THE Harvest Festival returns this weekend (Friday, September 6 – Sunday, September 8) for its 11th renewal and, as usual, all the ingredients are there for what promises to be another feast of a festival. This year there will be markets scattered throughout the heart of the city as well as workshops, demonstrations, family fun and multiple opportunities to gorge yourselves on the finest foods throughout the city and county.
Festival Director, Tommie Ryan spoke to the Waterford News & Star this week to tell us what we can expect from Harvest 11, and, firstly, what events he’s most looking forward to.
“We have something very special this year that’s definitely a first for Waterford,” he said. “The Team Ireland butchery team, who are the current world champions, are going to be in the Dawn Meats Tent in John Roberts Square on Sunday afternoon giving butchering demos. There will be around six butchers coming from all over Ireland – absolute masters of their craft – who will do some amazing things with meat before they get ready to represent Waterford in the next International Butchery Challenge in Sacramento. It’s free, it’s different and definitely something you don’t see every day.”
On Sunday evening, Sam Burfield, Head Chef with the Tannery Restaurant, will use the cuts of meat created by Team Ireland to create some world class dishes of his own.
“GIY always bring something exciting to the table at Harvest time and this year is no different,” Tommie said. “On Friday from 6pm they’ll have their Wasted Supper Club – a meal made entirely from food waste. Sounds odd, but it’s going to be amazing and it’s already sold out. The night is even more important as it will also be the launch of Grow HQ as the Irish Hub for Chef’s Manifesto, a coming together of chefs and producers to make the world more aware of food waste.”
The markets this year will be located on Arundel Square, the top of Michael Street, Broad Street and John Roberts Square. There’ll be a huge range of artisan foodstuffs to sample from crepes to hand-made chocolates, honey to roast pork, curry to pesto and much more besides. There will also be pop-up markets in the Apple Market from Copper Coast and Food the Waterford Way.
As usual, Ballybricken will return to its golden days as a vibrant country fair, with loads of free attractions for the whole family, such as wood carving with John Hayes, a pop-up farm, birds of prey and a fairground for all the kiddies.
“Ballybricken plays such an integral part of the Harvest Festival and we’re delighted to have so much going on there again this year,” Tommie said. “Junior HQ will be up there as well as Little Red Kettle and Drum Dance Ireland. The kids are going to love it.”
In its 11 years, Harvest has grown to be one of the best festivals in Ireland and people are going to be absolutely spoilt for choice again this year as there will be live music on Arundel Square, food demos with people like the GastroGays and very special food experiences across the county including; Mexican Day at Number 9, A Meat Lover’s Feast at Bodega, Street Food Feast at Sabai, Seaweed celebration at Momo, pop up Asian lunch at Everett’s, Afternoon tea at La Boheme and the Grand Finale Dinner at Faithlegg.