloons and music by Mr Majestic.

This years to celebrate Heritage Week the Committee in association with The local Authority Waters Programme have planned an awareness Nature Walk along the River Bank. Recently enhanced in the hope of nurturing a feeling of protection and appreciation in children and adults for the plants and animals in this habitat. This will be conducted by Aengus Kennedy of Nature North West.

Exhibitors will also be scrutinised over the Festival weekend with two competitions. The Most Attractive Stand will be judged by The Local Enterprise Office and the Best Product will be judged by Bord Bia, LYIT Killybegs and Dave Lang, Butcher Magazine.

This year’s Festival opens on Friday 23rd August at 4pm. The Official Opening will take place at 7 pm and the MC for the evening will be TV3’s Star and General Manager of Harvey’s Point Country Hotel, Mr. Noel Cunningham.

Brian McDermott, author and chef-proprietor of the Foyle Hotel in Moville, will perform the Festival Opening. This will be followed immediately by our first demonstration of 2019 by Chef Gary O’Hanlon accompanied by Eoin Murphy (Entertainment Editor The Irish Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday) after which there will be a Wine Pairing Masterclass by Wine Expert & Sales Director Eoin Murphy of Wines Direct. The festival organisers are delighted to be partnered this year with Wines Direct for this Food & Wine Pairing Extravaganza at our Chefs Table.

The Friday night opening will conclude with a fantastic Fireworks Display over the waters of Donegal Bay, a breathtaking event which has become a massive crowd-puller, in itself, over the last ten years!

This year introduces a new Kids Kitchen to the Taste of Donegal Food Festival. Sponsored by Cherrymore Kitchens it will include special Workshops, Cooking Demonstrations, Talks and Fun Foodie things for children, all weekend!

Ernan McGettigan, one of the organisers, said "A Taste of Donegal is truly a food lover’s dream and will showcase Donegal Town and the surrounding area as a region of high-quality restaurants and hotels with a vibrant and growing Artisan Food Production Family. So why not put us on your to-do list for August 2019. Come along and tantalise your taste buds and “Discover, Dine and Delight in Donegal Town” over the Festival weekend".

You can find out more by Liking the A Taste of Donegal Facebook Page just here:

and details are also available on their website at

Now you have another great reason to come to Donegal!

The North West's Largest Street Food Festival in Letterkenny 27th and 28th July 2019

Letterkenny’s most delicious summer event, Off The Street Food Fest is back for a third year on the 27th and 28th July 2019.

This outdoor event consists of two days of music, street food, family entertainment, celebrity chef masterclasses, producer stories and much more!

There is a huge variety of food stalls selling amazing street made on the spot from fresh local produce with live cookery demos in the marquee by local talented chefs and producer story sections where you get to hear the stories behind some of Donegal’s best food producers.

Now in its third year and an annual event in Letterkenny’s social calendar, the festival will run over two days and will feature cookery demonstrations from award winning chefs, live music from the acclaimed Tanya McCole and The Hillbilly Rednecks, quizzes and family fun and much more.

Some of their guest chefs over the weekend include: Maurice McGeehan, Executive Chef from Air BnB, Brian McMonagle of The Highlands Hotel, Martin Anderson of Sonder, Ian Orr of Brownes, Joe & Brenda O'Hora of Benny & Co., Tommy Curley of The House Gastro Pub, Chef Ricky from The Orchard Bar, Noeleen Boyle from Killybegs College, Chris McMenemin & Colin McKee from Harvey's Point, Paul Brady from Castlegrove House, Tony Davidson from Fisk, Chris Molloy from The Lemon Tree and Brian McDermott from The Foyle Hotel.

There are fun food events too such as the Bushtucker Trail and the Hot Wing Challenge, along with the Fun Food Facts Donegal Food Quiz!

With something for the whole family, this is a weekend not to be missed. A true celebration of the vibrant Donegal Food scene.

Off The Street Food Fest LK
Where: The Old Orchard Inn, High Road, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
When: 27-28th July 2019 (gates open at 12pm daily)
Cost: €4 per person, kids go free

Check out their festival website at 

and Like their Facebook Page here:

to keep up to date with the Off The Street Letterkenny Street Food Festival!

I'll be helping out with Kenny Maguire Demos on the Cookery Demonstration Stage so I hope to see you there!


LegenDerry Street Food Festival takes place This Weekend 19th-21st July

Ireland’s only completely Walled City, The City of Derry, is turning up the heat for food and drink lovers this summer with its first street food festival and it’s going to be LegenDerry!

The LegenDerry Street Food Festival will take place in the heart of the historic Walled City in Guildhall Street from 19th-21st July, serving up a totally unique dining experience for visiting foodies seeking authentic local cuisine with some extra pizzazz.

The three-day festival will offer mouth-watering local and exotic street food with lots of added spice from Latin-American, Indian and Asian inspired culinary talent based in the city.

All the delicious food on offer from the participating vendors including surrounding local businesses, will be washed down by craft beers and spirits served from pop up bars. A double-decker bus will even be parked up for some festival seating with a view of prominent local landmarks including the 17th Century City Walls which are 400 years old this year.

Live music performances and DJs will help festival-goers dance their way through the weekend under outdoor heaters and festoon lighting complemented by some specially commissioned street art which will provide a vibrant backdrop to the celebrations.

NONNAS Wood Fired Pizza will be cooking up their delicious fresh Pizzas

There will be two quirky new food trailers on the block for what is believed to be the first street festival of its kind in Northern Ireland. Lo & Slo and the White Horse Hotel will both be debuting their foodie destination wheels in what will also be a ‘first’ for a hotel in the region.

Selina Horshi, Managing Director of the Best Western Plus White Horse Hotel, said: “It is a perfect time during the Open golf championship event to engage locals and tourists with great quality local produce prepared by our finest local chefs.

“We have a new summer menu that showcases some amazing super local ingredients and we are using the expertise of Head Chef, Noel Ward, with the unique spicing skills of our Sous Chef, Umesh, to turn two starters from our summer menu into street food.

“These include Donegal Cod in a Spiced Gram Flour Batter with a Coriander Chutney served with Indian Tea Blackened Chickpeas and Fresh Pomegranate. This dish showcases fresh, local fish but uses Indian flavours to bring a twist to the dish. We are combining the best produce with the best skills - utilising the talent we have with the White Horse and within the city.”

Emily McCorkell of Lo & Slo

Emily McCorkell of Lo & Slo will be unveiling four new products to add to her existing range of authentic smoked barbecue sauces and dry rubs for enhancing meat flavours developed at the city’s Foodovation Centre. These include a Ghost Chilli and Dulse Seaweed Blend, mustard and paprika based blends and a Ghost Chilli and roasted ginger pepper sauce.

Emily, a native of Pennsylvania who has been living in Derry for the past four years, is passionate about American BBQ cooking and will be serving her deliciously flavoured pulled pork and beef brisket. There will even be cotton candy for those with a sweet tooth!

“I love anything to do with street food and can’t wait for the vibrancy this festival will bring to the city at night,” said Emily whose small business has grown so quickly she now needs more staff and a production unit to supply local stockists of her hot sauces which are also now being incorporated in some local restaurant menus.

North west-based Irish Venezualan mobile catering business La Tia Juana’s will also be bringing their authentic Latin American cuisine to the street food festival. Juana was first taught to cook by her grandmother from the Warao people of the Orinocco Delta, picking huge avocados and ripe plantain from the local rain forest.

“We sell authentic Latin American street food using fresh, locally sourced gluten-free ingredients with options for carnivores, vegetarians and vegans,” she explained.

Jennifer O’Donnell, Tourism Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council which has added the LegenDerry Street Food Festival to its award-winning events calendar, said: “We are really excited about our inaugural LegenDerry Street Food Festival which we hope will also become an annual event following the success of our LegenDerry Food Festival and Slow Food Festival. Our ultimate aim is to become the number one food destination on the Island of Ireland by 2025.”

Food experts John and Sally McKenna of the prestigious McKenna Guides have described Derry as the ‘Next Foodie Capital of Ireland’, hailing the destination as “the most happening urban place in Ireland, so get yourself up there before the hordes start to arrive”.

Participating food and drink outlets at the LegenDerry Street Food Festival include: CafĂ© Guild, Warehouse, Nonnas Wood Fired Pizza, Burrito Bar, Lo & Slo, 2 North Street Food, Silverbean, Doherty's Meats, La Tia Juana’s, White Horse Hotel, Mekong, Walled City Brewery, Northbound Brewery, Muff Gin, Dopey Dick/Guildhall Taphouse and Baronscourt Brewery.

The festival will run from 5pm-11pm on Friday and Saturday, 19th and 20th July and 2pm-10pm on Sunday, 21st July 2019. Keep an eye on the Social Media Hashtag #LegenDerryFood.

Admission is free!

For more information visit

Foodie Destinations 2019 Applications Close Today!

  • Does your town, village or region have a passion for all things food? 
  • Do you offer a unique experience for locals and tourists? 
  • Do you work together as a community and encourage the use of local food produce? 

Then you could be Ireland's next 'Foodie Destination of the Year!' 
Deadline Extended - Applications Close Today 
at 5pm, Thursday 11th of July!
The winner will be a destination that actively promotes itself through joint promotional activities such as food festivals, gourmet trails, food tours, country or farmers’ markets, as well as great dining experiences for locals and visitors alike.

The Foodie Destinations Winner 2018 was Kilkenny

Entrants will have established a local producer/supplier network which is utilised and promoted by local businesses. Education, training, development and employment will be key components of the ultimate food Foodie Destination.

Plans for future growth and investment into the food and hospitality industry at a local level will also be taken into consideration by the judges.

Communities across the country are urged to get involved and work with local businesses, foodie groups, business networks, chambers of commerce and other working groups, to submit their applications and promote their area to both local people and visitors.

The Foodie Town Winner 2018 was Kinsale

There are 10 finalists, chosen from the applicants, who will receive a visit from the judges. Online voting also takes place which counts for 30% of the overall score. Last years winners (from 2018) may not apply this year.

Collaboration is vital for the success of any community based project, and will mean the difference between the winner and runners-up of the ‘Foodie Destinations 2019’ competition. The more people that work together on this project, the greater the potential for prosperity and progress!

You can find the official online Entry Form HERE

It is advisable to read the eligibility criteria/guidelines on their website before applying at
Follow the Foodie Destinations Award as it progresses, on Social Media at hashtag #FoodieDestinations on Twitter @FoodieDest or on Facebook at 


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