Expo is no small beer as big cheeses hit city centre

BIG LAUNCH. . . .The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Elisha McCallion pictured on Tuesday launching the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016 Festival at the Guildhall. Included at back from left are Jennifer O'Donnell, Rural Tourism Officer, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Louise Millsop, Supply Chain Development Officer, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mary Blake, Tourism Officer, DCSDC, Kevin Hickey, Dart Mountain Cheese and Martina Rodgers, Northbound Brewery.
BIG LAUNCH. . . .The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Elisha McCallion pictured on Tuesday launching the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016 Festival at the Guildhall. Included at back from left are Jennifer O'Donnell, Rural Tourism Officer, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Louise Millsop, Supply Chain Development Officer, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mary Blake, Tourism Officer, DCSDC, Kevin Hickey, Dart Mountain Cheese and Martina Rodgers, Northbound Brewery.

Food fans will be thrilled to hear that Londonderry will be hosting a major celebration of two of the North West’s most popular indulgences – cheese and beer – as the Big Cheese and Beer Expo gets set to take over the Guildhall Square, April 15-17.

Tourism Officer with Council, Mary Blake, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the city will be hosting its first Cheese and Beer Expo as part of the NI Year of Food and Drink programme.

“This event builds upon the success of events like Culture Tech and Sippy of Culture in celebrating the best of Beer and Cheese from across the North West and beyond featuring quality cheese producers and craft brewers.

“The craft brewing industry is definitely on the rise and we already boast some great local success stories including the Walled City Brewery and Northbound Brewery here in the city.

“And passionate food producers such as Tamnagh Foods have been championing local cheese scooping an array of awards for their efforts in recent months, including 3rd in the World Cheese Awards for their Dart Mountain cheese. Food lovers will be able to sample some of the fantastic ranges being produced, and taste the difference when it comes to beers and cheeses crafted from the very best local ingredients.

“The daytime programme will include a large market hall where there will be opportunities to try and buy, while on the evenings of 15th and 16th the venue transforms into a cabaret style event with live music, hot food with cheesy themed menu.”

One of the highlights of the programme will be a number of live demonstrations by former Corrie star turned cheese champion Sean Wilson, aka Martin Platt, who has swapped the TV set for the kitchen, developing his own range of award winning cheeses. He will be joined by a whole host of local culinary talents for cook-offs and demos throughout the weekend.

All the action will take place on Friday, April 15 - 5pm to 10pm; Saturday, April 16 – 1pm to 6pm and 7pm to 11pm; and Sunday, April 17 – 1pm to 5pm.

To find out more about the event go to www.derrystrabane.com/food