The Samhain Festival of Food & Culture 2023

By Robert McHugh
The Samhain Festival of Food & Culture 2023

The Samhain Festival of Food & Culture will be returning to Kells, Co. Meath, for its fifth year from November 2-5.

The family-friendly festival includes a wide variety of events, from food & drinks tastings, cookery demos, and cocktail masterclasses, to food safaris, farm visits, kids workshops, and panel discussions with some of the biggest names in Irish food.

Award-Winning Chefs

The Samhain Festival of Food & Culture will welcome award-winning chefs, renowned food writers, best-selling cookery book authors, culinary experts, and thought leaders in sustainability and agriculture.

A particular highlight will be internationally-acclaimed guest speaker, Carlo Petrini, founder of the international Slow Food movement.

Other highlight includes a Guided Kells Walk About Tour, entry to the grounds of Killua Castle, and Samhain Farmers Markets at Sheridans Cheesemongers' Virginia Road Station headquarters and Clonmellon Market, which are all free to attend.


Cultural Pub Crawl

A Cultural Pub Crawl will allow attendees to experience three of Kells’ pubs, receiving a local alcoholic drink and Boyne Valley bite pairing in each venue while being treated to a literary piece, plus some very special surprise guests.

Tickets for the Samhain Literature Pub Crawl are priced at €35.00 per person.

Cocktail Making Masterclass

There will also be an interactive hands-on Flavours of the Boyne Valley Cocktail Making Masterclass with the GastroGays, hosted in the heritage town’s Red Chapel on Saturday November 4 (6pm - 7pm).

Participants will be given a live demonstration by award-winning Food & Travel Writers, Patrick Hanlon and Russell Alford, and receive their own cocktail kit containing all the ingredients needed to create three signature cocktails that honour the flavours of the Boyne Valley.

Tickets for this event are priced at €30.00 per person.


Michelin-Starred Chef

Later on the festival, there will be a communal Long Table Samhain Supper in the Headfort Arms Hotel featuring Michelin-starred Chef, Enda McEvoy (formerly of Loam restaurant, Galway).

McEvoy will collaborate with Pauric White (Instructor of the Commis Chef Programme at Cavan Institute), culinary students, and the local food community to create a menu that tells the stories of producers from across the Boyne Valley region, with a celebration of Irish beef central to it.

Tickets for the Samhain Supper are priced at €95.00 per person.

Boyne Valley Food Safari

Finally, a brand new Boyne Valley Food Safari will see participants taken by bus on a whistle-stop tour, and sampling the fayres of, three award-winning local producers; Michael Finnegan (Boyne Valley Cheese), Mark Jenkinson (The Cider Mill), and James Tallon (Martry Mill).

Tickets for this experience are priced at €50.00 per person.