Midsummer Feasts and Culinary Craic – Beyond The Plate 2024

Posted 4 weeks ago in Food & Drink Features


Culture, customs and craic take centre stage as culinary thinker and food writer Ali Dunworth brings her lovingly curated homage to food and drink to scenic Glendalough this month.

The food area at Beyond The Pale sees an incredible line-up of talks and demos from some of the leading proponents of the Irish food and bevvie world, fuelled by a delicious Midsummer Feast overseen by Bahay founders Alex O’Neill and Richie Castillo.

As the Bahay duo aim to get people thinking about the importance and value of recognising food as a key part of culture and art, Beyond The Plate curator Ali Dunworth observes that “Irish food doesn’t often get the pedestal it deserves, especially when it comes to culture”; something she’s determined to address as part of the 2024 festival.

In addition to celebrating Irish food old and new, the carefully considered programme sees Beyond The Plate exploring the world of food and drink through the lens of poetry, songs and literature for the first time, in the company of Allta chef and part-time poet Áine Budds.

Dunworth adds, “There is history and culture in every knob of butter, cake of bread, head of cabbage, boiled ham, every bag of crisps and pint of stout. Irish food culture has been woven through our folklore, our customs, and our traditions, and these days it lives on in our livelihoods, our festivals, and our screens.”

With that in mind, Blanca Valencia and Santina Kennedy join forces for Art Plate, which explores the topic of Irish food through art, reflecting how artists capture Irish food customs and the values and traditions of Irish cuisine.

Other highlights include an exciting new play called ‘Splitting the G: A Controversy’, by talented scribe and online legend Shamim de Brún who keeps a beady eye on all things booze related for this parish, and whose penchant for the black stuff makes her the perfect guide on a journey through the cultural significance of Guinness and its enduring ties to Irish identity.

As ever, festival-goers can also look forward to plenty of opportunities to sample great Irish food and drink, and to walk some of it off at Beyond the Fence foraging sessions guided by Samuel Arnold Keane.

Beyond The Plate at Beyond the Pale takes place in Glendalough Estate Co. Wicklow from Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd June.


Words: Martina Murray


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