While Grianan of Aileach will be re-conquered this weekend with an invasion of people celebrating the ancient fort’s heritage and culture, another big invasion will be taking place just down the road in Bridgend, where Harry’s Restaurant is hosting Inishfood 2012.
Ireland’s top food, wine and beer experts will be making their way to Donegal from the four corners of the country for a weekend long celebration of all things culinary.
Events range from enjoying wood-fired pizzas and Irish craft beers at the Drift Inn on Friday night to workshops at Harry’s on making your own sourdough bread (Thibault Peigne) and mixing your own ‘Twisted Irish Cocktails’ (Hayden Lambert of the Merchant Hotel and Oisin Davis of Sugar Club).
There’s also foraging for food on the shores of Lough Swilly (with Sally McKenna of Bridgestone Guides, Manus McGonagle of Quality Sea Veg and Enda McEvoy of Aniar Restaurant), a ‘Going Native’ farm breeds tasting session with Ella McSweeney of RTE and a Pick & Taste walk through Harry’s Walled Garden with Dermot Carey of Harry’s and Trevor Sargent of Trevor’s Kitchen Garden.
As if all of that wasn’t enough to get your mouth watering, there will also be two very, very special dinners on offer.
On Saturday night, Harry’s chef Raymond Moran will create his own No Name Menu, which will accompanied by matching craft beers from Caroline Hennessy of Bibliocook.
And, on Sunday night, the pièce de résistance! A Fringe Event at 7.30pm in Harry’s that is, I’m afraid to say, is already booked out - the Donegal Chef’s Homecoming Feast.
This mega-meal features a once-off menu from Kwanghi Chan of the Cliff House Hotel, Gary O Hanlon of Viewmount House in Longford, Stephen Gibson of Pichet Restaurant in Dublin, Derek Creagh of Finnebrogue in Downpatrick, and Sharon Harkin of L’Écrivan in Dublin.
“There’s been tremendous interest in Inishfood from right around the country,” Donal Doherty of Harry’s told the Donegal Democrat. “Advance booking for all events has been very strong and we know from accommodation providers that a lot of visitors are travelling to Donegal for the weekend especially for Inishfood.
“When you combine that with everything that’s happening at Féile Grianán Àiligh on Sunday, it promises to be an exceptional weekend and one that everyone will be talking about for a long time to come.”
A range of ticket options are on offer including an all-inclusive weekend pass that takes in the Féile and all tastings. There will also be a ‘Park and Ride’ in operation on Sunday from Harry’s Car Park to the Grianán and back.
To book, ring Harry’s on 074 936 8544 or email info@harry’s.ie.