October has been designated Laois TASTE Month with a range of events organised to showcase what the county has to offer.
You are invited to sample the tastes, meet the makers, network, make connections and celebrate!
There is something for everyone, whether you have your own food/drink business, are thinking of setting up a new business or maybe you just have a passion for food.
Laois Food and Craft Festival ‘Meet the Makers’
When: Each Friday in October and Friday, November 1 – 9am 2pm
Where: Peppers Lane, Portlaoise, Co Laois.
Friday, October 4 – Meet the Crafters Event
To celebrate the start of Laois TASTE Month, the Farmers’ Market in Peppers Lane Portlaoise will be hosting craft demonstrations at various stalls throughout the market.
The Laois Craft Group will be demonstrating how to decoupage. Hilary O’Connor of “Make it interesting fabrics and trimmings” will be showcasing one of her up-cycled pieces and will be available to answer any questions you may have on up-cycling old furniture.
Friday, October 18 – Ceol agus Bia Event
A celebration of Laois Food and Music. There will be traditional music along with food samples provided by the Laois Food Producers.
Friday, October 25 – Farmers Market Hamper Draw
Anyone who purchases an item in the Farmers’ Market during the month of October will be entered into a free draw for a hamper compiled of delicious produce from the Farmers’ Market. The draw will take place on 25th October.
Friday, November 1 – Harvest Festival
To wrap up Laois TASTE month the Laois Farmers’ Market willbe celebrating the end of the Harvest Season with live music & children’s entertainment.
The Portlaoise branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann will be providing music throughout the morning.
Ballykilcavan Hop Picking
When: Sunday, October 6 – 10am-3pm
Where: Ballykilcavan Brewery, Ballykilcavan, Co. Laois.
Price: Free but spaces are limited.
Every autumn, the brewers at Ballykilcavan Brewery make a unique Irish beer using water, barley and hops sourced exclusively from the 380 year old, 13th generation family farm at Ballykilcavan, near Stradbally, Co. Laois.
This is the third year of the annual hop picking event where we select the best, tastiest hops from the hop garden behind the new brewery and then watch them being used to make the 2019 vintage of the Ballykilcavan fresh hopped pale ale.
Join us at 10am to get a tour of the hop garden and then help to pick the bittering and aroma hops straight from the bines.
We’ll collect them all together, and then bring them back to the brewery (which is only 400 metres away), and you can experience the smells and sounds of a full brew day as we add the freshly collected hops to the beer.
While the brewers are working away, there’ll be a BBQ lunch and a chance to enjoy a few Ballykilcavan beers.
Free entry and suitable for all. Please bring wellies or good footwear and a pair of gardening gloves.
This event has limited places available. Booking is essential through the website.
Welcome to Taste
When: Thursday, October 17, at 7.30pm
Where: Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise, Co. Laois.
Price: Tickets – €20
Come and savour all the great tastes of Laois. This wonderful evening will tantalise the taste buds & showcase locally grown food and drink.
The evening will begin with a drinks reception. Enjoy An Sean Teach Gin and Crème Liqueur, craft beers from 12 Acres Brewing Company and Ballykilcavan Farm & Brewery or locally roasted Seccoto Coffee.
Darina Allen takes to the stage at 8pm and is proud to be showcasing exciting artisan producers in her home county. Darina is a celebrated Irish & International chef, food writer, TV personality and founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School.
Darina will also be signing copies of her new cookbook ‘One Pot Feeds All’ on the night.
Renowned chef, author and proprietor Andrew Rudd of Medley Ballintubbert House and Fleet St, Dublin will demonstrate some inspiring and innovative recipes using local Laois produce to create mouth-watering dishes.
Now it’s your chance to meet the Makers, Growers, Brewers, Distillers and Farmers. Enjoy a tasty sample of fresh, locally sourced seasonal food. Find out what’s grown and produced locally and where to buy it, taste and eat it.
Nature’s Bounties at Ballintubbert
When: Sunday, October 20 – 2pm-5.30pm
Where: Ballintubbert House & Gardens, Ballintubbert,
Price: Tickets – €25
Join Julie of Wild Food Kildare and Jennifer from Ballintubbert Gardens for this exclusive one-off event.
Dating back to the late 18th century, Ballintubbert was the birthplace of poet laureate Cecil Day Lewis, and once home to actor John Hurt.
It boasts 14 acres of beautiful landscape arranged around a Georgian House – a real opportunity for the garden, history and wild food lover.
Julie is our Wild Food and Foraging expert who works with wild fruit, plants and fungi preserved from nature as food and medicine.
Julie and Jennifer will bring you for a leisurely walk through the historic gardens of Ballintubbert and together will discuss the plants that can be found along the way.
Enjoy a cookery demonstration using some of the foods you forage including a delicious Wild Mushroom and Nettle Soup, perfect for Autumn.
Laois Food Producers will also be here on the day to nprovide some tasty treats and answer any questions.
This event is exclusive and limited to 25 places. Tickets can be purchased from Dunamaise Arts Centre by phone (057 866 3355) or online.
Health Living with Katie Connolly
When: Thursday, October 22 – 10.30am-1pm
Where: The Kitchens at Mountmellick Development Association,
Join Local Mountmellick Chef and Slimming World Consultant Katie Connolly as she demonstrates how to cook quick and easy menu options which will produce tasty alternatives to takeaway meals.
Using local produce, Katie will explore how to plan and prep your meals and also how to reduce your time in the kitchen with some batch cooking!
Some tasty treats will be available on the morning.
Upskilling the Food Sector
When: Throughout October
Where: Local Enterprise Office, County Hall, Portlaoise, Co. Laois.
For those of you wishing to enhance your business and at the same time have an opportunity to network with other businesses in the County, the Local Enterprise Office is running a number of training programmes specifically designed for the food/drinks sector during the month of October.
Learn how to use Instagram as a marketing tool for your food business, develop your online presence through Facebook marketing or learn how to build a strong brand for your food/drinks business.
These courses can be booked online through https:// www.localenterpise.ie/laois and to celebrate Laois TASTE Month, the Local Enterprise Office is offering them free of charge to any food/drinks business in Co. Laois.
As places are limited, early booking is advisable. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register your attendance.
Samhain Masked Event, Ballintubbert
Join us for a night in the Orchard, awakening ancient traditions and spirits.
Feast on a five-course tasting menu, focused around wild game and local produce, prepared by Chef Andy Illsley, finished over the fire.
A night celebrating the pagan traditions of Samhain whilst feasting in the orchards of historic Ballintubbert house & gardens.
Wear a mask, don a costume and be something else for an evening. A rare opportunity to experience the customs of old, carefully crafted by new (and living) hands.
Come for the evening and feast. Or choose to stay on for the night in the beautiful accommodation at Ballintubbert, (limited availability).