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Year of Food and Drink 2016: Top chefs showcase Northern Ireland produce in London

By Valerie Edwards

Top chefs and producers showcased local fare at the Good Housekeeping Institute in London yesterday for the launch of Northern Ireland's Year of Food and Drink 2016.

Award-winning chef, Theo Randall, used Northern Ireland produce to cook some of his signature dishes in the test kitchen for guests to sample.

Randall, the proprietor of Theo Randall at the InterContinental in London's Park Lane and former head chef at The River Cafe, was assisted by Niall McKenna of James Street South, Derek Creagh of Harry’s Shack, Will Brown of The Old Schoolhouse Inn, James Huey of Walled City Brewery, as well as the Krazi Baker, Mark Douglas.

The event, organised by Tourism Ireland, invited guests to "come and enjoy 366 days of culinary celebration, where they will discover the best of local produce".

Guests heard about Northern Ireland's world-class ingredients, talented chefs, restaurants and cookery schools.

In 2016, Tourism Ireland will highlight and promote Northern Ireland food around the world to give tourists an "appetite" to visit. 

Vanessa Markey, of Tourism Ireland’s, said: “Next year, Tourism Ireland will place a major focus on highlighting Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink.

"With so many great events planned for 2016, our message is that there has never been a better time to enjoy a true taste of Northern Ireland.”

Visitors from Great Britain to Northern Ireland increased by 5% in the first half of 2015, according to the NI Statistics and Research Agency.

Vanessa added: “Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that growth continues and our busy autumn campaign is now in full swing.” 

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