Kinsale featured on a strong shortlist of ten towns competing for the title of Ireland’s top Foodie Town 2014. In the end the title went to Dingle, but Liam Edwards, Chairman of Kinsale’s Good Food Circle, was very positive about the competition, “We were thrilled to make the short list for this prestigious award, which has provided a welcome boost for tourism in the town.”
The judges were looking for towns that actively use food festivals, farmers’ markets, gourmet trails and a range of dining experiences to attract visitors. They were welcomed to Kinsale on May 28 on one of the sunniest days of the year. An open-air meal was cooked up in Market Square, in a true community effort including baking from Transition Year students from Kinsale Community School, salad leaves from Horizon Farm, mussels, prawns crabs and oysters from both Haven Shellfish and the traditional fishing fleet. Butcher John Barrett barbecued homemade sausages, which were served on plates painted by local schoolchildren. The judges’ marks counted for 50 per cent, and 50 per cent was decided by online voting from the public.
Kinsale has already been in the news both nationally and internationally this year as the starting point of the new touring route, the Wild Atlantic Way. Kinsale’s Good Food Circle, which promotes the local fine dining experience at eleven member-restaurants, coordinated the town’s entry. This year will see Kinsale’s GFC host its 38th International Gourmet Festival (10-12 October), the longest-running in Ireland. Kinsale was the first Transition Town, having pioneered the movement in 2005, and has a thriving farmers’ market.
Liam Edwards thanked the people of Kinsale, “Community participation was a big feature of our campaign, and we would like to thank all who took part in our presentation to the judges. The spirit of co-operation is a major factor in Kinsale’s high reputation as a unique foodie destination.”