‘FOODIES’ from all over the west salivated and sampled the delicious culinary tastes on offer over the weekend before last and gave a big ‘thumbs up’ to the inaugural Westport Food Festival.
The ‘Come Dine with Me’ dinner that opened the festival on Friday night was a resounding success with all tickets sold out in advance. The event provided an opportunity to savour a six-course meal with wines for €35 and these were prepared by ten of Westport’s finest chefs.
Organisers said they were delighted with the response and added that space allowing they could have sold at least another 600 tickets. Festival director Orla O’Malley said, “We were inundated with enquiries for tickets. Diners had the opportunity to vote for their favourite course at the Come Dine With Me event and the winner on the night was Seamus Commons from Knockranny House for his stunning dessert of Apple Mousse, Parfait, Nut Tart Crumble Doughnut Jelly, Burnt Butter Ice Cream.”
Over 2,500 people visited the Festival Food Village on the Mall and the Food Producers Fringe at the Clock Tower. Many of the stalls at the Festival Food Village were sold out by mid-afternoon on Saturday.
Kevin Dundon’s SuperValu sponsored demonstrations in the Food Village were very well attended. The wine tasting event with Wines Direct at Hotel Westport was fully attended and entry to the Marquee on the Quay which hosted Sunday’s demonstrations and barbecue was closed off at 3pm due to full capacity.
The festival committee have already received bookings for next year and plans are afoot to build on this year’s success and organise a second Westport Food Festival in 2012. Festival director Orla O’Malley concluded, “The demand is there for a festival of this kind. We have built the foundations for a successful festival and we hope that next year’s event will be even bigger and better.”