Celebrity chef Clodagh McKenna, Johnny Murtagh and Kevin Manning helped launch the Foodscape Kildare Festival recently
With all the talk of horses and fashion, there's another area of growing expertise that Kildare is becoming known for - that of food.
Therefore, the inaugural Foodscape Kildare Festival will showcase a variety of high-quality restaurants and artisan food producers from the county of Kildare.
The event was launched by Clodagh McKenna last month with the help of Irish Derby winning jockeys Kevin Manning, Seamus Heffernan and former jockey now trainer Johnny Murtagh, and is aimed at celebrating Kildare's food heritage, and the growth of small artisan food producers and restaurants throughout the county.
A host of notable Kildare restaurants, cafes, pubs, hotels and producers will provide a range of their signature dishes created from locally sourced produce, bringing local produce “from farm to fork”.
This element of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival will be supported by Kildare Tourism and Kildare County Council.
It's expected to provide great exposure to homegrown local producers.
And Derek McGrath, the CEO of the Curragh Racecourse, told the Leinster Leader that the Derby “is the perfect event to showcase Kildare’s food producers, artisans and suppliers who operate, grow or produce their product in this county to a crowd of over 40,000 which are expected over the three-day festival”.
Racegoers at the Curragh will be treated to a specific Kildare-themed menu with the emphasis on showcasing the variety of products available locally in the county. Situated in the racecourse’s Food Paddock area, conveniently located close to the track, parade ring and Grand Stand, guests can taste the dishes on offer without missing out on the action.
Each dish at the Food Paddock area is priced at €4.
Vendors will include Fallons (Kilcullen), Hartes (Kildare Town), the Keadeen Hotel (Newbridge), The Lemon Grass (Naas), The Silken Thomas (Kildare Town), Nick’s Fish (Newbridge), The Dew Drop (Kill), Lock 13 (Sallins), Burtown House and Gardens (Athy) and Jane Russell’s Original Irish Handmade Sausages (Kilcullen).
Along with a pig on a spit, dishes will include Moroccan spiced chicken, organic Irish lamb sliders with Knockanore smoked cheese, Lock 13’s Famous Irish potato skins, pulled Prosperous pork in tortilla wraps, buttermilk pannacotta, vanilla and strawberry and salted caramel mousse.
Gluten free dishes will also be included.
In addition to the gourmet delights, organisers of thethe food village are planning to have a festival atmosphere - featuring a fantastic line up of entertainment.
Hosted by Hector O’Eoghagain, it will include performances by Mundy, Finbar Furey, Electric Ceili and world class dancer duo Velocity.
Don't forget to pick up this week's Leinster Leader for your free bumper 28-page Irish Derby supplement, with all you need to know about this weekend's festival on the Curragh