Galway is known for it’s festivals and the Galway Food Festival is an amazing celebration of Irish Food and it has been one of the stand out events for me for the last number of years. This year over 70,000 people attended and the theme of the 5th Annual celebration was 100 years of Irish Food – there was an amazing selection of home grown and artisan foods at the market and many of the bars and restaurants around Galway also held events.
I was invited to the ‘Hot Wok Ideas‘ Demonstration in collaboration with the Skeff Bar and the Into the West Blogger Network as part of the festival and I delighted as I am always looking for healthy cooking ideas.
The Skeff Bar has long been a regular place that I have gone in for lunch as it is so central, the food is good and since it is such a large venue we can normally find a seat! It certainly is called Galway’s Meeting Place for a reason.The bar itself is established since the 1850’s and I still think as warmly now of the place as I did 10 years ago.
When we arrived we were warmly welcomed by Ashling Dudley the Skeff Bar Food Manager and there was a spread of so many ingredients all laid out. All the ingredients looked so fresh and everyone was so eager to begin. What was great about the event was the openness of the demonstration – the chef went through how to make the dishes but people were asking throughout on how to do different things and I don’t think that anyone left with an unanswered question.
When the first dish was cooked – it literally filled the bar with some amazing aromas and I don’t think that I was the only one who wanted to get dug in! It was so interesting watching the chef cook as he was so fast with the ingredients and constantly keep stirring – apparently this is the key to an amazing stir-fry; to have the heat up as high as possible and then keep moving the ingredients at all times.
We picked up some other tips along the way as well such as white onion will add a lot of sweetness to a dish, cut up everything very fine so it cooks quickly, reheat meat from a roast and throw it into a stir fry to use it up in a tasteful way and also interestingly that rice should be cooked, then cooled before you fry it. But the main point that they advised over and over was to keep the wok hot and to keep the food moving!
It was such a fun event and I was so enthusiastic when we left that I actually went and brought all the ingredients to make my own! I did substitute in vegetarian meat for the real meat mentioned above and I cannot wait to start trying to recreate vegetarian versions of these dishes! 🙂
Galway recently won the European Region of Gastronomy designation for 2018 (Link) and with events like this in locations like the Skeff Bar it is no wonder that the Galway Food Festival just keeps going from strength to strength. I would like to say a massive thank you to both the Skeff Bar and ITWBN for such a fantastic demonstration.
And now the recipes!!
Disclaimer; Attending this demonstration was a collaboration with both The Skeff Bar and The Into The West Blogger Network, however all opinions and thoughts expressed are my own and are no way influenced by the collaboration (and you can often find me in the Skeff at lunch) 🙂