It's that special time of year again, the moment that our city's foodies await with bated breath: Taste of Dublin.
Returning to the Iveagh Gardens from June 14-17, the food festival is once again showcasing some of Ireland's top producers of food and drinks. Every year this food lover's festival has a different theme and this year that theme is... food lover's playground. Makes sense!
An impressive line-up of chefs, producers, bars and exhibitors have all endeavoured to inject their own little twists to turn this city park into a wonderland of food. But with a whole host of interactive demos, masterclasses, talks, beer and wine tasting events taking place during the festival, it's hard to know where to begin.
To help you start planning your visit, we've had a look at the line-up and we've picked out some of the biggest attractions that this year's Taste of Dublin has to offer...
Step into The NEFF Taste Kitchen
A host of celebrity chefs are set to take to this particular demo stage — the biggest ever built in the history of Taste! Hosted by Marcus O’Laoire, you can look forward to seeing culinary experts in action, like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (River Cottage), Candice Brown (Great British Bake Off), Rachel Allen (Ballymaloe), Robin Gill (Masterchef) and many more.
All aboard The Roe & Co Tram 21
Imagine sipping on cocktails on an old-fashioned Dublin tram... sounds pretty glam, wouldn't you say? Well that's something you can actually do at Taste this year, while taking a Roe & Co cocktail masterclass hosted by a World Class bartender.
Taste some Pink Cuisine
Dublin restaurant chain Jaipur, which takes its name from India's 'Pink City', is celebrating the women who helped shape the history of India by creating an innovative menu composed entirely of pink dishes, such as Rhubarb Prawn Curry from Ananda, Pink Gin-infused Railway Lamb from Chakra and Pink City Chicken Tikka (with pink peppercorn and mint chutney) from Jaipur.
Learn about outdoor cooking
Fancy yourself as something of a BBQ pro? Well the folks from All Al Fresco in Glasthule aim to show you how to take your outdoor cooking game to the next level using Big Green Eggs, with top chefs like Rory Morahan and Anna Haugh using these unique egg-shaped cookers to expertly grill tender meat, fish, stir-fries, stews, pizzas and even delicate desserts.
Don your glad rags for Style Afternoon
If you're been looking for an excuse to get properly dolled up this summer, look no further. The Connacht Gold Style Afternoon takes place on June 15, where Dublin's most stylish can come show off their fabulous fashion sense and maybe, if they really stand out, bag themselves some top prizes.
Experience the flavours of Korea
Fans of Korean cuisine, or folks who've been meaning to give it a try, really need to swing by the Korean Cooking Experience — all dishes will be free! Chef Gunmoo Kim and his team will be showing crowds of hungry onlookers how to make authentic Korean dishes at home before allowing the crowd to sample those dishes for themselves.
Try Ketel One Kitchen
Now this area offers twice the bang for your buck. During the day, you'll be able to witness immersive masterclasses and sup on Bloody Marys at Ketel One Kitchen, while at night this space transforms into Kitchen Disco where you can pick up Espresso Martinis and dance the night away.
Do chocolate or coffee masterclass
Coffee nuts will wanna check out the demonstrations, workshops and latte art competitions (using 100% recyclable cups) at Applegreen. If you're the kind of person who needs something a little bit sweeter to get through the day, you'll want to swing by the Lindt area for chocolate demonstrations and, of course, free samples galore.
Upgrade to the VIP experience
To make your experience that bit more luxurious, why not enter the Laurent-Perrier VIP suite in association with Sony Xperia? Here you can sit back, chill out, order whatever dish your heart desires from the surrounding stalls and one of the Just Eat waiters will bring you your meal. Sound good to you?
Back to Lazy Basics
You don't need to be an expert who spends all day in the kitchen to be a good cook: you just need to know a few simple tricks. In just 20 minutes, The Lazy Basics aims to teach festival goers a variety of kitchen hacks to enhance their cooking experience, such as which knives to use and how to make sourdough from scratch.
Give it up for small producers
Show your support for local businesses by seeing start-up producers from the likes of Irish Atlantic Sea Salt, Sadie’s Kitchen Bone Broth and Glenilen Farm speak with food journalist Dee Laffan about their passion for homegrown produce.
Take the O’Briens Wines Experience
Wine connoisseurs will want to check this one out. Each masterclass will cover three different topics and allow you to sample three different wines from Languedoc, with your teachers being Francois Pages (Manager of Gérard Bertrand) and Stephane Queralt (winemaker).
Taste of Dublin takes place at the Iveagh Gardens from June 14-17 and you can pick up your tickets HERE.