ONE of Kerry's top chefs is planning to revolutionise the whole experience of Christmas dinner for north Kerry families in one of the key events at this year's Listowel Food Fair - the longest-running festival of its kind in the country.
The special guest at this year's Food Fair is Simon Regan, who is the head chef at the Panorama Restaurant in the Europe Hotel and a culinary wizard who recently prepared a stunning main course for over 800 guests at the Restaurant Association of Ireland Awards in Dublin.
His appearance is just one part of a programme that is bigger than ever with something succulent and delectable taking place in just about every eaterie in Listowel from this Thursday to Sunday, November 24.
"I'm really excited about coming to Listowel for what is the longest-running food festival in the entire country," Simon said.
"I will be focusing in the main on taking a lot of the stress out of Christmas dinner in my demonstration with a few suggestions about different things we can do. One of the ideas I'll be looking at is the preparation, the night before, of a fabulous breakfast will only need to pop in the oven on Christmas morning to give yourself a run at the day."
This year's festival has been pushed back a few weeks to capture the flavour of the Christmas season.
Simon will also be exploring some alternatives to the Christmas turkey. "I'll be looking at duck as an alternative, as I don't want to deviate too far from the traditional experience!" said Simon who will be doing a demonstration at the Listowel Arms Hotel at 8pm on Thursday night.
Listowel's restaurants are taking a greater part in the Food Fair than ever before with everything from a Food and Opera night at Allo's (Friday, November 22, at 7pm); a Lobster night at Mai Fitz's (Saturday 23, at 7pm); Festive Steak Madness at The Horseshoe Bar (Friday and Saturday, 7 - 10pm) and much more.
"One of the big events of the fair will be the farming seminar in the Arms on Friday at 8pm at which we will have Donal Whelton from AIB and Alan Kingston from Glenilen Farm in an event that should prove extremely interesting," organiser Dan Brown said.