Foodies will have tasted the best of continental cuisine at the Foyle Maritime Festival which is currently in full swing in Derry and, the culinary countdown is now underway for the Clipper Race Kitchens celebrating our best local produce which opens on Thursday, July 14th until Friday, July 17th, at Ebrington Square.
Internationally renowned French chef Jean-Christophe Novelli will join NI culinary maestros Jenny Bristow, Paula McIntyre, Noel McMeel, Brian McDermott and Ian Orr, for the gastronomic gala as part of the wider Foyle Maritime Festival hosted by Derry City and Strabane District Council.
Clipper Race Kitchens, which is expected to be one of the highlight events of Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016, will feature popular local restaurants cooking signature dishes to try and buy from around £5, live cookery demos and sampling in the huge Clipper Race Kitchen marquee, which will also incorporate an impressive Flavours of the Foyle showcase.
Other elements of the four-day extravaganza include the Clipper Race Food Pavilion marquee showcasing top local artisan food producers, and the Clipper Race Village will be the ‘go to’ destination for the finest locally sourced street food.
Clipper Race Kitchens is supported by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs NI Agri Food Programme, Tourism NI and Loughs Agency through the Sustainable Development Fund.
John Pollock (CEO Loughs Agency) relayed how keen the Agency was to be involved with Clipper Kitchens. This affords an opportunity to promote local produce, including seafood such as Lough Foyle mussels and oysters. In addition to this involvement, the Loughs Agency has worked with water based recreation clubs and providers to ensure animation on the river throughout the maritime festival. The festival is a unique opportunity to showcase the potential of the Foyle (both river and lough) for tourism and other economic development.
Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Alderman Hilary McClintock, is impressed by the stellar line-up of award-winning visiting and local chefs who are all household names. Special guest chef Jean-Christophe Novelli will be cooking at Clipper Race Kitchens from 1.30pm-5pm on Friday, July 15th, while a host of local celebrity chefs and award-winning restaurant talent have demo slots throughout the four-day event. Admission is free.
Mary Blake, Council’s Tourism Development Officer, said Clipper Race Kitchens would build on the success of the three-day LegenDerry Food Festival which attracted 38,000 visitors to the city in March this year, and its very worthy place as runner-up in the Foodie Towns Ireland competition last year.
She continued: “Clipper Race Kitchens will celebrate everything that is superb about our local food offer. Having tasted the best of continental, festival-goers are also invited to taste the best of what is grown here not flown here, cured and matured here, and through the Flavours of the Foyle showcase, the best of what is caught here, hook line and sinker!”
Michele Shirlow, Board member with Tourism NI and CEO of Food NI, said they were delighted to be supporting Clipper Race Kitchens, showcasing LegenDerry food and produce from across the region during NI Year of Food and Drink.
“This is an excellent platform to profile the city as a leading food destination with international appeal, particularly following the city’s success last year in the Foodie Towns competition.
“Food NI are all about showcasing the finest food and drink from Northern Ireland. With over 350 members from across the food and drink industry, we promote the people who produce it, rear it, make, catch and cook it, and those who distribute it to shops and catering outlets. We believe we have world class ingredients and chefs and we work tirelessly to get that message out near and far.
“Collectively, we are telling people here and abroad about the products and enterprising and creative people behind them and encouraging consumers to opt for local food and drink because it is of the highest quality.”
Chefs taking part in the Clipper Race Kitchens include: – Thursday, July 14th, 1-2pm Jenny Bristow, 2-3pm Paula McIntyre, 3-4pm Jenny Bristow, 4-5pm Pier 59; Friday, July 15th, 12.30-1.30pm The Everglades Hotel – Colman O’Driscoll, 1.30-5pm Jean-Christophe Novelli; Saturday, July 16th, 1-2pm Harry’s – Derek Creagh, 2-3pm The Sooty Olive – Johnny Heaney, 3-4pm Brown’s restaurant- Ian Orr; 4-5pm The No Salt Chef – Brian McDermott; Sunday, July 17th, 1-2pm White Horse Hotel- Noel Ward, 2-3pm The Lough Erne Resort- Noel McMeel, 3-4pm Feast or Famine- Emmett McCourt, 4-5pm The Lough Erne Resort- Noel McMeel.
The family-friendly Clipper Race Kitchens event, which opens at 12 noon daily from July 14th -17th, will also have a kids zone with arts and crafts, water boats, jungle playground, and chairoplanes in Ebrington Square. For more details, visitwww.foylemaritimefestival.com