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Chef Niall McKenna gives London a taste of Ulster

By Rachel Martin

Published 14/06/2016

Belfast chef Niall McKenna (right) is taking part in the Taste of London festival. He’s joined by James Street South head chef Dave Gillmore (left) and trainee Kevin McParland
Belfast chef Niall McKenna (right) is taking part in the Taste of London festival. He’s joined by James Street South head chef Dave Gillmore (left) and trainee Kevin McParland

Top Belfast chef Niall McKenna of James Street South will fly the flag for Northern Ireland this week at one of Europe’s biggest food festivals.

It will be the first time a Northern Ireland restaurant has taken part in Taste of London.

Niall and his wife Joanne run four restaurants in Belfast, including fine dining James Street South, James Street South Bar and Grill, Hadskis, and Cast and Crew.

Eight chefs and managers from the group will be traveling to London to take part.

The team will be among 40 restaurants putting on a show for foodies in the city’s Regent’s Park.

The five-day festival will feature cookery demonstrations from Belfast restaurant James Street South.

Niall is set to  showcase the best of Northern Ireland produce in his demonstrations.

He’ll be preparing Glenarm organic smoked salmon served with potato bread and Lough Neagh Eel, as well as Hannan Meats’ shorthorn pastrami brisket and sugar pit pork belly.

And there will also be Ewing’s smoked scallops paired with Rathlin Island kelp and Comber Potatoes.

Niall said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to demonstrate the outstanding taste and quality of products, particularly during Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink.

“We will be providing visitors to our stand with opportunities to taste the products and also to showcase our region’s tremendous culinary expertise.

“We hope that it will encourage foodies at the event to seek out and enjoy more food produced by Northern Ireland companies and also to consider the region as food destination for holidays and city breaks.”

It’s his second visit to London in recent times, after winning an Association of Colleges (AoC) Gold Award for his culinary achievements at the House of Commons. 

Niall was nominated by the college where he studied professional cookery in 1987 and 1988. 

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