The sold out opening event, a ferry ride from Doolin to indulge in a seafood supper on the smallest Aran Island, Inis Oírr, is in keeping with the 2018 theme “Taste the Atlantic – A Seafood Journey”. The theme was adopted in response to BIM’s Taste the Atlantic Seafood Trail which was developed last year in partnership with Fáilte Ireland. The trail is designed to celebrate Ireland’s many dedicated seafood producers and BIM has highlighted that Clare is a region renowned for its shellfish farming with €79 million worth of oysters and mussels produced last year.
In addition to the seafood supper, regular festival favourites return to the Pavilion in Lisdoonvarna, namely the food and craft market (keep an eye out for the True Food Academy's fermentation stoneware!) and cookery demonstrations by renowned chefs including seafood aficionado Niall Sabongi and award winning cookbook author Trevis Gleason, who will also host a thirst quenching whiskey workshop. Pot Duggan’s Brianna Turner will showase the benefits of fermentation and local seafood by making kimchi and chowder with poached local fish and spuds whilst Oonagh O'Dwyer from Wild Kitchen will extol the virtues of seaweed and show how to incorporate this superfood into everyday dishes.
Other highlights are an interactive “happening” with Kevin Thornton, who is regarded as one of Ireland's best chefs and the great philosopher of Irish food. There will also be a presentation by archaeologist Dr Bill Schindler, UCD visiting assistant professor, which will delve into our culinary past and cooking habits.
The annual Burren Slow Food Banquet will take place in the Burren Storehouse in Lisdoonvarna and is one of the fastest selling events thanks to a delicious menu by chef Viv Kelly that will tantalise guests’ taste buds.
No food festival would be complete without a multitude of tastings and members of the Burren Food Trail are hosting a coffee morning on Sunday 12 May during which they will present and talk about their products. Of course the audience will be able to taste them as well!
“This is the 14th year of the Burren Slow Food Festival,” explained festival chair, Birgitta Hedin Curtin. “The festival motto is ‘Come hungry, leave happy’ and this year we have put measures in place to make the festival as green and sustainable as possible. Traders are encouraged to use compostable and reusable non-plastic packaging. Visitors are invited to bring their own reusable drinking cups, and waste segregation litter bins will be in situ. There is something for everyone, young and old and I look forward to seeing lots of familiar and new faces in Lisdoonvarna.”