Rare treats as food lovers enjoy Taste's truly global flavour
Charcoal bread, gin and tonic-soaked oysters, sour sorrel ice cream and barbecued cabbage leaves are just some of the more unusual dishes on the menu at this year's Taste of Dublin event.
The four-day festival - which will see 170,000 pieces of disposable cutlery used - kicked off yesterday, with food-obsessed punters flooding through the gates.
2fm host Louise McSharry was enjoying a day off.
"I've left my baby at home and am looking for beef that's as rare as possible," she told the Herald.
Model Rosanna Davison and radio host Adrian Kennedy headed for the VIP tent, where guests enjoyed glasses of champagne.
Multiple Michelin-starred French chef Jean-Christophe Novelli said he was delighted to return. "The atmosphere is fantastic - not to mention the food," he said.
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin was enjoying a "break from the Leinster House bubble" and stopped to enjoy a green tea courtesy of Barry's and some multi-seed rye bread from The Natural Bakery.
Irish chef Kevin Dundon spoke about food fads, particularly the increased use of turmeric in restaurants.
"Turmeric is the fidget spinner of the food world," he said. "It's everywhere and in everything."
Dundon is preparing to shoot a new series for RTE and US cable station PBS called Kevin's Food Heroes.
"I find all the mad people making food in their back garden," he said.
Some of the festival's returning stalls had learned from the mistakes of previous years by ensuring their dishes were easy to eat.
The Green Hen, for example, was serving tuna carpaccio in savoury cones.
"People don't want to be holding a plate and cutlery," said manager Eamon McDermott. "It's got to be easy to eat while people are wandering around."
Now in its 12th year, the theme for this year's Taste event is "Flavours of the World", and organisers hope it will reflect the increasing international influence on Irish cooking.
Camden Street's Pickle restaurant, which serves north Indian cuisine, is one of the new additions.
Chef Danni Barry, of Deanes Eipic, is only the second female chef in Ireland to gain a Michelin star, and her pastrami and bone marrow dish is a must-try.
The festival, which runs until Sunday, will see 32,000 people visit Iveagh Gardens, swapping the Taste currency - florins - for tasty dishes.