Celebrity chefs will descend on Gorey later this week for a marathon session of cook-offs, culinary debates and cooking demonstrations at the Good Food Ireland village on the Golden Shears Championship site.
The brainchild of Good Food Ireland founder, Margaret Jeffares, the cook-offs promise a 'head-to-tail' examination of how the humble ovine has improved our palettes.
The cook-offs begin with an eccentric pairing on Thursday, when Darina Allen takes on well-known New Zealand sheep man, Greg Kerrick. On Friday, Derry Clarke of L'Ecrivain will go head-to-head with the declared lady shearing champion.
Later, Minister for State Paul Kehoe will take a break from fishing for votes by squaring up to TV chef Martin Shanahan.
The cook-offs finish on Sunday withGeorge Graham, the man who brought the championships to Wexford, challenging the Golden Shears overall champion. Expect an Ireland v New Zealand contest here.
The cook-offs will be adjudicated by an eclectic panel of agricultural journalists which should ensure that a few stewards' enquiries take place.
Top chefs from restaurants, cookery schools and boutique hotels nationwide will also be on hand at what promises to be an 'Olympics' of Irish gastronomy.
Additionally, both the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney and the Minister for Public Service Reform, Brendan Howlin, will attend events during the week.
Minister Coveney will be highlighting the value of the sheep sector to the Irish agri-economy – €220m in 2013, up 4pc on 2012, with 75pc of our output exported to 35 different countries.
If you are travelling through Gorey this week, keep an eye out for the make-over of the main street, where all the shops have been decorated in the colours of the competing nations.
The sheep sculptures you will see on display are the work of the Tinahely Arts Group, and have been transported to north Wexford from their Wicklow homes for the championships.