The LegenDerry Food Festival is a free family event, held over two days on the 17th and 18th March as part of the St Patrick’s weekend celebrations, running from 12 mid-day to 6pm, there will be lots of entertainment and music for the younger ones to enjoy.
With over 20 food choices to experience, ranging from the sumptuous artisan cheese specialist Dart Mountain Cheese making distinctive flavours from local ingredients, great with their local chutneys and relishes, to the award-winning Morelli’s for their Italian recipe ice-cream with an addition of hot waffles and the new Affogato with a shot of Lavazzo espresso which will be great during the recent cold weather we are experiencing!
MC for the weekend will be television chef and writer Brian McDermott, who will also be launching his new book during the final day of the food festival Sunday 18th March. With a guest appearance by Rachel Allen, known for her television appearances all over the world, Brian was asked about his expectations for the forthcoming food festival which is part of the larger Spring Festival designed by Derry and Strabane District Council.
“I will be concentrating on making sure that everyone who is taking part will be in the right place at the right time!” says Brian. He continued, “I love to coach and mentor young and new talent, helping them continue with their passion in either cooking or becoming a food producer. The LegenDerry Food Festival is becoming a unique experience as local businesses and restaurants are coming on board, and the recipes you experience at the event you can find when you go to eat out, which is fantastic.”
When asked about his new book, Brian said, “My book launch in N.Ireland will be at the Food Festival as I wanted to ensure LegenDerry visitors had the opportunity to read it first! It is 100 recipes collected over 25 years and called the ‘Donegal Table’ using produce from my local area. It’s about bringing the origins of cooking the evening meal back to basics, like my granny used to do.
“With recent health scares in the media about eating so much processed food, my book concentrates on cooking fresh, cooking local and making cooking fun again. I have two teenage girls who are also getting involved and loving it! Especially when some of the recipes are one pot wonders and ‘food craic’, which are all about the social element of eating.
“The city has developed an amazing food base and the LegenDerry Food Festival is a key part of that. I attend over 30 food events each year, and this one is a huge favourite of mine because of the food offering, new talent, producers and of course the visitors who come to it.
“We are continually interfacing with the public at the event, and the attractions of additional tourists is enhancing the local economy and the hospitality industry. The boost is evident with the creation of new jobs and the support it gives to highlight local industry to come back again this year as I have so much self-assurance in what this award-winning event delivers. It is a strong region, improving platforms for food and I am looking forward to the two-day programme. There is so much to see, taste and experience and of course it is for all the family of all ages. It is jam packed!
The award winning LegenDerry Food Festival is part of the Spring Festival Programme supported by Tourism NI and DAERA’s NI Regional Food Programme and organised by Derry and Strabane City Council. For more info go to www.derrystrabane.com/food @islandskypr