Savour Kilkenny Food Festival
I love food. I love cooking it, eating it, growing it, and just appreciating the many brilliant things you can do with it. So I took a three-hour bus to Kilkenny by myself, stayed in a hostel, and basically watched people cook good food and then ate their free samples…for a constant three days. On Friday, I just explored the town and walked through the Castle Park. I ended up simply sitting on a bench and people watching for a good while.
For dinner I had a gourmet, gluten-free burger with sauteed onions, a portabello mushroom, and some greens of some sort, plus an enormous portion of chips (aka french fries). I also ate my second gluten-free brownie of the day. If I thought being allergic to gluten would be difficult in Ireland, I was wrong; it turns out they have more options here for any dietary restriction than anywhere I’ve ever been in the US.
Saturday I watched cooking demonstrations all day. I learned a few things about how to cook certain things, but mostly I was just salivating, waiting for the moment they said, “alright now don’t be shy, everyone come up and have a taste.” I admittedly may have had more than my fair share…
My favorite host/chef was a flamboyant and quite cheeky man named Edward who wore fabulous sweaters and was always throwing in a clever punchline for comedic flare. (This picture does not do him justice)
Sunday I started off my day with a spiced chai latte and sat in the park again until the demonstrations began. I saw a gluten-free baking demonstration where the chefs made a chocolate roulade with whipped cream, raspberry jam, and strawberries.
The last demonstration was of a load of Christmas recipes. I swear I have never tasted anything for gorgeous than that ham.
The entire weekend was such a nice break from my everyday routine in Cork. I got to be on my own for a few days, just doing something completely different and something that I am really interested in. It was honestly like being in another world for a weekend. The foodie culture is as close to heaven as this atheist will admit to. The smells are comforting, the people are more than willing to give you free food (in my opinion, the best kind of free thing there is), and everyone is completely absorbed in all things food and the creation of it. Being away and surrounded by couples or families or groups of friends also made me realize how important simplicity is for me to have in my life. I’m always concerned with what’s coming next, what I have to look forward to, what’s ahead. I very rarely stop to soak in where I actually am. But for the past few days I was content just being. Being solitary, being entertained, being informed, being fed, and being completely, unabashedly gluttonous for that short little while. The only downside is now I have to get back on the tredmill and off my bum, but ohhh was it worth it!