Traditional cuisine is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to experience a country’s history and culture.
While Ireland may be better known for our whiskey and Guinness than our hearty food, our culinary reputation is growing. Now, Ireland has a booming tradition of excellence in food.
Discover our selection of the best culinary experiences in Ireland to get a taste of Irish culture and inspire your next incentive trip.
Ballyknocken Cookery School, Co. Wicklow
Give clients or delegates a real taste of Ireland from the home of award-winning chef and food writer, Catherine Fulvio. Buried in the Wicklow countryside, the 280-acre estate has been in the Fulvio family since the 1600s and even endured a brief tenure as a designated ‘Soup Site’ during The Famine. Now a much-loved cookery school and guesthouse, Ballyknocken offers superb masterclasses taught by Catherine in a charming setting. Incentive groups can forage in the gardens for fresh ingredients and try their hand at a selection of recipes that have been passed down through Catherine’s family for generations. Make the most of the time here by hiring the entire property for a private group getaway. Guests will leave Ballyknocken House not only well-fed but utterly refreshed.
Kinsale Food Tours, Co. Cork
The foodie theme continues with Kinsale Food Tours run by Suzanne Burns. Incentive groups can explore Ireland’s original gourmet destination through her Town Taster series which promises a culinary odyssey through the winding waterside streets of this Corkonian town. The multi-stop tour visits a range of venues, including a café, deli, restaurant, chocolatier or ice-cream shop. Walking, learning and sampling delicious goodies (think award-winning local cheeses, patés, wild treats, local seafood, artisanal chocolates and ice creams), the group will hear the stories of the people and producers of the town.
Burren Smokehouse, Co. Clare
While in Clare, don’t miss a chance to visit the Burren Smokehouse, one of Ireland’s foremost fish smokers, whose produce sells in the world’s finest food emporiums. Just 15 minutes from the Cliffs of Moher, it’s run by Birgitta and Peter Curtin in Lisdoonvarna. Peter is a master fish smoker, working with pure sea salt and many native flavours to gently smoke their signature organic salmon. Next to the smokehouse is an immersive visitor centre where visitors can linger and learn about the history of fish smoking before checking out the well-stocked shop. From hot-smoked salmon with honey, lemon and dill to cold-smoked salmon with seaweed flakes and wild-smoked mackerel, they offer a luxurious slice of Ireland for clients and incentive qualifiers to take home with them.
Dingle Cookery School, Co. Kerry
Should your clients or incentive qualifiers fancy the thrill of catching their fish first, head west to the Dingle Peninsula in Kerry, where Mark Murphy’s Dingle Cookery School runs a fun Catch & Cook experience on a private charter. Sailing from Dingle Harbour, a skipper will bring the group out to the rich fishing grounds of Dingle Bay and help them master the art of line fishing in the Atlantic Ocean. Mark will be on board too, and he’ll help take the catch of the day - usually mackerel and pollock - back to the Cookery School kitchens. Minutes from the pier, the group will learn how to identify, prepare and fillet a fish. This is followed by a cookery lesson focused on how to make delicious accompaniments to the dishes. With no experience required and a skipper and chef on hand, this experience is the perfect opportunity for some team bonding.
Feeling hungry? Contact the Meet in Ireland team today to find out how we can help you create a tantalising trip that dives deep into Irish cuisine.