Belfast Telegraph

Seven Wonders of Northern Ireland: The home of unbeatable seafood

Our Seven Wonders series continues with some local culinary delights

My earliest days as a young chef were spent at the Portaferry Hotel and what sums up Northern Ireland for me is that smell of the sea. I now live in Killyleagh, just one mile from Strangford Lough.

On the Ards peninsula there are scallops, prawns, lobsters, oysters and mussels and it is a great pleasure to work with such good food. A bit of butter and lemon is all you need with these ingredients. For the recent Strangford Seafood Week, however, I devised a Strangford crab and cauliflower Martini.

I put cauliflower puree at the bottom of a Martini glass, followed by white crabmeat with pickled shallots, a light crab bisque frothed into a foam with a Parmesan puff attached.

That is a refined dish from the restaurant, but I love the langoustines we get from Strangford Lough which have simply been blanched, cooked

for a minute or so in boiling water, cut in half and had some garlic butter and lemon added.

With wheaten bread and a pint of Guinness, it is a plate of home.

Danny Millar (39) is chef-director at Balloo House Hotel, Killinchy, and was awarded Best Chef in Ireland at the 2010 Irish Restaurant Awards. He is a regular on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen

How you can shape the Seven Wonders

So what do you, the reader, think makes Northern Ireland special?

As our series runs every day over the next month we invite readers to vote on which landmark or aspect of life here as detailed by our celebrity contributors that they most agree with.

At the conclusion of the series this will enable us to draw up a list of the Seven Wonders of Northern Ireland — the things that really make Northern Ireland great.

Your choices can be sent to Belfast Telegraph, 124-144 Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1EB or alternatively send an email to

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