Emmett McCourt flies the flag for Derry at Irish Books and Music Festival in Chicago

October 2015: REPRO FREE: Elisha McCallion, Mayor of Londonderry (right) wishes chef Emmett McCourt well, as he gets ready for iBAM Chicago 2015, where he will join Tourism Ireland as a food ambassador for Northern Ireland. Emmett is pictured with some of the local produce he will be promoting to potential visitors with Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland (second  left) and Aoife, Visit Derry (second right). Photo by Stephen Latimer (repro free)''Further media information:'Elaine Moore/Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland'Tel: 07766 527719
October 2015: REPRO FREE: Elisha McCallion, Mayor of Londonderry (right) wishes chef Emmett McCourt well, as he gets ready for iBAM Chicago 2015, where he will join Tourism Ireland as a food ambassador for Northern Ireland. Emmett is pictured with some of the local produce he will be promoting to potential visitors with Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland (second left) and Aoife, Visit Derry (second right). Photo by Stephen Latimer (repro free)''Further media information:'Elaine Moore/Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland'Tel: 07766 527719
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An award winning Derry chef has been invited to a food festival in Chicago to highlight the best of Northern Ireland food.

Tourism Ireland has invited award winning author Emmett McCourt to the Irish Books And Music Festival.

At the festival, Emmett will champion local food and drink, holding cookery demonstrations and enticing visitors to the festival to come and sample a taste of Northern Ireland for themselves.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “We are delighted that Emmett will join us at iBAM Chicago, shining a spotlight on Northern Ireland and its growing reputation as an interesting culinary destination.

“2016 has been designated Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink, when we will celebrate all that is good about our superb produce and world-class food scene. Northern Ireland is increasingly synonymous with culinary excellence and Tourism Ireland will take every opportunity to highlight and celebrate our wonderful culinary offering in 2016, promoting Northern Ireland in the US, and elsewhere around the world, to people who love great food.”

Emmett McCourt, who lectures at the North West Regional College, said: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be attending iBAM Chicago as food ambassador for Tourism Ireland and representing Northern Ireland. This is an amazing opportunity to profile and grow the appeal of Northern Ireland as a world-class food destination and to share our food story with an American audience. I am very proud to have been given this opportunity to showcase the best of what we have to offer, which will help bring attention to Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink 2016”.

The United States is an important market for tourism to Northern Ireland and Tourism Ireland’s extensive autumn campaign is now in full swing to continue to grow American visitor numbers, taking advantage of late booking trends as there is still plenty of business to play for. As well as highlighting Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink 2016, Tourism Ireland is also promoting the Causeway Coastal Route, new visitor experiences like The Gobbins Coastal Path and the refurbished Mount Stewart, as well as iconic attractions such as Titanic Belfast.