Waterford’s finest chefs set to host free cookery demos at Waterford’s Harvest Festival 

Nicola Crowley and Dvir Nusery from Mezzo in Tramore

Festival promises to delight nation's foodies with a veritable feast of free demos by a host of inspiring chefs



24 August 2023

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Waterford chefs, restaurants and produce are set for the spotlight on the Taste Waterford Kitchen Stage at the upcoming Waterford Harvest Festival this 8 – 10 September in Waterford city.


A host of chefs will be taking to the Taste Waterford Kitchen Stage which will be located in the courtyard at Garter Lane Theatre for two full days of cookery demonstrations from noon to 4pm daily.


Getting the kitchen stage fired up first at noon on Saturday, 9 September is the chef patron of Michelin-starred House Restaurant at the Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, Tony Parkin. With over 22 years of experience in the culinary world, Parkin’s approach is shaped by an array of global influences, working in a number of internationally renowned restaurants, including Noma, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, and Northcote. Parkin will be showcasing how to create his signature lobster dish, caught from Ardmore Bay.


At 1pm, Jenny Flynn, executive chef of Faithlegg Hotel will be preparing Chicken Supreme with crisped skin using poultry from Comeragh Mountain Farm, foraged seaweed salt, and drizzled with a Dunhill Honey and tarragon glaze, all on a bed of pumpkin risotto. Jenny is a true believer in local is best, and her demos bring lots of foodie passion. With a chance to try her dish – you’ll be inspired by Jenny’s cooking and wanting to source your own local food.


At 2pm Stephen McArdle and Morgan VanderKamer from Waterford’s hotly tipped establishment Union Wine Bar & Kitchen. Head chef McArdle will create a dish showcasing fish from Billy Burke Fish & Poultry, with VanderKamer, a trained sommelier, talking about wine for what occasion, and the importance in the hospitality industry. The perfect fusion between creating a quality, local dish and how the wine can sing with it.


Taking Saturday’s demo’s to a close is Donia Sikora of Avo Café, the champions a wholesome lifestyle, recognising the profound influence of diet on our well-being, vitality, and daily vigor. Sikora will be preparing her version of the classic breakfast, with a ‘Garden Gate chickpea omelette’ being the star attraction in a dish that encompasses the finest, natural ingredients.


On Sunday, 10 September at noon, head of food at the award winning GrowHQ in Waterford City JB Dubois. He manages the award-winning zero-waste café – delivering local, organic and seasonal dishes everyday. And when using homegrown food, the distance from their plot to plate is an impressive 112 steps. He’s not just preparing a delicious and local dish, Dubois will inspire you to cook with seasonal ingredients, reducing food waste, and even reusing edible food waste – like turning vegetable skins into crisps. After this demo, you’ll feel encouraged to make sustainability a key part of your cooking, and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. 


At 1pm Irish-Israeli couple Nicola Crowley and Dvir Nusery from Mezzo in Tramore will take you through an easy recipe to cook bourekas – cheesy puff pastry parcels, with Knockalara and Knockanore cheeses, and pickles, perfect for lunch boxes and picnics.  


The 2pm demo offers an exciting collaboration between two award-winning Taste Waterford members – Kamila Bystrzonowska from Momo Restaurant and Liam McDonnell of Legacy Irish Cider. With slow cooked pork in cider, served with bread from the Seagull Bakery and local pickles, it’ll demonstrate how you can use cider at home to enhance flavours.


Taking the Taste Waterford Kitchen Stage demos to a close at 3pm on Sunday is husband and wife team Mary and Billy Sharpe of Irish Gourmet Butter. With many award wins under their belts, including the prestigious Blas na hÉireann Awards, they’ve dedicated their passion to elevating this simple ingredient and in this demo they showcase how quality butter can enhance food. Their son Head Chef Harrison Sharpe of Elbow Lane in Cork will demonstrate three recipes – caramelised carrot soup, gin-glazed vichy carrots, and tandoori carrots with yoghurt. Along with using a host of local suppliers, including Ardmore carrots and Blackwater Distillery Gin, it’ll be the perfect way to end this year’s Taste Waterford Kitchen – hearing about and tasting what’s great about Waterford produce.

Array of free events

The Waterford Harvest Festival is being supported by Waterford City & County Council and organised by GIY  with the Taste Waterford Kitchen Stage sponsored by Waterford’S Local Enterprise Office. 


The festival  offers an array of entirely free events for everyone to enjoy. There will be two live music stages and in addition there will be vast array of entertainment and tings to see, do and eat throughout the festival weekend. Highlights include ‘Food Matters’ food sustainability talks where some of the country’s most esteemed food writers, chefs, activists, journalists and business people, it’s guaranteed to be an educational, engaging and entertaining debate each day.


For the food fans Waterford’s rich food heritage will be key, celebrating the City’s diverse restaurants, eateries and producers. The best of Waterford’s food and drink will be centre stage at the giant Harvest Festival Market which will traverse across Waterford’s wonderful squares and interconnecting streets. 

Kids’ activities

In the Junior GIYer’s zone which will take over O’Connell Street families will enjoy the Wooly Farm where children can learn more about our furry and feathered friends. Artist Aga Krym will create a new living art installation with Slí Waterford based on the UN sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger. In addition Cool Food School and GIY will be hosting workshops on seed sowing, growing and cooking food and Monty Potts will be on hand to help out plus there will be art workshops, Fun Drums and at Waterford City Library there will be story-telling, colouring sessions, the Waterford Honey Show will be open for visitors and more.

The Waterford Harvest Festival is funded by Waterford City & County Council and is a weekend-long celebration taking place from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th of September and will see the city come to life with markets, special dining events, panel discussions and plenty more. For further details and to browse the full programme of free entertainment and events see https://harvest.giy.ie/#WaterfordHarvest #FoodMatters.



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