The impact of a food festival can greatly increase tourism and ultimately boost the local economy, raising the profile of local businesses and up and coming chefs and food products. The award winning LegenDerry Food Festival will be doing just that, with the expectation of over 30k visitors to the Guildhall square in the city centre over the forthcoming St Patrick’s weekend on 17th and 18th March.
Recent government figures published, state that tourism spend is nearly £3m per day to N.Ireland, and Derry & Strabane District Council is aiming to secure some of that to boost the city centre by attracting visitors to this free food event for all the family. Located under the Guildhall and in clear sight of the renowned Peace Bridge, the LegenDerry Food Festival is free to attend and will be held outside with great local food producers specialising in using local produce, with lots of animation and fun for the kids to enjoy.
The main attraction for so many of those visiting the event will be Irish celebrity chef Rachel Allen, known for her work on television and as a writer. Rachel has supported the LegenDerry event in the past and is back again on Sunday 18th March with her first demonstration at 1pm. The event starts at 12 mid-day and goes on to 6pm when Rachel will be providing a great opportunity for visitors to hear first-hand those special techniques which makes Rachel such a leader in the industry.
One of the few well known female chefs in Ireland and in the UK, Rachel has opened her own restaurant in Cork, teaches in the infamous Ballymaloe Cookery School, and still has time to make appearances on radio, television, write over a dozen cookery books and bring up three children. Asked what is so special about LegenDerry Food Festival to attract her back for a second time, Rachel stated, “When I was asked if I would demonstrate at this year’s event, I jumped at the chance! This is such a great food festival as it provides an opportunity to showcase local produce as well as local new talent who may not be as well known yet. It gives them a springboard into the public arena which they may not otherwise secure.
“The location is continually developing and is turning into such a vibrant hub for tourists and industry. The food industry is expanding very quickly as we are now starting to realise the importance of eating well and just feeling better about ourselves, that’s what I aim to bring to the LegenDerry Food Festival event.
“I will be providing two demonstrations for the public to experience the importance of eating local produce and just how simple I keep my recipes for everyone to enjoy. I will be giving hints and tips on what to look out for when cooking that all important meal and on following a simple recipe guide. I am looking forward to being there on the Sunday afternoon of the St Patrick’s weekend, as the audience will be amazing.”
The LegenDerry Food Festival is part of the larger Spring Festival programme of events for Derry and Strabane District Council. Detail on the programme and a list of food producers and entertainment on offer over the two days is available on www.derrystrabane.com/food The LegenDerry programme is supported by Tourism NI and DAERA’s NI Regional Food Programme and organised by Derry and Strabane District Council. @islandskypr