Some of the most influential figures from the food, hospitality and agri-business sectors will feature at the West Waterford Festival of Food which will take place next weekend, from April 14-16.

Farm visits, spotlighting growers and sustainable farming, an Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA) Cook Camp, and panel discussions on the future of farming are all part of the programme.

The three-day festival shines a spotlight on locally produced wholesome food and chefs from the county.

It will incorporate more than 70 events in the scenic harbour town of Dungarvan, along with nearby Lismore and throughout the West Waterford region, making it a truly local celebration with huge community heart behind it.

Encouraging a greater awareness of the connection between food, farming and country life is a strong theme of the festival.

West Waterford Festival of Food programme of events

‘Bia not Bluster’ will see thought-provoking talks about the future of the food industry, facilitated. If you’re interested in hearing about change in the Irish food industry, this entertaining event curated by conversation starter Richard Jacob is not to be missed.

Influential speakers will dive into topics from sustainability and the future of farming to the shifting nature of restaurants.

One of the key topics for discussion is: The future of farming. Quality, quantity, or both? The influential panellists for this will include Joe Gill from; Clotilde Kiely from; Donal Sheehan from; and Conor Mulhall of

‘Bia not Bluster’ is free to attend and takes place on Saturday, April 15, at Dungarvan Town Hall from 11:00a.m until 3:45p.m.

Several fun ‘Bus Bia’ tours will run for the weekend. Participants will embark on a fun-filled and informative adventure through the countryside of West Waterford where they will spend the morning with food producers, learn about organic vegetable growing, sustainable farming and bees, before enjoying lunch.

West Waterford
Mairead Ní Coistin, an organic vegetable grower from An Rinn who will be hosting one of the farm visits at the festival

Buses will depart on Saturday from Shandon Car Park at 10:00a.m and the event fee is €30.

‘Gather at the Mart’ for ham sandwiches and crisps, music, laughter, and family stories at
Dungarvan Mart on Friday and Saturday evening. The entry fee is €30.

Also popping up at the unusual location of Dungarvan Mart will be two events with a musical theme. Visitors are invited to gather around the table of Clancy’s Kitchen on Friday night as the second generation of the famed Waterford musical family will regale with songs, stories, and music from the household of the Clancy Brothers.

Then on Saturday night, renowned singer-songwriters Mike Hanrahan and Eleanor Shanley will bring an evening of songs and stories, fusing food and music and drawing on their personal passions for both.

In true mart tradition, a simple supper of ham sandwiches, crisps and mulled apple juice will be provided at both events.

ICA Cook Camp will see members of Waterford ICA demonstrate some of their favourite recipes, both traditional and modern, at Deise Day Care Centre on the Saturday, from 2:30-4:30p/m. Tickets cost €5 and pre booking is required.


Family farm bus routes were exceptionally popular this year and have all sold out. Festival goers will be enjoying visits to farms and growers in An Rinn and the Comeraghs learning about organic vegetables, sustainable dairy farming, meeting cows, calves, ducks and chickens.

There will be traditional farmers’ market and country markets on the Thursday and Friday in Dungarvan town, and food stalls along the quayside on Saturday, culminating in a gigantic outdoor market in Dungarvan town square on the Sunday.

Commenting ahead of the food filled weekend, festival director Eunice Power said: “Over the years the festival, which has been a showcase of the food of the region, provides a forum for important conversations around food as well as hosting many top chefs, with fresh interesting venues and diverse influences.

West Waterford
Eunice Power, festival director with Teddy Drohan aged 4 at Dungarvan Farmers’ Market launching this year’s West Waterford Festival of Food

“This is one festival where there is something for everyone. For 2023, the theme is the continuing adventure of Irish food, hearing from food producers, food economists, chefs, and restaurateurs about the ever-changing landscape of Irish food.”

The eclectic programme also includes a gala dinner at Lismore Castle, a ‘chefs on trial’ event, pop-up experiences and wellness events.

Part of the charm of the West Waterford Festival of Food is how bespoke the festival experience can be, according to the organisers.

Whether you wander the stalls, dip into a food trail, pop to an event or learn about more sustainable practices and food waste reduction, there is plenty to whet your appetite.

The West Waterford Festival of Food is funded by Waterford Council, Waterford Leader Partnership, Fáilte Ireland, and Waterford LEO and supported by sponsors, a friends circle and the community.

Pre-booking is highly recommended to avoid disappointment.