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Celebrating the city's great taste in Eat & Drink Belfast Restaurant Week

By Rachel Martin

Published 23/08/2016

Jorge Lopes from Diageo NI, Belfast City councillor Deirdre Hargey and Gerry Lennon from Visit Belfast launch Eat & Drink Belfast Restaurant Week, which takes place from October 8 to October 16
Jorge Lopes from Diageo NI, Belfast City councillor Deirdre Hargey and Gerry Lennon from Visit Belfast launch Eat & Drink Belfast Restaurant Week, which takes place from October 8 to October 16

From the Ulster Fry to Michelin-starred restaurants - when it comes to food, Belfast has it all.

And while Sunday Times columnist Kevin Myers recently insulted the city's restaurants, and the Ulster Fry, restaurateurs will be fighting back during Eat & Drink Belfast Restaurant Week.

Running from October 8 to 16, the initiative by Visit Belfast and Food NI culminates in the Belfast leg of the BBC Good Food Show, a three-day event featuring celebrity chefs James Martin and the Hairy Bikers.

Sharon Machala from Food NI said: "We are encouraging eateries to get involved in this celebration creating 'food experiences' that showcase the great food and drink available in the city."

Gerry Lennon, chief executive of Visit Belfast, added: "Food writers and critics have been raving about our restaurants and food scene for some time now and the city has been mentioned in many influential travel and food guides, notably being named as one of the top places to visit for food in 2016 by the National Geographic Traveller magazine.

In his column recently Kevin Myers wrote: "The province's culinary essence remains the utterly irredeemable Ulster Fry, an aboriginal aberration that bizarrely still finds a place on Belfast menus". And he likened the dish to a "lightly boiled head" on a menu in Papa New Guinea.

However, Darryl Wilson - an Ulster Unionist councillor and owner of Mr D's catering van in Ballymena - defended the dish, saying it was enjoyed by "hundreds of thousands of visitors".

Belfast Telegraph

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