THIS year’s Slow Food Festival promises to be even bigger and better than before as local cuisine takes centre stage once again at a series of events across the city and beyond from Wednesday, October 9, to Sunday, October 13.
Now into its fourth year, the award-winning Derry City and Strabane District Council event celebrates the very best artisan produce in the North West, with tens of thousands descending on the city for the festival.
It was named the ‘NI Food and Drink Experience of the Year 2018’ from Tourism NI and ‘Best Tourism Event’ at the North West Business Awards.
Speaking at the launch, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Michaela Boyle said she was delighted that the annual event – which is the only one of its kind held in Northern Ireland – continues to go from strength to strength.
She said: “The Slow Food Festival is always a staple for food and drink lovers in the North West and beyond, and it promises to be the best year yet with a magnificent five day programme.
“It’s a chance for the North West to showcase the brilliance of the local cuisine, while the public can also enjoy the festival atmosphere in the Marquee and throughout Guildhall Square.
“Derry City and Strabane District Council value the importance of promoting good local clean and fair food, as well as showing our commitment to the community and the environment.
“And with so much incredible talent in the local food and drink scene, this is a wonderful way to promote what the North West has to offer.”
There will be something for everyone at the unique festival, with demos, masterclasses, street food, family fun on offer at the festival marquee as well as a selection of fantastic events being organised by our local businesses.
The Festival Marquee will be a hub of family fun and delicious food, with something for all ages and tastes as children can enjoy the street animation and kids’ workshops.
The star of this year’s festival will be the Lough Foyle Irish Flat Oyster Bar where you can learn everything from where it was caught to how to eat it, as well as sampling the goods!
Attendees can pick up some top tips from celebrity chefs Jenny Bristow and Catherine Fulvio, who will be sharing all their secrets.
And the best chefs and restaurants in the city are coming together to present ‘the Taste of LegenDerry Slow Food Dining Experience’ a long table dining experience featuring the best of local food and drink from this region, with tickets on sale now through eventbrite.com.
On Saturday (12 pm-9 pm) and Sunday (12pm-6pm) the very best of North West produce will be on display at the magnificent Harvest Market, with food coming ‘from Foyle to field’, ‘plot to plate’ and ‘grain to grass’.
There will be plenty on offer, with butchers to bakers to beeswax candlestick makers in attendance.
Elsewhere, a range of additional events are on offer including Made In Derry Food Tour, Cena di Venti Migilia by Nonna’s Pizza which translates as a dinner from 20 miles, Discover Dart Mountain Tour, the launch of Foyster Legenderry Oyster Stout and much more.
Jennifer O’Donnell, Tourism Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council, explained that this year’s Festival promises to be one of the best yet.
“Slow Food is a global, grassroots organisation, and the Slow Food Festival continues to grow from one year to the next. Once again we will have incredible local artisan producers, craft brewers and chefs – both local and celebrity – in the Guildhall to share the very best of their trade.
“This award-winning event is fun for all the family, and we are absolutely delighted to welcome Good Food Ambassador Jenny Bristow, as well as one of Ireland’s top culinary stars, Catherine Fulvio, who will be sharing their expertise in demos.”
Gary Quate, Food and Drink Experience Development Officer at Tourism NI said: “We are delighted to offer financial support to the Slow Food Festival through Tourism NI’s Taste the Island Events Scheme.
“The Scheme has enabled the Slow Food Festival to grow from a two-day event to four days and is one of the key events of the Taste the Island calendar.
“The organisers and producers have created an exciting packed programme of innovative food and drink experiences for both international and local visitors to enjoy and I would encourage visitors to Taste the Island at this fabulous foodie event.
“The event is funded by the DAERA regional food programme and sponsored by Tourism Northern Ireland.”
For more information, including a full timetable of all the workshops, demos, food and family fun activities on offer, visit www.derrystrabane.com/food