Feast your eyes on these fantastic food festivals

by Alen McMahon

APRIL is the gateway month to the Summer.
Days are getting longer, the sun is ever so slowly inching its away through the bleak, grey clouds and everybody’s favourite chocolate-based holiday is on its way.
In addition to being a month full of optimism and anticipation of (hopefully) warmer days – it also happens to be packed full of food festivals taking place all over the country.
From an All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off in Kinsale to the Rye River Rising Craft Beer Festival in Kildare, there are plenty of food-based days out for people of all ages and from all corners of our fair island.
We have selected the best of these events to give you all the information needed for a wonderful, delicious day (or night) out right through the month of April.

April 7: All Ireland Chowder Cook-Off, Kinsale
For the ninth year running, Kinsale will see an All-Ireland Chowder Cookoff winner crowned in April.
The annual competition returns to the Cork food haven on Sunday 7 April.
On the day the plan is to have a representative from each of the 32 counties battle it out for the title of All-Ireland Chowder Champion, with the public deciding the outcome.
Kick-off is 2pm with tickets €15.
In recent years you could have over 30 chowders to sample on the day, with the winner invited on to the Great Chowder Cook Off in the US.
The €15 fee gives you a card for sample each chowder and a vote for your chosen winner.

April 12-13: Gin Experience, Dublin
Join the best gin producers from Ireland and across the globe to sample some of highest quality and flavourful gins around.
As part of a G&T, cocktail or with tasty food pairings, the choice is up to you as you enjoy one of Ireland’s most popular spirits.
More than 40 producers and over 130 gins will come together to fill Dublin Castle with passion, expertise and a whole lot of fresh fruit and premium tonic.
Tickets start at €6 and begins Friday 12th (6pm-9:30pm) and Saturday 13th April (1pm-4:30pm and 5:30pm–9:30pm) at The Printworks, Dublin Castle, Dame St, Dublin 2.

April 14: Irish Vegan Festival, Belfast
The Irish Vegan Festival returns to The Europa Hotel, Belfast for a day of the best vegan food the island has to offer.
Wander through the vendors and stalls for your favourite plant-based foods with all proceeds raised going towards the Farplace Animal Rescue, a charity focused on helping animals.

April 26-28: West Waterford Food Festival, Dungarvan
The West Waterford Festival of Food is the annual showcase of all that is on offer in Dungarvan and surrounding regions from local food producers, restaurateurs and hospitality providers.
Since 2008 the festival has grown to be one of the most successful, best loved and well attended in the country, where foodies, foragers, farmers and families can explore the region and learn its rich food heritage.
To find the full range of events on offer over the weekend, visit: https://www.westwaterfordfestivaloffood.com/

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