Local chef and cultural food ambassador Emmett McCourt has been shortlisted for a prestigious international Gourmand World Cookbook awards for his cultural food publication – Feast or Famine.
Gourmand officially confirmed the nomination at a ceremony in Belfast City Hall along with other Northern Ireland finalists.
McCourt’s book - Feast or Famine, a Culture Food Journey of the North West of Ireland (Guildhall Press) has been shortlisted in the Best Local Book and Best Culinary Travel Book category.
Emmett McCourt said: “This is a massive achievement for everyone involved in the concept, development and publication of the book.
“The award creates an international opportunity to introduce our cultural food story to a global audience.
“To be a category winner and shortlisted by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for best in the world, builds confidence in our fantastic food offering and gives us a unique opportunity to profile the region and grow its appeal as a world class food destination.”
Emmett researched the importance of his hometown’s contribution to world cuisine for many years.
Through the Irish Food Heritage Project and the publication of Feast of Famine, he has recovered age-old recipes, revived traditional cooking techniques, and rediscovered long-forgotten Irish food treasures.
Feast or Famine takes you on an historical tour of Derry and Donegal and explores what makes this region such an abundant source of food and drink. His publication –Feast or Famine - shares the cultural food story of the North West Region.
Editor of Feast or Famine, Garbhan Downey from Guildhall Press said: “It is both important and timely that Emmett’s commitment to Ireland’s culinary heritage is being rewarded in this way.
“He has established himself as a national authority in food history and has brought great credit to the Northwest region with his tireless endeavours”.
Mayor Colr Stevenson, who has supported Emmett at many culinary and exhibition events for the Irish Food Project said:
“This is fantastic news not only for Emmett but for the local food industry. The Feast or Famine publication has done a lot to profile the region and our cultural food heritage and I am delighted that Emmett’s hard work has been acknowledged in this way.”
The project has been supported since its inception by North West Regional College, where Emmett lectures the next generation of chefs.
Principal and Chief Executive Leo Murphy commended Emmett for the dedication he has shown to raising awareness of the rich food history of the region.