A medley of internationally renowned celebrity chefs have thrown their culinary clout behind the campaign which is hotting up to have Derry crowned Ireland’s Foodie Destination 2016 during Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink. Derry is one of the top ten finalists shortlisted by the Restaurants Association of Ireland for the Foodie Destination title and the only contender from Northern Ireland.
Among the celebrities helping turn up the heat on Derry’s bid is multi award winning Michelin starred chef Jean-Christophe Novelli who was a huge hit with foodie fans during his special guest appearance at the Clipper Race Kitchens organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council as part of the Foyle Maritime Festival in July this year.
Former Coronation Street actor Sean Wilson is also urging everyone to get behind Derry before the public vote closes at 12pm next Friday, September 9th. Sean, who was the celebrity guest chef at Council’s Big Cheese and Beer Expo in Guildhall Square in April this year, said was impressed by the city’s food offer and the restaurant sector’s commitment to using local produce across its menus.
Other high profile supporters of Derry are Paul Rankin, Jenny Bristow and Paula McIntyre. Mary Blake, Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Tourism Development Officer and organiser of the Foodie Destinations bid, said it was great to get international recognition for Derry and thanked Tourism NI and Food NI for their support in bringing celebrity chefs to the city during NI Year of Food and Drink 2016.
The winning destination will be decided by online public voting (50%) and the results of the judges’ visit (50%), which included Derry this week. The ten finalists are Derry, The Burren (2015 Foodie Towns winner), Boyne Valley, Cong, Kilkenny, Loop Head, Dublin Coastal Villages (Howth, Malahide, Skerries), Monaghan, Sligo and Leitrim.
For voting and for more information visit foodiedestinations.ie.