With the busy summer season approaching and record tourist numbers predicted to visit the country, counties around Ireland will host a series of food festivals celebrating the best of Irish produce and culture. Here is a list of some of the summer's top food festivals:
Burren Slow Food Festival, 28-29 May
The Burren Slow Food Festival will celebrate its 12th year with a 'surf and turf' theme. It will focus on local sea and land produce, in particular its lamb, oysters and wild salmon. Presenters for the festival will include JP McMahon from Aniar, Evan Doyle from Wild & Slow, and world champion oyster shucker Michael Moran.
There will be cookery demonstrations, oyster tastings, and farmers' markets. The weekend will start with a champagne picnic under the Cliffs of Moher, while Saturday night will have the traditional Burren Slow Food Banquet.
Connemara Mussel Festival, 29 April - 1 May
The Connemara mussel festival will celebrate the best food, community and culture from the West of Ireland, with an emphasis on their locally produced Killary mussels. Chefs will give demonstrations on how to cook mussels and there will be talks on topics from beekeeping to foraging to Connemara's local archaeology.
Taste the Wild Atlantic Way / Cork's All Ireland Chowder Cook-Off, 22-23 April
With Cork being the final stop on The Wild Atlantic Way, it would be a shame if there was no festival to showcase the finest Cork food and drink. However in April, Kinsale's streets and quays will be taken over by an open air street market with food stalls, live music and family fun. The highlight of the food festival will be the search for Ireland's chowder champion. 30 chefs will compete head to head for the title and all it's glory.
Wexford Food and Wine Festival, May 27-29 May
The heart of Wexford town will turn into a huge open air market when food producers exhibit their products at the end of May. With last year's festival being a resounding success as 15,000 people showed up for it, expect this year to be even bigger and better. Visitors will be able to buy fresh breads, cakes, naturally made ice cream, seasonal fruit, cheese and meat.
Killarney Beerfest, May 28-29
In May, Killarney will host some of Ireland's best breweries as they descend upon Kerry with kegs of craft beer. The likes of White Hag, Kinnegar and O'Hara's will all compete to be crowned Ireland's best brewery. The beer festival will also include beer tastings, master classes, awards, competitions and even an artisan food village. There will also be home brewed whiskey, gin and cider available for those who wanting to try something different.
The Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine, 20-22 May
The Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary festival has long been a hub for food and drink enthusiasts worldwide to meet up and share ideas, while also celebrating Ballymaloe's literary tradition. The weekend is filled with stories, discussions, music and dancing. This years speakers will include wine expert Jancis Robinson, famed South American chef Francis Mallmann and Yotam Ottolenghi of Nopi fame.