06 Dec 2021

Rachel Allen and Martin Shanahan top the bill for Carlow's Culinary Christmas

It's on December 6-8

Carlow Carlow Carlow

Cooking up a storm for Carlow Culinary Christmas

Carlow will showcase the very best of its proud and evolving food and drink culture to a captive audience for three very special days as the countdown begins to this year’s Carlow Culinary Christmas festivities from December 6 to 8.

Long renowned as the home of the rooster potato, fabulous fruit, vegetable, organic and free range farms, Carlow now boasts an internationally acclaimed brewery, whiskey and gin distilleries, a booming town-centre farmers’ market and an authentic food and restaurant trail that continues to grow.

Celebrity chef, Rachel Allen and Fishy Fishy’s Martin Shanahan, will share top tips on how to create the perfect festive food and tantalising treats for family and friends across the holiday season at this year’s Carlow Culinary Christmas events in the stunning Visual Arts Centre each evening.

Festival-goers will also visit the amazing food village which opens nightly from 7pm and features even more local produce and delights.

Carlovian, Ireland and Leinster rugby giant and farmer, Sean O’Brien, is a proud Carlow Culinary Christmas Ambassador.

He said: "There’s nothing like getting back to Carlow, particularly at holiday time, for a feast of fresh home produce.

"We’re very fortunate to have amazing food suppliers across Carlow and an incredible food trail that showcases the very best the region has to offer.

"I’m proud to support Carlow Culinary Christmas and really encourage not just local people, but food lovers from all over Ireland, to come along, support local and buy into what is shaping up to be an incredible Christmas in the region.”

Carlow Culinary Christmas is a celebration of the county’s “unique food and drink offering” and is also a fantastic opportunity for producers and consumers to meet, Carlow County Council CE, Kathleen Holohan, said.

"This three day festival gives food companies, producers and more a chance to forge new contacts and relationships, get face-to-face feedback from customers, learn from those exchanges and launch new products.

"We’re very proud of the work our Local Enterprise Office does with producers and to help local food firms and farm enterprises grow jobs in this important sector of our economy," she added. 

Head of Enterprise with Carlow LEO, Kieran Comerford, said: "Carlow Culinary Christmas will be a fantastic event for all the family and is just one element of a wider Christmas in Carlow programme.

"A whole series of events are planned from late November to enhance the festive spirit in Carlow and boost our reputation as a great place to live, to raise a family, to visit, to shop, to stay. We will be announcing further details of all of these events closer to the holiday season."

The packed, three day Carlow Culinary Christmas programme includes Martin Shanahan’s demonstration on Thursday, December 6 and an evening with Rachel Allen on Friday, December 7.  

There’s also a fun-filled Cook Off on December 8 featuring Chef Adrian, Karl Spain, Gearoid Farrelly, Ed Cahill and Rachel Doyle, children’s workshops and so much more.

Tickets for the nightly demonstrations are €19.50 each and for bookings and more visit

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