Trip to Kilkenny as part of Media & Visual Arts: Writing About Food module helped students put theory into practice
The 4th year students on the BA (Hons) Culinary Arts students recently took a media trip to Kilkenny with their lecturer Edward Hayden as part of the Media & Visual Arts: Writing About Food module.
The purpose of the trip was to get a practical sense of the theory that they had explored in class. As part of this module students are exposed to a myriad of topics including, writing for publication, food associated PR, restaurant review techniques, planning a food festival, extensive uses of social media and online food blogging.
The trip began with coffee and pastries at Cake Face, Parliament Street where the students had an opportunity to meet with proprietor Laura Gannon to chat about the Cake Face business model, and their recent expansion to include a bespoke cookery school. Organising and understanding food festivals is a large part of the module and on the trip we were joined by Marian Flannery, festival director of Savour Kilkenny Food Festival, Tradfest, YuleFest and Kilkenny Day, who discussed the need for re-imagining programming & content, and indeed the multi layered approached employed in organising and executing a successful programme.
"Kilkenny has a very rich offering in terms of food and craft, with the headquarters of the Design and Craft Council of Ireland in Kilkenny. To explore this the students enjoyed a guided gastronomic tour of Kilkenny Farmers Market, with Anne Neary, Kilkenny Walking Tours, exploring the market on the parade plaza and some of Kilkenny’s well known and respected food emporiums, as well as the craft yard at Kilkenny Design Centre," says lecturer Edward Hayden.
In a world with the chef is now seen as a visual protagonist in the world of marketing, it is the intention of the module to begin to prepare students for this, and the need for a successful chef to create a sense of ‘self’.
To assist with this the students were afforded the glorious opportunity to record of a 30-minute radio interview about WIT, culinary studies, career, opinions on food and topical issues such as sustainability, difficulties within the culinary industry, and their plans for travel with Sue Nunn, Station Editor & Presenter for broadcast on ‘The Way It Is’ on KCLR96fm.
Before Lunch in Zuni Townhouse & Restaurant, on which the students were writing a restaurant review, suitable for publication we took a quick visit to Butler Gallery where RHA artist Blaise Smith had a Still Life Exhibition on food and food related equipment & products. The day concluded with a tour of the 16th century Rothe House & Gardens, Kilkenny with Mary Pyke, Head Gardener. The trip really gave ‘food for thought’ and offered great practical clarity on work previously undertaken in class.
Also during this module the students were joined in class by Siobhan Donohoe, from Iconic News & Media who guided the students through logistics of printing a newspaper, including print deadlines, press releases and the importance of good accompanying photography.
On a separate day TV Chef, Food Writer & blogger, Donal Skehan joined the students on a Zoom class and gave them a comprehensive overview of food writing, recipe composition, food styling and the rigour required for the fast paced world of food related media.
"As the students prepare to conclude their studies in WIT, and undertake their international work placement we look forward to their career development over the years and wish them an illustrious future," adds Hayden.