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A Wexford nettle producer, whose products are now being used for in-flight cocktails, will return to the second annual Bite Food Festival in the RDS from November 18-20.

Over 20,000 people are expected to attend the major food festival, which showcases the best of Ireland’s artisan food and drink producers in the run-up to the Christmas season.

It’s been a ‘crazy year’ for Ireland’s only commercial nettle producers Wild About since Bite showcased its varied products last year.

The micro-enterprise from Monamolin recently won seven Great Taste Awards for six of their range including Fennel Cider Butter and Wild Honey while its Raspberry Chilli Chutney took gold at the Blas awards.

“It’s been a crazy year. We have also developed a huge following for our fennel syrup for those with indigestion problems while the nettle syrup seemingly helps those with arthritis,” said Fiona Falconer.

“We are a small artisan producer and literally peel, chop and core everything by hand so shows like Bite are fantastic for helping us get our products noticed.

“Aer Lingus has even started using our nettle syrup to mix with champagne for their signature in-flight cocktail in first and business class.”

Bite 2016 will feature top chefs and food experts as well as a huge range of producers, who are there to sell, sample and educate people about their unique products.

This year’s Festival will feature a range of winners from the Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards, the biggest competition for quality Irish produce.

Presented by the organisers of the National Crafts and Design Fair, the Main Stage at Bite 2016 will feature a superb menu of many of the country’s top chefs and food producers demonstrating interesting ways to cook with the best of Ireland’s artisan food products..

Bite 2016 will feature an array of wine, beer and spirits demonstrations at the Drinks Masterclass, with experts on wine, spirits, coffee brewing, cocktail and smoothie making and vegetable juicing amongst others.

There will be a large amount of artisan food and drink options to eat at the Festival, ranging from Caffe Comino’s authentic Lazio region Italian artisan food to Klaw Crabshack Dining’s wonderful seafood cocktail bar, endless tasting and samples and an imaginative pairing partnership between Corleggy Cheese and French Wines which will see any choice from either matched with a perfect accompaniment.

There will also be free cooking classes led by Cook’s Academy which will allow festival-goers to get creative in the Hands-On Kitchen, with special classes for children on Saturday and Sunday morning.

Bite 2016 takes place at the RDS Main Hall from November 18-20.

For a full timetable of free events on the main stage, drinks masterclass and hands on kitchen, please see www.bitefoodfestival.ie.

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