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Inishfood 2013: The Feast of the Chieftains

June 13, 2013 in Events

Inishfood, the Inishowen food festival, returns on June 22nd as part of Féile Grianán Áiligh, a cultural festival inside the Inishowen fortress. This year Inishfood is hosting an ancient-style feast based on ingredients used and recorded in a famous Ulster feast during the 7th century.

Donal Doherty, of Harrys Restaurant and Inishfood organiser, adds, ‘The setting for the feast is the amazing old round fort of An Grianan and its wonderful views across Ulster. The sources of the world-class ingredients can actually be seen from standing on the walls of the fort, which will be amazing. It is an outdoor event, so we are praying to the Chieftains for half decent weather. Some of the best Irish chefs are cooking at the feast, including Derek Creagh and Enda McEvoy. Irish chefs Niall Davidson and Rose Greene from Belgium’s famous restaurant In De Wulf are coming home to add their “wild” cooking style to the feast along with their pastry chef, Martijn Bauwens. So the food promises to be something special.’

‘The plan is to cook a whole Dexter beef over wood as a feature during the family day on the 21st and this becomes the centrepiece for the first feast on this site in over 1,000 years. We’ll be adding famous Donegal dairy produce, shellfish and seafood, our fabulous potatoes and vegetables from Harry’s walled garden. We’ve been researching old Irish hospitality customs and have the recording of the old 7th-century feast and exactly what was cooked as a menu guide. These chefs are some of the best chefs at incorporating wild plants, seaweed and herbs and having the chefs from In De Wuld over really does make this a gathering! In fact, we will be inviting people to help us gather some of these wild herbs with Enda and Niall on the Friday for those that want to get outdoors and explore the wild side of food and Inishowen. We’re adding theatre to the feast with ancient warriors and some brilliant Donegal musicians and the fort will be dressed in wonderful flags and colour.’

‘The feast will be truly unique and different and this may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a feast of this type and in this setting. Visitors are welcome to participate in the foraging and in the harvesting of vegetables from Harrys walled garden for the feast. This will help give a unique feel as to how fresh and local the ingredients are, just as was the way of life back when An Grianan last hosted a feast.’

There is more information on www.feilegriananailigh.com and on Twitter by following @inishfood or by calling Harrys Restaurant on (07493) 68544 to book. Tickets for the event, which starts at 8.30pm, are €45. Tickets are available for the family fun day on the 22nd June, which starts at 1pm. These are priced at €5 adults or €15 family tickets.

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