Belfast Telegraph

Jamie Oliver's Food Tube team in Derry trying Northern Ireland traditional recipes

By Rachel Martin

Millions of Jamie Oliver fans will see footage of Londonderry and its up-and-coming restaurant scene as the star's Food Tube team takes to the Walled City.

Around 22 million people tune in to Jamie Oliver's Food Tube recipe videos every month, making it one of YouTube's most popular channels.

The Naked Chef's team will hit the city as part of Tourism Ireland's latest promotion to highlight attractions in the region alongside the Year of Food and Drink 2016.

The video will feature chef Kerryann Dunlop demonstrating her favourite Northern Ireland recipes to viewers.

Kerryann first featured on Jamie's Kitchen in 2002 - a reality series where the chef attempted to train a group of unemployed young people at his restaurant, Fifteen.

The Northern Ireland video will feature the Maiden City's Craft Village, where Kerryann will bake barmbrack with a ring inside, using a traditional Halloween recipe.

The video, due to go live in mid-October, will also feature scenic shots of the city and will highlight next month's Banks of the Foyle Halloween Festival.

Tourism Ireland hopes the series will showcase Northern Ireland and encourage food enthusiasts to travel to the region to see what it has to offer.

This is not the first time Jamie's team has ventured to the province. Tourism Ireland also commissioned Food Tube videos in Enniskillen, with chef and broadcaster John Quilter, and another in Glenarm with Dutch chef and Food Tube presenter Bart van Olphen.

Londonderry's food reputation has grown in the last few years. Donal Doherty proprietor of Harry's Shack, told Belfast Telegraph he had signed a lease to open a new branch of his critically-acclaimed restaurant chain in the Craft Village.

The restaurant is still a work in progress and due to open next month.

But Mr Doherty explained his eatery is just one of many causing a buzz in the city, with one street food business now moving into permanent premises, and a new Ebrington Square brewhouse and restaurant.

"Kevin Pyke's street food has moved into the Blackbird Pub. It's a small menu of really tasty, quality food and has only been open four weeks.

"Derry isn't particularly affluent but there's still a lot going on. The Walled City Brewery has definitely embraced the whole cafe-brewery movement. It's somewhere which really is world-class, with the brewery literally on one side and the restaurant on the other.

"There's a lot more people running down at the Quays where lots of cafes are opening, and people walking across the Peace Bridge. There's a definite lifestyle change happening."

The Wolf Shack reopened along Queen's Quay in June after undergoing substantial refurbishment.

And Glenn McAllister, who opened Cafe Gate in the Craft Village with his brother, Richard, just over a year ago, allowed the Food Tube film crew to use his cafe's oven.

He explained: "My brother and I have worked in the industry for over 20 years. We were based over in England and Scotland working as chefs for a while - in that time a lot changed over here. People are travelling more and trying different things and are starting to expect a lot more from restaurants.

"There's a good mix of places to eat in Derry - now there's a lot of up-market, fine dining restaurants like Browns but there's still a lot of traditional cafes like ours."

David Boyce, Tourism Ireland's deputy head of Great Britain, commented: "Our message here in Great Britain is that Northern Ireland is a superb choice for 'foodies' for a holiday or long weekend break.

"We're inviting them to come and discover our wonderful food and drink - and also hear the stories of the passionate people who rear, make, cook, distil and serve this superb produce."

Belfast Telegraph