2019 a success for putting food and drink sector on the map

Mayor Michaela Boyle at the launch of the Street Food Festival last summer.
Mayor Michaela Boyle at the launch of the Street Food Festival last summer.

2019 has been a successful year for many businesses in the city and district’s food tourism sector.

Jennifer O’Donnell, Tourism Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council, says the past twelve months were hugely successful for promoting local food produce and celebrating the wealth and quality of the local food industry.

Among the success stories was the participation of 48 companies through 55 various innovation projects as part of the Foodovation project. Over half of those companies were from the Derry and Strabane council area and consisted of restaurants or small companies looking to develop a retail product.

The three-day LegenDerry Street Food Festival in July was attended by 20,000 people while the return of the Slow Food Festival, as part of the Taste the Island Initiative, was expanded into a five day programme of events and experiences.

James Huey, Chair of the LegenDerry food and drink network, says 2019 will be seen as the year that the city and district experienced a step change in becoming an “iconic” food destination.

Catherine Goligher, Food Tourism Officer with the Council, says she is extremely proud of the achievements of the past year.

She says ambitious plans for 2020 include the launch of the new LegenDerry food and drink brand and website in February.

“We are really excited about this new brand and how it will allow us to showcase our food and drink offering and wealth of local quality produce.

“The website will feature all our local food and drink businesses who become accredited under the new brand.”

Businesses interested in becoming accredited can contact Catherine Goligher for more information. Her mail address is: catherine.goligher@derrystrabane.com. The deadline for applications is January 24, 2020.