I've had a stall at the farmers' market since 2007 and as a result, the weekend of the food festival was always one of the busiest of my entire year. It was even busier when I had the café as I took part in the Taste Trail too. (I remember going to sleep at 1am on the Friday of the food festival in 2012 and setting my alarm to get up again at 4.30am - painful memories!)
This year will be different. I'm taking a sabbatical, which means I can attend all the cookery demonstrations and workshops I want, savouring the atmosphere on the streets and sampling deliciousness as I go.
Top of my agenda are cookery demonstrations from:
- Rory O'Connell of Ballymaloe renown
- Mark Moriarty who recently won the title of San Pellegrino Young Chef of the year (which means he's the best young chef in the world!)
- French chef Michel LeBorgne
- And spice supremo Arun Kapil of Green Saffron fame.
I also hope to attend the fermentation workshop. I'm intrigued by the sound of the TRADEIT project, which will showcase 20 food producers from all over Europe.
And then there's the Taste Trail. Seventy six of Dingle's shops, pubs, art galleries, cafés, restaurants and breweries will host food producers from all over the peninsula who will sell samples of their most delicious food. I'm already eagerly anticipating the likes of Dingle Bay crabmeat and monkfish thermidor tartlets, Derry Clarke's Dingle Vodka-cured salmon with pickled baby vegetables and sea herbs, porchetta with homemade bread and caramelised onions and adventures in Valhrona chocolate...
I can't wait for this year's festival. Will any of you be there?