"On Saturday I attended the Off The Street LK Food Festival behind the Orchard Inn in Letterkenny. It was my first time attending the festival, but i could tell by the weekend schedule that it was going to be an excellent event! It didn't disappoint! Once I stepped onto the fest grounds, I was greeted with the fresh smells of coffee, baked treats and bbq smoked dishes! It was hard to decide where to start so I took out my phone and had a look at the festival schedule. Just then I heard the sounds of a marching band. I turned around to see the LSAB Letterkenny band marching into the fest followed by the Cullivoe Up Helly Aa viking fest performers. It was a great opening to the fest.
A cooking demo from Brian Mc Monagle was coming up so I decided to have a browse around the grounds before it started. It wasn't long before I had purchased three delicious jams from Rub's Fine Foods and packets of nutritious vegetable stock from Carol's Stock Market. I then had a look at the different bakery and food stalls, deciding what I was going have for lunch later! I also had a look at the Baavet Ireland - GreenerMe Stall, which displayed high quality 100% sheep wool duvets and other products, which looked super cosy!
I headed into the stage tent and took my seat for the Dunfahaghy Arnolds Hotel cooking demo. I'm not a big sea food fan but Chef Brian Mc Monagle made his meals look so delicious and easy to make. Everyone enjoyed a sample of the dish afterwards. After the demo, I walked around the grounds again and sampled cheeses at the Tom and Ollie stall and purchased some smoked cheddar. You can't have smoked cheese without the chutney and so I headed back to the Birds and the Teas stall, where I had been sampling nearly every jam and chutney on display earlier in the day. After further indecision, i eventually chose the perfect apple chutney! Some interesting producer talks were then held in the tent and afterwards, singer/songwriter Callum Keaveny took to the stage. I got myself some afternoon coffee at a little beverage vendor and had a chat with the lovely owners. I also got a warm goats cheese tart at another vendor and watched Callum's performance of uplifting pop rock covers.
A great cooking demo by TV3 Chef Kwangi Chan then took place followed by a talk from the newly launched tour company Donegal Food Tours. I aim to book one of their tours before the year is out! What I enjoyed the most about the Off The Street LK food fest was the friendliness and the knowledge portrayed by all the stall owners. At every stall I went to I was given advice about how to make the most out of the products I was purchasing. Each vendor knew their industry well and they all wanted to supply their customers with delicious and top quality products. The fest proves that not only does shopping local benefit the local economy, but it also means that we as customers can enjoy the best food and drink out there! I thoroughly enjoyed my day and look forward to returning to the fest again next year. Thanks for reading! Deirdre "