Airfield Estate, Dublin city’s 38 acre working farm, will throw open its gates this September 9th to 11th for the return of its Festival of Food. Foodie fans are invited to visit Ireland’s largest urban food and farming experience for a special weekend focussing on food sustainability including climate, waste, health, seasons and a showcase of great Irish food. Be prepared to question how we engage with our food, from how we produce it to how we use it. The festival offers the very best of Irish food and drink over a weekend packed with workshops, talks, food markets, unique dining experiences and activities for all ages. Entrance to the festival is FREE with some events ticketed.
Friday September 9th will see the launch of Airfield’s first Trash Bash Supper. Diners are in for a unique dining experience where Airfield’s Food Rescue team, including Head Chef Jose Carbajo, will create a sumptuous supper from unloved surplus food from around Dublin. Boundaries will be pushed on what people currently accept as food waste, with diners learning how fermentation can play a role in reducing food waste. Tickets cost €25 per person.
Fans of Channel 4’s River Cottage shows can also be treated to a special culinary taste experience. Famed for its Cookery School, unique dining experiences and memorable events, River Cottage’s hard-hitting campaigns have changed the eating habits of a nation and improved the welfare and sustainability of animals and fish. Joining the Airfield Festival of Food, the River Cottage Dining Experience takes place in Overends Restauranton Saturday 10th from 7pm to 11pm with chef Gelf Alderson curating a seasonal dining experience. Tickets cost €65 per person.
Education remains at the core of Airfield Estate’s ethos and over the course of the weekend the theme of food sustainability including climate, waste, health, seasons and a great Irish food will be brought to life through a series of fun and engaging workshops and talks. Met Eireann’s Joanna Donnelly will be on hand to talk about meteorology, Ireland’s climate and creating the weather forecast; Valerie O’Connor tackles fermented foods and shows how they are loaded with natural probiotics, which encourage a healthy and happy gut as well as boosting your immunity and keeping bugs at bay; and Conor Saunders of SmartEaters will be on hand to inspire with his insights into nutrition and health.
Over 40 artisan food and drink producers will showcase their fresh produce, including Hibernia pop up tented food experience showcasing the very best of Irish meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables and stone oven bakery; The Little Milk Company will display their award-winning artisan cheeses; ProU will have their delicious and premium Irish dairy yoghurts; Wild Irish Foods who produce wild, natural, indigenous Irish teas and foods; Ruby’s Fine Foods, handmade jams, marmalades and chutneys; Kefi Ice-cream, truly healthy ice-cream made from kefir, a type of fermented milk; and Glendalough Distillery, creators of innovative spirits which stay true to the tradition and heritage of its ancestors; as well as Camolin Potting Shed, specialists in unusual herbaceous perennials, clematis and rare plants.
Continuing the River Cottage partnership, their Head Gardener Will Livingstone travels to Dundrum to joinAirfield’s Head Food Grower Kitty Scully for a series of gardening workshops. ‘Growing Through The Seasons’ sees Will and Kitty present a fun and informative session on keeping your garden healthy and productive through the seasons, with no shortage of tips to keep you busy and your garden abundant all year round. ‘Savouring The Seasons’ sees the gardener and food grower teach attendees about the art of harvesting, storing and seed saving so you can continue to savour the flavour of your garden throughout the seasons.
Family events taking place over the weekend include Fiona Dillon, creator of Freddy Buttons, who will entertain children with a reading and chat with them about the fun of growing our own food; ReCreate presents the ‘Reclaim Design’ centre where families can make their own pieces of art from recycled materials; the ‘Waste Not Want Not Exhibition’ features six artists including Carol O’Connor and Dave West who have created pieces of art which aim to create a talking point about waste, pollution and the environment; and the Junk Band music centre allows families and kids to drop by and explore sound using recycled objects. Other activities include helping to collect the eggs Airfield’s hens lay, taste the Jersey cows’ creamy milk after they’ve been milked, and even go foraging on the estate for blackberries and other simple edibles.
Speaking about the Airfield Festival of Food CEO Grainne Kelliher said: “Airfield is a charitable trust set up by the Overend family who worked hard to address the food and health related challenges of their time. In the same way, we want the Festival of Food to inspire people to really think about how they engage with food for positive health and environmental impact, all in a fun, engaging and interactive way. We invite visitors of all ages to attend the festival for free and take part in our extensive programme of activities.”
Admission to the Airfield Festival Of Food is free, with some events ticketed – Trash Bash Supper, River Cottage Dining Experience, River Cottage Workshops and Valerie O’Connor’s Fermented Foods Workshop. To view the full festival programme and purchase tickets visit www.airfield.ie