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 during the city’s annual Harvest Festival. The festival will have multiple events taking place under three strands of ‘Grow’ ‘Cook’ and ‘Eat’.
The GROW strand takes place in the GROW Fest Marquee at Arundel Square in the centre of Waterford City and is hosted by RTE’s Ella McSweeney.
“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.”
It features a series of guest speakers and demonstrations 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’.
The GROW Fest marquee also hosts BBC broadcaster, author and journalist Alys Fowler; head gardener at Ballymaloe Susan Turner; market gardener Jim Cronin, award winning Bloom garden-designer and author Fiann O’Nuallain; garden author Lia Leendertz and some-time River Cottager Mark Diacono.
The GROW Marquee will also feature two lively discussions over the weekend. On Saturday we will discuss whether hospital food is making us sick with Professor Donal O’Shea, Dr Colin Sage, Alys Fowler, Joanna Blythman and Darina Allen.
On Sunday we will meet four 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.
The GROW marquee also hosts the national final of GIY’s Spud Off campaign in association with Bord Bia and a ‘Lovely Vegetable Competition’ with GIYers from across the country 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 unenviable task of crowning the winning vegetables.
The popular GROW HQ Kitchen in association with Waterford Chamber is back again this year, bringing some of Ireland’s leading chefs to the stunning ruins at Blackfriars in the city.
There are two unmissable double-header cookery demos featuring siblings Darina Allen and Rory O’Connell, and husband and wife Tom and Johann Doorley.
Also featuring in the GROW HQ Kitchen are Lilly Higgins, fermentation guru Gaby Wieland, Chef Adrian and local food hero Irene Queally from Pip & Pear – all of whom will 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.
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 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.”
For tickets and details see www.giyinternational.org/grow_fest