Sunday May 26th 2013
Sheridans Cheesemongers hosted our fourth Irish food festival on Sunday 26th May, here at our Virginia Road Station headquarters in Co Meath. A huge array of Ireland’s top food producers were here to sell, sample and talk about their wonderful foods. The idea of this annual event is to bring together the people who make the foods and the customers who love it. The criteria for the stalls are that the food is made in Ireland, is of great quality and that the people behind the stalls are the people who made the food.
It was a day of family fun and celebration that brought together over eighty of the best artisan food producers from around Ireland and was supported by well over five thousand enthusiastic food lovers. Families wandered from stall to stall chatting to the producers and tasting the magnificent array of Irish made foods.
People travelled from all over Ireland to visit the fair, these food loving pilgrims were joined by a massive turnout from the local communities of Meath and the surrounding counties.
As well as the food stalls where customers were able to buy and sample the products, there were plenty of stalls cooking hot food and lots of space for picnicking which was well utilised as the sun smiled on us (for most of the day!). We also had an amazing line up of workshops with Irish food producers and chefs, as well as free children’s entertainment, live music courtesy of “Early House Jazz” and traditional fair games organised by the local GAA club.
This year; inspired by the success at home and abroad of our Sheridans Irish Brown Bread Crackers; we introduced a new feature showcasing that most quintessentially Irish of foods – Brown Bread. We held a national brown bread competition and had entries from all over Ireland. The judging was overseen by Leila **** from the ICA aided by Maura Sheridan and Seamus Sheridan who had teams of onsite foodies tasting all the breads to narrow down the selection. The Brown Bread Tent also featured an onsite competition for kids from local schools, and guided by Pauric White from the forge Restaurant, the five teams of three lovingly baked their bread to various recipes. The breads were then judged by Donal Skehan. We also had a workshop with Kevin and Seamus’ mother baking her own traditional brown bread along with Richard Graham Leigh who bakes our Sheridans Brown Bread Crackers. All the local schools also got involved in a drawing competition which had “baking” as its theme, and the walls of the tent were entirely covered with their wonderful entries.
Carnaross National School won the schools brown Bread Competition and Maria O’Reilly from Cavan was the Supreme Champion in the National Brown Bread Competition.
Check out Donal Skehan’s behind the scenes footage of the festival featuring the brown bread tent
Our workshops this year were a great success we had two outdoor guided trips, one on wild foods with chef Enda McEvoy and also a trip next door to the Forge to witness sustainability in action with Pauric White.
Our indoor workshops kicked off with a kids baking demo with Nessa Robins where the children got to be hands on with yummy carrot cake buns using local ingredients.
Sausage Making with Ed Hick followed suit and was hugely popular with adults and children alike. Kevin Sheridan entertained everyone along with Cam from Eight Degrees Brewing with unusual flavour combinations, matching Irish farmhouse cheese with a variety of craft beers. Pauric White educated his audience on all aspects of choosing, buying, preparing and cooking fish. The line up was finished off with a sausage taste test, hosted by Ella McSweeney. The audience got to blind test sausages from all the producers at the show, all of whom were on hand to be quizzed about their sausages. We threw in two industrially produced sausages (a supermarket own brand and best selling named brand), and it was heartening to see that quality won out and neither came on the favourite list for anyone attending!
2013 Line Up…
We were delighted to have so many of Ireland’s best and most loved producers in attendance
A selection of producers who attended…
88 Food Co., Aine’s Chocolate’s, Alex’s Pate, Ardrahan Farmhouse Cheese, Ardsallagh Goat Farm, Aruna Sauce Co, Bellingham Blue Cheese, Boyne Valley Blue Cheese, Burkes Farm Ice Cream, Cashel Blue Cheeses, Cahill’s Farm, Castlemine Farm, Coffee Angel, Con Traas Apple Farm, Cookies of Character, Cooleeney Cheese, Cratloe Hills Sheep Cheese, Crepes in the City, Dave’s Relish, David Llewellyn’s Apple Farm, Derrycamma Farm, Doherty’s Butchers, Dunany Organic Flour, Durrus Farmhouse Cheese, Ed Hick Pork Butcher, Floods Butchers, Forge Restaurant, GIY North Meath, Green Saffron Spice Co., Jack McCarthy Meats, Janet’s Country Fayre, Jane Russell’s Straight Sausages, Kilbeg Dairy Delights, Killycoony House Preserves, Killeen Farmhouse Cheese, Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese, Lilliput Foods, Lily’s Tea Shop, The Little Milk Co, Man of Aran Fudge, Martin Sawiki Breads, Mella’s Fudge, Mic’s Chilli, Natasha’s Living Food, Olivia’s Chocolates,Organic Herb Co, On The Pigs Back, Pollocks Pickles, Richard Hogan Fruit and Veg, Rogan’s Smokehouse, Susi Foods.
What others have to say about our festival…
“I had a wonderful day out at Sheridans Irish Food Festival last year. What struck me most was the relaxed family atmosphere which was encouraged by the Sheridan brothers and all their staff, and It was really fantastic to see so many of Ireland’s top food producers there and to see how celebrated they were by all who attended, young and old. Many travelled from all corners of Ireland but there was a lovely sense of the local community coming together to celebrate food”, Darina Allen, Ballymaloe
“My year would never be complete without attending Sheridans Irish Food Festival, it really is my favourite annual outdoor event. The atmosphere which Sheridans create is totally unique in Ireland. Combined with the range of events, workshops and the cream of Irish artisan food producer stands, this is the perfect way to spend a day out.” Janet Drew, Janet’s Country Fayre
“My Family and I come down lock stock and barrell for the festival each year. As someone who has attended many a market across the land it never ceases to amaze me how genuine, relaxed and convivial the Sheridans make theirs. The kids are well used to attending foodie events, but this is the one they always enjoy the most!” Ed Hick, Ed Hick’s Pork Butcher
View some photos from 2013 and previous years here