9 Reasons Why You Absolutely Need To Head West For The Galway Food Festival
Now that's a serious line-up
Let's face it: you deserve a break.
And not just that, but you deserve some pretty amazing food, a couple of top-notch drinks and some gorgeous surroundings to boot.
Well you're in luck – because over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, the Galway Food Festival is setting up shop in the Capital of the Wesht.
Lovin Dublin headed over last weekend to check out what's on offer, and here's just a sample of what we came across...
1. The genius that is JP McMahon
The head chef of Aniar, chairman of this year's festival and the all-round kitchen wonder of the West.
You'd be doing well to get anywhere near his restaurant during the weekend – it's worth a trip in its own right if you can't – but in the absence of that, though, he's hosting talks on seaweed and fermentation over the course of the weekend.
Even if you have no interest in either of these things, the chap is an absolute wonder to behold when he's in full flow; so seize this opportunity.
Galway Food Festival
Galway Food Festival Video Part 2. Here JP McMahon talks about the importance of the top quality produce and the producers to the Galway food scene and how closely linked great produce, great producers and great restaurants are in reality. Galway Food Festival 2016, Easter Weekend 24-28th March.Posted by Galway Food Festival on Friday, February 26, 2016
2. The abundance of events for kids
Remember, this all takes place over Easter Weekend – not only smack bang in the middle of the school holidays (when you've endured enough, but the end still isn't in sight), but when your kids will be absolutely buzzing with sugar.
So why not tire them out? Sate their chocolate cravings with this Easter Egg hunt at the Twelve Hotel, or upskill them (for your own future benefit) at this pizza-making workshop in Tom Sheridan's Hotel.
3. The insane cocktails at The House Hotel
Aileen Cunningham of The House Hotel is one of the most talented and generally awesome mixologists in the country, and she'll be sharing her secrets – along with food pairings courtesy of head chef Kevin Hynes – at this cocktail workshop on the Thursday night.
Perfect excuse to get down a night early and maximise your Galway food exposure.
4. Ballynahinch Castle
Seriously. Even if you don't eat anything while you're there, this is legitimately one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
And if you do manage to eat while you're there? Better again...
5. The chance to make an espresso martini with Badger and Dodo
The trend drink of the year shows no signs of disappearing – so feck it, you might as well learn how to whip them up yourself.
And who better to teach you than the awesome Badger and Dodo, who'll be running workshops right across the weekend?
6. The unmissable Biteclub Brunch
The Street Food Discotheque. HOW in the name of all that is good could you say no to something with a name like that?
7. Total immersion in all things natural
We've already mentioned the great Mr McMahon and his fondness for seaside – and indeed both Aniar and fellow Michelin Star restaurant Loam are very heavily influenced by their surroundings on the Western Seaboard.
But it was this trip to an abalone farm that really brought it home: Galway is obsessed with making the most of the resources that surround it, and there really are few better places in the world to eat your own location.
8. The Sheridans Wedding Cheesecake Demo for just a fiver
This one is pitched at all the brides and grooms out there – and indeed any cheese lovers who have any influence whatsoever over any upcoming weddings.
Why have cake when you can have cheesecake? And better still, this costs just a fiver – including tastings. All the info is here.
9. Sushi lessons at the Radisson Blu
The Connacht Rugby team are reportedly massive fans of Raw Sushi In The Sky in the Radisson Blu – and when Lovin Dublin was down over the weekend, we were treated to a highly unusual 'dessert' sushi involving chocolate, strawberries and rice.
So these guys love to have a bit of fun with the ancient craft – and so, these lessons will be well worth a look.