McCourt has a eely good idea for dinnertime

Londonderry chef Emmett McCourt is pictured offering a tempting taste of smoked Lough Neagh Eel to medieval maiden Ingrid Houwers and Councillor Thomas Hogg, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
Londonderry chef Emmett McCourt is pictured offering a tempting taste of smoked Lough Neagh Eel to medieval maiden Ingrid Houwers and Councillor Thomas Hogg, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

Eels aren’t everyone’s idea of a wonderful meal - but they should be, according to leading Londonderry chef Emmett McCourt.

“Lough Neagh eels are revered around the world as the best there are - but people here don’t generally eat them,” he says.

“The same is true of other game which is locally produced but goes to other markets.

“These are foods that our ancestors would have routinely eaten, and which we have lost, although it is starting to come full circle again.”

McCourt launched the 2015 Irish Game Fair and Northern Ireland Angling Show which is being held over the weekend on June 27 and 28 at Shane’s Castle in Antrim.

I’m looking forward to encouraging Irish Game Fair visitors to taste eels - possibly for the first time - and explore easy ways to prepare and serve them,” he said.

“I plan to present a broad range of the great tasting foods from our rural traditions and, as a Derry man, I will of course be showcasing recipes rooted in the North West.

“I’m also hoping that some of our local artisan food producers will be amongst those exhibiting at the fair, part of its extensive celebration of Irish food and drink.”

McCourt’s book Feast or Famine has been short-listed for the prestigious Gourmand World cookbook award .

Looking forward to Irish Game Fair & NI Angling Show in June, show Director Albert Titterington, says, “Food and drink are always a key visitor attraction and, with Emmett’s inspiration behind us, we are already on track to present a fabulous array of country cuisine.

“That show-within-a-show will sit very happily with the country crafts and retailing village.”

which sits alongside our main event arenas. They will of course be packed with the top class competitions, displays and exhibitions of country sports and pursuits which are the hallmark of the Irish Game Fair, packing in audiences from town as well as country.”

Over the next weeks and months details will be revealed about the special headline attractions, challenges and family entertainment which will make the 2015 Fair one of the most diverse and exciting ever staged in Northern Ireland. Visit www.irishgamefair.com to find out more. The fair is organised with the support of Tourism Northern Ireland and Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council.