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Kenmare Food Carnival: A New Food Festival with Heart and Soul

My view over Sheen Falls from Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare

The west coast of Ireland is a wonderful place. Rolling green fields and an aching tortuous sky, often grey but sometimes a charming blue. The torture is that you never know whether it is going to be the nice sky, or the sad sky. That is Ireland for you. Often the grey sky meets an identical grey sea, but then sometimes charms you when it beams and pairs with billowing white clouds and a pale blue choppy sea.

Who goes to Ireland for the weather though? No one. You go to Ireland for the people, the pretty landscape, and increasingly, for the great food festivals.

We love a parade, and we love Willy Wonka, so it was inevitable that the Oompa Loompas would turn up at some point

Last week I went to Kenmare in Kerry for the new Kenmare Food Carnival. The Kerry landscape is our most dramatic, with the closest thing we have to real mountains. The wild Atlantic caresses the Kerry shores, there is bountiful produce and more than its fair share of rain, but this is what makes it so lovely. Not the rain itself but the results of it.

Kenmare is Ireland’s only town with more restaurants than pubs (I am told) with a population of approx 2000 people. The Carnival was put together by a passionate group of locals who love food and love Kenmare. I was delighted to participate with a cooking demo – based around brunch in this instance – and a book signing. For the rest of the time I was happily joining in.

Giggling at the cooking demo whilst being introduced by MC Chef Derick. Can’t remember what we were laughing at.

I was going to post about all of it now, but my crappy laptop, as well as having no F9 key and a work shy delete button, now no longer has a working USB port. I really need to upgrade, this crappy little thing was supposed to be a temporary fix when my Powerbook died two years ago.

So, for now, I will share the photos that I had on my phone and two from the demo donated to me by lovely Wendy who attended – thank you.

We can live with that for now, eh?

Comfort & Spice Book Signing at Kenmare Food Carnival

Darina Allen having fun while cooking up some Kenmare mussels



Filed under: Random


Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.


  1. Nice post Niamh – I love Kenmare and was there while completing the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle two weeks ago. It was always a “cutting edge” destination for great food and obviously continues to be so. I’m increasingly impressed by Killarney, however, which used to be the tacky poor Kerry relation with cheap souvenir shops and an overwhelming smell of horse shite. No so now! I think the chef at the Killarney Park – a proud Kerryman – has raised the bar for fine dining at fair prices; likewise the Ross is producing some outstanding food tailored to the young and beautiful. I’ve also been really impressed with WestEndHouse in its latest incarnation. The “Pay as you please” is a breath of fresh air and Cucina Italiana e il miglior ristorante italiano in Irlanda in questo momento although I do think they need to tweak prices still as it’s pricey.

    • Really good to know – thanks! And I am sure other readers will appreciate this. I am hoping to go back to Kerry in the Autumn so will try and check it out.

  2. sahrishali says

    Great post Niamh. I love to read about food. Look, they are really enjoying this food festival. And please upgrade your laptop soon :P We want to see more good pictures.

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