Foodies and families from near and far have been singing the praises of this year’s Slow Food Festival which attracted thousands of visitors before it drew to a close on Sunday.
In its fourth year, the extended five-day event has been an outstanding success for organisers from Derry City and Strabane District Council.
The two-day Harvest Market marquee which attracted dozens of local producers as well as celebrity chefs in the kitchen was supplemented this year with a full programme of additional foodie experiences, from an Italian extravaganza to a long table dining event, from beer and cheese tours to the launch of a new Irish oyster stout.
The Lough Foyle Irish Flat Oyster was undoubtedly the star of the show with visitors queuing up to taste this seasonal delicacy unique to the area.
The Mayor, Councillor Michaela Boyle, was delighted to see thousands of people from the region and further afield visit the city to feast on the flavours of the festival, the only one of its kind in Northern Ireland.
She praised the council’s Tourism department, the local food producers, chefs and brewers who are helping shine a spotlight on the area as a dedicated food destination after having been named NI Food and Drink Experience of the Year 2018 by Tourism NI and Best Tourism Event at the North West Business Awards.
The event showcased top quality produce from fresh fish to charcuterie, preserves to hand-made confectionery, locally made honey, cheeses, granola, rapeseed oil and organic vegetables.
Chefs from all over Ireland were in town, including Catherine Fulvio, Jenny Bristow, Brian McDermott and Ian Orr, to give inspiring cookery demonstrations using the abundance of fresh, local ingredients on hand. They were joined by Slow Food NI director, Paula McIntyre.
Slow Food is a global, grassroots organisation that started in Italy in the 1980s and promotes the true enjoyment of high quality, local foods, produced in a good, clean and fair way and with a commitment to the community and environment.
Due to demand, the marquee remained open until 9.00pm on the Saturday to allow those attending more time to sample the sweet and savoury treats and discuss their provenance with the artisan suppliers.
Photo shows renowned cook Jenny Bristow, one of the many chefs to attended the Slow Food Festival.
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