North West still a red hot foodie destination

Chef Brian McDermott enthralls the crowd during a Slow Food Festival in Guildhall Square, Derry.
Chef Brian McDermott enthralls the crowd during a Slow Food Festival in Guildhall Square, Derry.

Derry and Strabane have narrowly missed out on being crowned Ireland’s top Food Destination after judges awarded the title to Kilkenny.

Derry and Strabane had been shortlisted in the top 10 food tourism hotspots on the island of Ireland in the competition, which is run by the Restaurants Association of Ireland.

A nationwide campaign called on food lovers to vote for their favourite foodie destination and judges for the competition visited Derry in August to experience some of the North West’s finest cuisine.

They also met with local chefs and innovators involved in the local food industry.

Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Colr. John Boyle paid tribute to everyone involved in the campaign.

“I think we put in a fantastic effort and to be included in the top 10 foodie destinations on the island of Ireland is a great endorsement of Derry and Strabane as an exciting new food tourism destination and one that will really raise the city and district’s profile in terms of the quality of our restaurants and our local produce,” the Mayor said.

Jennifer O’Donnell, the council’s Tourism Manager said she was delighted the city and district’s food tourism offering had been recognised in the competition.

“We are really pleased to have been included in the top ten Foodie Destinations and are really proud of the way everyone worked together to get involved in the campaign.

“The food tourism industry is hugely important for the city and is a key economic driver.

“Locals and tourists alike will agree that the food offering in this region is second to none, thanks to quality, locally produced produce and talented culinary chefs and friendly staff.”