Some of Northern Ireland’s top celebrity chefs will join local restaurateurs across the city in the Guildhall Square at the weekend for the Flavours of the Foyle Seafood Festival, the mouth watering food event of the year (Sat 26- Sun 27 July).
Keeping the tradition with offering the highest calibre of cooking royalty, on the festival bill this year will be celebrity chefs Brian McDermott and Lough Ernes’ Noel McMeel who will join the likes of Paula McIntyre and our very own Emmett McCourt to offer live and exciting cooking demos, creative food displays and sample dishes for trying and tasting.
Paula McIntyre, BBC Radio Ulster’s home grown domestic goddess will be demonstrating some of the best barbeque techniques at 5.30pm on Saturday and 1.30pm on Sunday afternoon inside the Festival marquee.
She said: “This is the third successive year I’ve been involved in Flavours of Foyle and the festival just goes from strength to strength. The local community and visitors have embraced the event and it’s great to see people really appreciate our fabulous local fish.
“One of the lovely things you witness is small children gobbling up local mussels, lobsters and fish - it’s as much educational as fun. I’m looking forward to cooking some local lobsters, mackerel, red mullet and clams, coupled with other great local vegetables, butter and herbs.”
At the mouth watering Boulevard of Chefs, locals chefs offer creative fish dishes, inspired by the River Foyle and Wild Atlantic sourced locally, and this year’s theme, ‘Caught here not Bought Here, providing plenty of food for thought.
Showcasing their skills will be La Sosta, The Red Door, Sooty Olive and Saffron along with Ian Orr, from Browns restaurant and recent winner of the Irish Chef of the Year 2013.. There will also be 12 local restaurants cooking live at the event
Brian McDermott, known as the ‘No Salt Chef’ and a familiar face on RTE said he was looking forward to the event again this year:
“The Flavours of the Foyle Seafood Festival offers the perfect platform to showcase what is on your doorstep in terms of fresh seafood and provides everyone with the chance to come along and to pick up some tasty tips for cooking locally sourced food.
“I would encourage you all to come, meet the chefs and find out what culinary treasures are available right here fresh from the River Foyle.
“I will be demonstrating how you can cook using the natural flavours of fresh food and the event as always proves great for me to pick up some tips from the talented chefs, all of which will be under the one roof. The North West really is a world class provider of seafood and one which is available for all of us to tap into.”
And while the adults are picking up some culinary tips from the experts, there will be plenty to keep the kids entertained with an array of aquatic activities to keep them busy. They can get up close to the local marine life at the Loughs’ Agency touch tank, enjoy some fishy tales during the story-telling sessions, meet Spreya the Mermaid and other underwater friends, and listen to the watery warblings of the Cod Choir. There will also be Salty Sailors, Juggling Chefs, and fishy crafts and face painting on offer.
Organised by Derry City Council, the festival is sponsored by the Loughs Agency and DARD under the NI Regional Food Programme and is delivered with support from Food NI to focus on the many sources of fresh fish found in our local waters.
To find out more about the full programme of events over the two days go direct to www.derrycity.gov.uk/seafood.