The Guildhall Square will be a treasure trove of mouth watering molluscs and fantastic fish at the end of July as the second annual Flavours of the Foyle Seafood Festival gets underway, running from July 26-27.
This year’s celebration of seafood builds on the success of last year’s event which attracted over 20,000 food fans to the giant marquee, where they sampled some of the finest locally sourced produce rustled up by the city’s best chefs.
Organised by Derry City Council, the festival is sponsored by the Loughs Agency and DARD under the NI Regional Food Programme and is delivered with support from Food NI. The theme of the event is ‘Caught here not brought here’ and the focus is on the many culinary treasures which are found in our local waters.
Speaking ahead of the festival the Mayor of Derry, Councillor Brenda Stevenson, urged everyone to come along and support the event.
“We were overwhelmed by the response to the festival last year and I think the winning combination of the very best local seafood, coupled with the culinary talents of some of the most skilled chefs in the region, really appeals to local food fans,” she said.
“The event is a highlight in our summer programme and following on from the immense success of last week’s LegenDerry Maritime Festival we can look forward to another first rate event with fun for all the family. I would encourage everyone to come along and support our local chefs and suppliers.”
Tourism Officer with Derry City Council, Mary Blake, said she was confident that this year Flavours of the Foyle would have even more to offer seafood lovers.
“Festivals such as this play a vital role in boosting local food tourism by profiling local suppliers and making people aware of the wealth of resources available locally at a time when food providence is so relevant,” she explained.
“The North West is really establishing its place on the map as an exciting food destination and Derry City Council, in conjunction with our tourism partners, is committed to building on this reputation for excellence.
“This year we have even more on the menu at the festival, with live cookery demos, fresh food counters, family entertainment and plenty of quality local produce. I would invite everyone to sample some of the amazing ingredients sourced fresh from our own shores.”
Joining the whole host of local kitchen talent cooking up a storm on the boulevard of chefs will be celebrity cooks Brian McDermott, a familiar face on RTE, BBC Radio Ulster’s own home grown domestic goddess Paula McIntyre, Noel McMeel who cooked for world leaders at the G8 Summit in Fermanagh and Ian Orr, recent winner of the Irish Chef of the Year award in the Georgina Campbell awards 2013, with some more names to be added to the kitchen line up.
And while the adults are picking up some culinary tips from the experts, there will be plenty to keep the kids entertained with an array of aquatic activities to keep them busy. They can get up close to the local marine life at the Loughs’ Agency touch tank, enjoy some fishy tales during the story-telling sessions, meet Spreya the Mermaid and other underwater friends, and listen to the watery warblings of the Cod Choir. There will also be Salty Sailors, Juggling Chefs, and fishy crafts and face painting on offer.
Local restaurants throughout the city will also be supporting the Seafood campaign by joining the Seafood Trail, with many restaurants showcasing their best fish dishes over the course of the entire week.
The Flavours of the Foyle Seafood Festival has received funding from the Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme (NIRFP), Derry City Council and The Loughs Agency.
To find out more about the full programme of events over the two days go to www.derrycity.gov.uk/seafood.