The first ever Leenane Food Festival is set to take place on the weekend of 26th & 27th September.

Set at the head of Killary Harbour, the land and the sea were the only options for sourcing food for local inhabitants for centuries. Their diet included small fresh lamb from the mountains, herring salted down for the winter, vegetables in season, mussels or dilisk for a treat – and all organic. What was standard fare for poor fishermen and farmers now seems like food nirvana to our palates weary of mass produced bland food.

On a small scale, a market remained for these traditional foods, and small producers continued to supply local markets. It has only been with health scares associated with mass produced food that attention turned again to our traditional small producers. Awareness developed of the quality and speciality of these products, and the food producers began to embrace new techniques and world flavours in recognition of our expanding tastes.

The region has many award-winning food producers, and the Leenane Food Festival intends to bring all together as a celebration of our food history and as an opportunity for foodies everywhere to get a real taste of Connemara.
The Leenane Food Festival aims to bring the flavours and quality food products of Connemara to all.

By supporting local suppliers, we boost the local economy and bring down prices through increased production. It is also better for the environment; less transportation usage and simpler production values reduce our carbon footprint!

There is food demonstrations from near and far such as one of Irelands top chef’s and Good Food Ireland member: Derry Clarke from L’Ecrivain Restaurant Dublin.

Another Good Food Ireland member and recent award winner for Best use of Sustainable Local Fish Award,
Graham Roberts of Connemara Smokehouse will do a Slicing demonstration and explaination on Smoked Salmon.

Local chef Rory Daly from the newly revamped Portfinn Lodge and Fjord Restaurant will be cooking up a storm and there is many more local chefs cooked into the mix.

Food Marquee will be stalled by Connemara Hill Lamb, Connemara Smokehouse, Carrowholly Cheese, John Walsh Pangar Ban and Connemara Honey and many more.

So make a weekend of it and come along and join in the fun.

Timetable of events and demonstrations by local chefs & producers as follows:

Saturday 26th
Delphi Lodge 12.30
The Blackberry Cafe 2pm
Connemara Smoke House 3pm
Composting workshop 4pm

Sunday 27th
Connemara Smoke House 12.30
Inagh Lodge 1.30pm
Portfinn Lodge 2.30pm
Celebrity chef Derry Clarke 3.30pm

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