Saturday Kitchen James Martin has heated up speculation that he’s cooking up plans to open up a top nosh new restaurant in Northern Ireland.
The award-winning presenter of the TV hit series, who already runs a number of restaurants in England, has fed the rumour mill after refusing to deny that he’s Belfast-bound.
Reports have said that James, who’s a firm favourite with the housewives, has been searching for a suitable location for a new eatery here.
The 41-year-old chef, who’s also a writer and a motor-racing enthusiast, was in Belfast last weekend as a star attraction at the first Food and Drink NI show at the King’s Hall.
And at one demonstration in front of nearly 600 people, the Yorkshireman spoke of his love for Northern Ireland and the food on offer here.
He even prepared two dishes with his favourite local produce — Dexter beef and Strangford Lough lobster — which he had earlier featured on his successful Food Map of Britain TV show.
James, who has recently opened a new restaurant in Manchester, was grilled by compere Pamela Ballantine about whether or not he was thinking about expanding his empire to Northern Ireland.
At first he tried to brush off the speculation as nothing more than rumours but after Pamela persisted with her questioning James admitted that he was thinking about a move here, though he refused to give any more details.
But James did reveal that he was a fan of Northern Ireland’s golf courses and Irish whiskey.
“I drank too much of that last night,” he laughed.