The Pigtown Culture & Food Series, which celebrates Limerick’s food culture and heritage, trots out for its third year this September 2019. Inspired by the history of Limerick’s famous bacon industry, it is a programme of themed food and cultural events taking place in various venues in Limerick city and county, starting on Culture Night, September 20th with the popular Pigtown Parade. The festival is developed by the Limerick Food Group and supported by Limerick City and County Council, LEO, and LIT.
To launch this year’s festival, Pigtown organisers, Limerick Food Group, collaborated with New Leaf Urban Farmers to bring a pop-up ‘Feed on the Farm’ event led by chef Keith Pigott of new Adare restaurant Oak and Apple.
The venue was Crokers Farm in Ballyneety where New Leaf’s Kevin Wallace grows all his chemical-free vegetables and herbs. Guests dined directly from the County Limerick farm in a sustainable gourmet feast which also featured a ‘pig in a pit’ reared by John Grisewood of Crokers Farm.
John gave guests a tour of the farm on arrival, followed by an introduction to the farm’s honey by John’s brother and beekeeper Paul Grisewood, and Kevin brought the tour around his plots and polytunnels showcasing the impressive Limerick produce he supplies to a number of local businesses.
The zero food miles dinner was the concept of Oak and Apple chef Keith Pigott, also a member of Limerick Food Group and the Pigtown festival committee, who explained the inspiration behind the launch event:
“Pigtown is a celebration of our rich food past but also our rich food present. The ‘Feed on the Farm’ launch event is all about celebrating local food culture, and local people, and the amazing produce we have on our doorstep.
“As a chef, my job is made exciting and easier by great produce. Twice a week Kevin from New Leaf walks through our door in Adare with what can only be described as world class produce and he creates it here in Ballyneety. Where better to celebrate it than right here on the farm.
“Food brings people together, it creates community and tonight is proof of that. We’re looking forward to more Pigtown events bringing people together and developing the Limerick food community.”
The gourmet menu consisted of a Hakurei Turnips starter butter roasted, pickled and carpaccio served with nasturtium pesto, or, Baby Beets beetroot soup served with barbequed baby beets and sheep’s yoghurt; the main was pit-roasted free range pork served with that morning’s vegetable harvest; and dessert of baked rhubarb and honey, or spiced courgette cake and honey mascarpone.
90% of the ingredients on the menu were sourced on Crokers Farm with the remaining 10% sourced locally or from a neighbouring county, as an example of the amazing food bounty we have on offer in the Limerick region and demonstrating how we can return to a more sustainable food culture.
Other events during the Pigtown festival series include food tours, cookery demos, themed restaurant events, lectures and talks, foraging walks, and a food industry networking event.
The Pigtown Food Series takes place from September 20th 2019 across Limerick. For further details visit pigtown.ie or search #PigtownLimerick or ‘Pigtown Food Series’ on social media.