The Christmas season kicks off in style for food lovers at the Festive Food Fest in Newport on Friday next, November 21.
The festival will see well-known chefs sharing their Christmas cooking secrets, with cake decoration and cocktail making demonstrations and tastings from some of Mayo’s newest food and drink producers.
Tommy Marren from Midwest Radio is the master of ceremonies for the evening and all of the proceeds go to Cuan Modh Day Centre for senior citizens.
Three chefs will demonstrate Christmas recipes and share a few trade secrets and ideas along the way.
Seamus Commons, head chef at Knockranny House Hotel, is a leading light in the world of Irish food. Having previously worked in L'Ecrivan restaurant in Dublin, he returned to Mayo a decade ago and has been instrumental in making Knockranny House Hotel a top, gourmet destination.
He has been described by The Bridgestone Guide as “one of the great chefs of his generation”. His trophy cabinet is full to bursting with gold medals, AA Rosettes and awards.
Jonathan Keane of Lisloughry Lodge is one of the brightest young stars on the Mayo food scene. He is well known in Westport from his time at The Mill Times and has burst onto the national stage since moving to Lisloughry.
He has declared his intention to champion west of Ireland artisan producers to the best of his ability, and lives the truth of this daily through his menus.
The third demonstrating chef is on his home turf. Aiden Cullinane, originally from Ballina, is now at the helm as head chef in Hotel Newport and has some seasonal specials to share with guests.
A glorious combination at any time of year, the cocktail demonstrations will have a seasonal twist. Cocktail maker Brian Ruane, from Hotel Newport, will be demonstrating the fun and techniques of his art.
Stephanie Fallon, whose mission in life is to make delicious cakes using the best natural ingredients around, will share her cake decorating secrets, without the use of artificial food flavourings and preservatives. Ms Fallon is a cake decoration wizard and promises to share her expertise at this fantastic charity night.
As well as all of this, some of Mayo’s newest food and beer producers will be there to give tastings of their superb produce.
Everyone will receive a free Celebration Booklet, with recipes and memories from the clients of Cuan Modh Day Centre, plus some information on the fantastic facility itself, which was opened back in 2008 by President Mary McAleese.
The booklet has been put together by the volunteers who run Cuan Modh.
The night will also see a wine and oyster reception and a raffle with a real gourmet prize, making the Festive Food Fest an evening not to be missed.
Tickets are just €20 and are available from Hotel Newport.