Humour and empathy of food

    AN arts project which has produced banquets, installations and performances in the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Hotel Bageion. Athens, Castletown House, Kildare and a mini-skip at City Hall, Belfast comes to Kilkenny this weekend.

    The Domestic Godless visits Fennelly’s, Callan on Saturday and Sunday, June 30 and July 1, for a ‘Pataphysical Buffet’ for 25 people on the Saturday evening and a ‘Porridge not Porridge’ event from 11am to 2pm on Sunday.

    Both events are free but pre-booking is essential. Bookings: 086-0691421 or

    The Domestic Godless initiative is commissioned by Crawford Art Gallery and supported by the Arts Council Touring Award.

    Fennelly’s is among five venues on the tour of Ireland in 2018, local co-ordinator, Eilis Lavelle, explained.

    “This initiative explores the potential of food, its taste, its presentation, its history and its cultural values as a vehicle for irreverent artistic endeavour and experimentation.

    “Through recipes, installations and public presentations The Domestic Godless uses food as a concept and a medium through which to convey humour, empathy and other qualities that distinguish art from purely craft,” she explained.

    The Domestic Godless team will be based at Fennelly’s over two days, showcasing their world of ‘pataphysical cuisine’, she added.

    “On Saturday, the doors will be open to 25 guests to eat their way through an installation of gastronomic nonsense, including a strangely familiar Surf’n’Turf.

    “It’s a deadly 14 allergen mousse cake, a Ghetto Gateau and chicken feet plate lick.

    “This will be followed on Sunday with a brunch menu of Porridge not Porridge – or porridge but not as you know it,” she concluded.

    Fennelly’s is the perfect location. The independent coffee shop and arts space is managed and curated by Etaoin Holahan with food by her sister and chef, Aoife Holahan.

    “Fennelly’s has had a previous life as a pub, funeral home, grocers and butchers and was run by the beloved Margaret Fennelly of Bridge Street for many years. 

    “We’ve preserved a lot of this history in the decor of the cafe and by telling its story to the many who come through our doors. “Our aim is to continue the rejuvenation of Callan’s town centre through hospitality, kindness and the arts, filling this traditional building with people and purpose for the contemporary experience,” she said.

    Fennelly’s hosts musicians, artists and designers showcasing their work through morning and evening happenings. 

    The Holohans collaborate with small local food producers, highlighting the quality and variety on offer.