Last Sunday we made the long(ish) trip from Newcastle to Dublin for the 2015 Taste of Dublin event which took place in the heart of Dublin City Centre at Iveagh Gardens. Now in its tenth year, the Taste of Dublin is a four day food and drink event showcasing the very best in Dublin restaurants as well as Irish food and drinks producers. With a variety of top chefs on hand to give cooking demo’s throughout the festival, we were certainly intrigued as to what it would all have in store for us. Needless to say, we weren’t disappointed.
It’s all about the Florins
The first thing we noticed when entering Iveagh Gardens was groups of people in pink shirts selling booklets of Florins. What are Florins we hear you ask? Good question. Florins are the currency of the festival and you will need to purchase some if you are to buy any food or drink from any of the stalls. Simply exchange your Euros and head off with your Florins at hand and enjoy the great food and drink on offer.
Drink, drink and more drink
Having been to a number of food festivals recently, we were certainly surprised by the sheer volume of alcohol on offer (not that this was a bad thing, although we did have the car so it meant a dry one for us). From wine and champagne bars to gin and whiskey tents and craft beer bars, Taste of Dublin had so much variety for drink. When we visit the festival again next year we’ll be sure to stay down for the night and sample one or two of the local brews (okay, we’ll probably have more than one or two).
Lots of great foodie talks
Taste of Dublin isn’t just simply just going along and stuffing your faces with food and drink – although this is an added bonus – the festival has lots of great talks and cookery demonstrations from some of Ireland’s finest chefs and food stylists / writers. One talk that we sat in on was by Johan Van der Merwe who is a food styling expert. Johan’s talk only lasted 15 minutes, which is a great thing as you can actually get around the festival and learn lots of new things. Some of the big things to come from Johan’s talk was the process behind getting great food photos and the importance of light and positioning when taking photos. You can find out more about Johan’s work by visiting www.foodstyle.ie.
Cooking demo’s from top chefs
As you would expect from one of Ireland’s premier food festivals (if not thee premier festival), there are plenty of cooking demo’s to check out. From seafood and meat to cuisines from around the world, there is plenty of choice to getting new tips for the kitchen. One cooking demo we stopped by to watch was Oliver Dunne from Bon Appetit, Malahide and Cleaver East, Temple Bar. Oliver was cooking a seafood pasta dish and shared some top tips for getting ready to cook in a home kitchen including why it’s important to put on the extractor fan well in advance of cooking and why you need to have your pan at a high heat before cooking fish and meat.
Oliver also shared his reasoning for no longer wanting a Michelin Star for his flagship Bon Appetit restaurant. The reason – a better and more affordable dining experience for his customers. Oliver said business has gone from strength to strength since losing (by choice) their Michelin Star.
Food glorious food
We’ve saved the best to last and of course it’s the food. There is so much on offer at the Taste of Dublin, both sweet and savoury. Our advice, don’t eat before you head to the festival. The food on offer is snack like in size allowing you to sample many different dishes as you wonder around the gardens. You can also avail of waiter service which can prove to be useful as the queues at some of the food stalls can be really long. We stopped by at The Chop House stall for some fillet steak and chips. One word – amazing!
If you’re a fan of Dublin and a lover of food (who isn’t), be sure to check out next years Taste of Dublin event which will likely take place again in June. Were you at this years Taste of Dublin? Let us know what you thought of it by commenting below or connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Here’s a cool video of the festival from the event organisers.