Food inspiration at Galway’s Food Festival!
11 March 2015 | 0
Galway Food Festival is now in its fourth year and will take place over the Easter bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2 to Monday 6 April. The family friendly five day event aims to showcase the best of Galway city and county’s artisan food producers, culinary experts and food retailers.
The 2015 festival will also seek to build on Galway’s growing status as a food capital of the Wild Atlantic Way through the extended involvement of food producers, suppliers and outlets located along Ireland’s west coast as part of the festival’s events programme.
This year marks the new appointment of Heather Flaherty as festival chairperson. Flaherty is originally from Saskatchewan in Canada and works as head chef at the award winning deli/restaurant McCambridge’s in Galway city. She loves the daily interaction with the farmers, butchers, producers and chefs that supply the restaurant and deli. She works hard to promote and highlight the best of Irish produce and suppliers in her menu and is looking forward to doing the same as chairperson of the Galway Food Festival.
Flaherty spoke to ShelfLife about what we can expect from this year’s festival and reminds us how lucky we are to have such great natural ingredients available to us to make quality food.
What can people expect from the festival?
This year’s festival includes a continuation on last year’s successes, including a festival village at Fishmarket Square in the Spanish Arch, which showcases the best of local and artisan producers, restaurants and growers. The festival will also see the return of the Woodquay market on Saturday, cooking demonstrations, talks, pop up restaurants and wine and beer tastings. We are also adding food tours to the programme this year.
What are the highlights of this year’s festival in your opinion?
The food tours promise to be popular events, with three separate tours to Inishmore, South Galway and Barna which all include seaside foraging, lunch, talks and an opportunity to meet the maker. They will be a real foodie experience.
Yes! It is inspiring as a chef to see what is coming out of the Irish food scene. There has been a dramatic shift from traditional and conventional offerings to experimental and innovative ones that showcase the amazing quality of Irish produce.
Do you think that Galway is a leader in fine food?
I think Galway is evolving into a leader – we have an eclectic food scene from street food to fine dining that has grown dramatically over the last five years. There is a huge amount of respect amongst chefs and restaurants in the food community which helps to strengthen Galway’s position as a foodie destination.
What type of food do you believe is produced better in Ireland than anywhere else around the world?
Ireland is a natural larder. The raw ingredients in their natural state should be celebrated for retaining the same quality as 20 years ago; which isn’t the case in most developed countries. As a chef and retailer, Irish ingredients are inspiring; from beef, lamb and game to seafood, produce and seaweed. There is also a growing trend with farmers and producers to diversification which only strengthens the market.
In your opinion what is the secret to producing good food?
The raw ingredient has to be the first priority. Quality has to come from the ground up. After the raw ingredients are right, it comes down to attention to detail and balance of flavour for me.
What would you choose as your last meal?
It would likely be a big platter of Irish farmhouse cheese with a nice crusty loaf of sourdough bread and lashings of proper butter.