Fresh of the back of Halloween, this year’s Samhain Festival of Food and Culture takes place this coming weekend in the heritage town of Kells in the heart of the Boyne Valley. The four-day jamboree centres on the prominence of cattle in ancient Irish folklore and mythology, setting the scene for an imaginatively themed series of cookery demos, tastings, walks and workshops in the company of some of Ireland’s best known food conservationists, bakers, chefs and writers.
This year’s festival opens with the Samhain Symposium, which will be addressed by guest speaker Carlo Petrini, actist and founder of the Slow Food Movement, with contributions from an expert panel including Simone Schiassi, Group CEO of the Future Food Holding, Dr Brendan Dunford of Burren Beo and Carina Conyngham, Managing Director of Rock Farm and Operations Manager of Slane Castle.
The event is part of the perennially stimulating Boyne Valley Food Series, and includes a packed programme exploring everything from butter making to the future of Irish food, featuring strong contributions from Darina Allen, Max Jones, Paul Flynn and Graham Herterich.
There’s also an incredible Long Table Supper to look forward to, with a cocktail masterclass from The Gastro Gays also in the mix. The festival concludes on Sunday November 5th with a screening of an independent documentary film by Wicklow-based Chef, Tadgh Byrne, which examines food supply in Ireland and asks how the country can seek to become more self-sustainable into the future.
Samhain takes place from Thursday November 2nd to Sunday November 5th. Tickets and individual events can be booked via boynevalleyflavours.ie
Words: Martina Murray