The Bay Coast Wild Atlantic Way Food Festival – a Success!


To celebrate County Galway’s designation as a European Region of Gastronomy “The Bay Coast Wild Atlantic Way Food Festival” presented a week-long festival of gastronomy and culture on the Renvyle Peninsula and Killary Fjord in Connemara, Co. Galway organised by Mr. Ronnie Counihan, CEO of Renvyle House Hotel.  It ran from Monday10th to Sunday 15th April 2018.   “The experiences reflected our local natural resources, our culture and our people and included special Guests John and Sally McKenna and Aisling Rock, European Young Chef of the Year 2017”.

It was a great success and received great support from GMIT, Galway Bay FM and RTE’s Nationwide Programme.

The Festival Outline included:

Monday 9th April

  • A Cookery Demonstration featuring local fish and Connemara Lamb with executive chef, author and Eurotoques Commissioner, Tim O’Sullivan. Preparing and filleting of fish will be presented by fishmonger.
  • A guided walk with renowned archaeologist, Michael Gibbons, “Along the Wild Atlantic Way”.  Michael will tell us about the way of life of different past generations and eras – pointing out some interesting and significant landmarks along the way.

Tuesday 10th April

  • Travel to Letterfrack for an organised tour of the local Oyster Farm DK Connemara Oysters at Dawros Beg, Letterfrack with owner David Keane.
  • Head Chef Tim O’Sullivan and oyster farmer, John Ward from Dooncastle Oysters will demonstrate the opening and shucking of oysters. Eating Oysters: Cooked & raw with tastings.

Wednesday 11th April

  • A visit to Marty’s Mussel farm on Killary Fjord (Ireland’s only fjord) followed by a cruise on the fjord, with Killary Cruises on the “Connemara Lady”. Gastro lunch will be served during this spectacular sea journey – duration is approximately 1½ hours.

Wednesday 11th April

  • master with Brewery Tour and sampling at the The Bridewell Brewery, Clifden
  • A gastronomique matching of whiskey and food. Presented by Seamus Lowry, gourmand and whiskey tastings of some of Bushmills’ Premium Whiskeys.  Sponsored by Bushmills Distillery.

Thursday 12th April

  • Cookery Demonstration and talk With Tim O’Sullivan and Catherine Nee, local Mussel farmer. “10 Ways to cook Mussels”
  • Cookery Demonstration with Aisling Rock, “European Young Chef of the Year, 2017”.  Aisling is a Culinary Arts student at Galway’s International Hotel School and she will demonstrate her winning dish.
  • Cephalopod* Cookery – Presented by Sadie Davoren and Anne O’Leary, Culinary Art Lecturers at the Galway International Hotel School. *Cephalopods include squid, octopus, cuttlefish and nautilus.


Friday 13th April

  • A day of gastronomy at Kylemore Abbey with food writers John & Sally McKenna and executive chef John O’Toole.  Celebrating foods of past and present as part of County Galway’s title of European Region of Gastronomy 2018. Learn all about our unique food heritage with jam making, chocolate tasting, garden tours, bee keeping, fish smoking, Connemara Lamb on a spit and lots more. We will also host some of County Galway’s best food producers with an open air food market featuring Goat’s cheese, honey, mussels, fresh fish, oysters and more.
  • A tour of the Victorian Walled Garden with Head Gardener, Anja Gohlke who will be accompanied by John & Sally McKenna.


Saturday 14th April at Renvyle Beach, Shoreline and Renvyle House.

  • “A day with John & Sally McKenna” Foraging the Sea Shore with Sally McKenna.
  • The Bronze Age Cook In” (an fulacht fia).  A full re-enactment of cooking during the Bronze Age on the grounds of Renvyle House.  Enjoy food tastings from the pre-historic era. If weather is inclement Michael will give a talk.


Good news!  We’re planning on running a week long festival in 2019, dates will be announced soon.


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