Festival of World Food is the perfect way of developing your culinary expertise writes Alison Lee.
Many of us have been evicted from home and turned out on the streets to fend for ourselves. Laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, and of course cooking, are essential but elusive skills that must be mastered in between all those long hours spent slogging away in the library/bar.
The Festival of World Food promises to showcase delicacies from all over the world, with stalls representing countries as diverse as Sri Lanka, Greece, Brazil, Algeria, and Mexico… think of it as a sort of edible Olympics.
Added to this, cookery demonstrations will run throughout the day, where you can discover how to re-create various traditional and international dishes for yourself. Learn to make your own sausage, your own sushi, or simply decorate a cupcake. (Technically this activity is available to the small children attending the event, but don’t stand for such blatant ageism).
If you’re feeling up to a challenge, you can take a cookery lesson from guest chef Traweekak Trakoolwattana, who’s previous employers include the King and Queen of Thailand. This might go slightly over the heads of those among us who subsist on Pot Noodles on toast but you never know what you might pick up.
Of course, no government-sponsored event could be complete without a token nod towards eco-friendliness. Thus, a huge emphasis will be placed on native Irish produce. Fresh vegetables, home baking, eggs, dairy produce and meats will be on sale – all organic and free-range. There’s even an authentic yurt to explore, and a mobile farm with live animals to coo over.
The organisers plan to lend an educational slant to the event by running workshops dealing with topics like intensive farming and wine-making. And look out for sessions instructing on composting, growing your own herbs, keeping your own chickens… just don’t actually attempt any of these green activities over at Belgrove or Roebuck.
Campus security probably won’t buy your story about how you’re just doing your bit to fix the hole in the ozone layer.
The weekend’s highlight is a hoe-down: we’re talking baked potatoes, a pig roast, corn on the cob… and best of all, Bluegrass band Prison Love will be on hand to regale festival-goers with country western tunes. Let your inner hillbilly loose for the evening and enjoy the free dinner, followed up with a spot of square-dancing.
So assuming the weather’s ok (it could happen!) head over to the park for some fun, fresh air and food. Though we warn you: this outing could make your late-night tin of Tesco-Value spaghetti hoops seem that tiny bit more depressing than usual…
The Festival of World Food takes place in Marley Park, Rathfarnam. It runs from the 4th to the 5th of October, from 10am to 6pm each day. Entry is free.