Northern Ireland already has a voracious appetite for golf and the same can be said of our food and drink offering, so combining the Good Food Festival with an international tournament at Galgorm makes perfect sense.
From castles to cooking and a wonderful ‘Taste of Ulster’ this year’s Ulster Bank Good Food Festival will serve up a treat during the Northern Ireland Open in association with SPHERE Global and Ulster Bank at Galgorm Castle.
The Northern Ireland Open Good Food Festival, supported by Food NI, will set up once more within the grounds of the stunning Jacobean Castle at Galgorm. For one weekend only this 17th century landmark will lay out its table to showcase the very best of Northern Ireland’s produce from the local food and drink industry.
Last year’s inaugural food festival at the NI Open proved a great success and this year a full range of products and suppliers from across the province will be on site. From Broughgammon Farm to Braemar Farm Ice Cream and Café Livanto, a wide-ranging mix will be available to sample and purchase at Galgorm.
“Golf enthusiasts and other visitors to the event at Galgorm will be able to sample the breadth, quality and outstanding taste of food and drink now being produced in Northern Ireland,” enthused Michele Shirlow, Chief Executive Food NI.
For some time now Northern Ireland’s array of suppliers, from small artisan producers to larger enterprises, have been punching above their weight in a hugely competitive marketplace. And they have the awards to prove it with titles and trophies from the ‘Great Taste Awards’ and ‘UK Guild of Fine Food’ making their way back to these shores.
It is estimated the food tourism industry in Northern Ireland already generates over £350 million to the local economy, which combined with a world class international golf tournament makes for a winning recipe.
The Northern Ireland Open Good Food Festival is sponsored by Ulster Bank, a longstanding supporter of tournament golf at Galgorm. This year the Food Festival will take place over the weekend of Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th August with the Food Village based once more at the castle where exhibitors and producers will set up. The Good Food Festival is open from 10am each day until 6pm on Saturday and 5pm on Sunday.
This really is the perfect place to kick back and relax and enjoy some great food and drink if looking to take a break from the golf. There will also be a Live Music Festival within the walled gardens of the castle from 4pm to late on the Friday 7th, this is a ticketed event – please visit niopen.co.uk for further information.
“It really is a great idea in a truly stunning location,” added Shirlow. “Northern Ireland has changed so much in recent years and there has been a real renaissance among local producers and suppliers.”
The Good Food Festival at Galgorm forms part of an overall strategy in the build-up to 2016, Northern Ireland’s Year of Food.
Earlier in the year the then Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster announced the ‘Year of Food’ as part of a major tourism initiative to attract new visitors and showcase the best of ingredients here on our doorstep.
“We boast some world class produce, not to mention talented chefs, restaurants, skilled cookery schools and rich food heritage,” said Foster. “The Year of Food will enable us to continue to raise our profile nationally and to promote Northern Ireland food tourism on the international stage.”
Shirlow added: There’s now a growing international recognition that our food is so good. Our aim will be to carry on the work at major events such as the Northern Ireland Open into the planned Year of Food in 2016.”
In many ways Galgorm Castle is ahead of the game because for years they have been “Combining World Class Golf with Northern Ireland’s World Class Food” and what better place to sample both than at this year’s Northern Ireland Open.