Top names in food and food growing from across the globe have been announced for the annual GIY GROW Fest, which takes place in Waterford from September 11th to 13th.
The festival will have multiple events taking place under three strands of ‘Grow’ ‘Cook’ and ‘Eat’. Food writer and former grower at River Cottage Mark Diacono will be getting the festivities underway with a ‘Wild Cocktail Club’ event set to take place on the evening of Friday September 11th. It promises a wild and quirky soiree of cocktails and food mixology and a head to head ‘cocktail-off’ with forager and grower extraordinaire Hans Wieland. Mark and Hans will demonstrate a wilderness inspired showstopper in the atmospheric surrounds of Blackfriars.
On Saturday, September 12th the GROW Fest Marquee at Arundel Square in the centre of Waterford City will host a series of guest speakers throughout the day including an in-depth exploration with internationally respected investigative food journalist Joanna Blythman on her latest book ‘Swallow This- an expose of the food industry’. Afternoon talks and demos feature BBC broadcaster, author and journalist Alys Fowler; Head Gardener at Ballymaloe Susan Turner; and award winning Bloom garden-designer and author Fiann O’Nuallain. There will also be an in-depth discussion on Hospital Food hosted by RTE’s Ella McSweeney with Joanna Blythman being joined by Professor Donal O’Shea and Darina Allen.
In the GROW HQ Kitchen we have an unmissable double-header cookery demo featuring siblings Darina Allen and Rory O’Connell. Lilly Higgins and Chef Adrian will also cook up a storm during their demos featuring an abundance of fresh locally grown ingredients.
On Saturday evening festivalgoers have the opportunity to enjoy a very special GIY Market Feast at the GROW Marquee. It will feature the finest locally grown, seasonal produce grown by Head Grower Dermot Carey at the GIY Market Garden on a menu devised in partnership with local award winning restaurant MOMO.
Sunday morning sees a competitive air about GROW Fest as a ‘Lovely Vegetable Competition’ is set to take place. GIYers from across the country are encouraged to enter their massive marrows, plump plums and top tubers in a competition aimed at finding the country’s finest vegetables. Super Garden Judge Gary Graham has the difficult task of crowning the winning vegetables.
The GROW Marquee will feature 4 incredible women putting food growing back in the centre of Irish communities – Sara Venn of Incredible Edible in Bristol, Joanne Butler of OURganics, Caroline Jolley of St Brigids and Edel Tobin of the New Street Gardens. GIY’s favourite Minister for Health Fiann O’Nuallain will talk about growing superfoods. In the GROW HQ Kitchen Tom and Johann Doorley, Mark Diacono and Gaby Wieland will cook up some tasty treats and there will also be the final of the National Spud Off in association with Bord Bia where we will crown Ireland’s tastiest tuber.
Commenting on the 2015 festival line up founder of GIY Michael Kelly said, “We are delighted to host such a varied and extensive programme for the 2015 GROW Fest. This is the seventh year that we have hosted this event and it is by far the most ambitious with a very impressive line-up of hugely respected international names in the world of food. This mix of practical and philosophical events really can’t be found anywhere else in the country so it is a fantastic opportunity for anyone with an interest in reconnecting with their food.”