Saturday Kitchen regular, Theo Randall, will headline this year’s Comber Earlies Food Festival on Saturday 25 June. Visitors to the festival will have the opportunity to discover how to best cook the prized potato with cooking demonstrations by local chef Jim Mulholland, while lecturers and students from SERC will be throwing in their usual creative dishes – look out for Combonara!
Running as part of Taste Summer in Ards and North Down, the free to attend Festival will have over 40 food stalls featuring local producers plus an artisan bar offering the best of local distilleries and breweries, as well as brass brands, children’s entertainment and a vintage tractor display.
Comber Earlies potatoes have enjoyed Protected Geographical Indication status since 2012, a recognition of their unique taste and flavour thanks to the micro-climate in which they’re grown in the rich soil of the Ards Peninsula and Comber areas. They share this status with products such as feta, camembert and champagne.
The Comber Earlies Food Festival is open from 10am – 4pm on Saturday 25 June and if you want to make a weekend of it, why not join the Comber Earlies Spud Tour on Friday 24 June or the Comber Earlies Food Festival Picnic on Sunday 26 June!
As part of the Spud Tour, you will have the opportunity to visit the fields of a local farmer and producer of the famous Comber Earlies and see the crops in their prime. Travelling by coach to the spectacular surroundings where the potatoes are grown, try your hand at harvesting and hear about what makes them so unique. Then taste the Comber Earlies fresh out of the field as they are cooked and served by renowned chef, Paula McIntyre, before rounding off your trip with a potato-based pizza and drink at No.14 The Georgian House. Tickets cost £20.
On Sunday 26 June, you can take part in National Picnic Week with an afternoon picnic at Island Hill, Comber. Bring your own picnic or pre-book a delicious Comber potato themed picnic box for £15. The Picnic Boxes have been prepared by SERC and contain ham hock rillettes, piccalilli and poppy seed lavash, Mexican layered potato salad, potato chapati with a curried potato green chilli and coriander relish, fresh green apple, potato power cookie, and a bottle of water.
The event is free to attend and you can enjoy lots of family fun including music, face painting and traditional picnic games.
The Council is committed to reducing our carbon footprint and has organised free buses to the event from Bangor, Newtownards and Belfast. Times and departure points are available from the website.
For more information, and to book your tickets or pre-book your picnic boxes, go to visitardsandnorthdown.com/tastesummer.