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Food Festival to Serve Up Some Legenderry Delights

02 March 2016

Drowning your shamrocks may be a St Patrick’s tradition, but this year we’ll also be tickling your taste buds as the Legenderry Food Festival rounds off the carnival celebrations in Derry.

Following on from the St Patrick’s Spring Carnival Parade on March 17th, the weekend will see a flurry of activity in the festival marquee in Guildhall Square as chefs and suppliers showcase their wares.

Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th of March bring a two day celebration of local produce led by some of the North’s finest culinary talent, including top TV chef Paul Rankin. Over 20 local restaurants will be taking part in this year’s event, which is a highlight of the N. Ireland Year of Food and Drink Calendar.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion, said the event is an annual draw for over 36,000 visitors. “I am delighted to see the return of the Legenderry Food Festival as the event always has a dedicated following of food fans who come to sample some of the latest trends in local cooking.

“The weekend presents a great opportunity to showcase the work of some of our most talented local chefs, as well as the impressive array of produce sourced right here in the North West. Derry is fast establishing itself as an exciting food destination, as highlighted by our runner up placing in the Foodie Town of Ireland Awards out of over 30 towns and cities across the country. Festivals such as this one really help to grow the profile of the local industry and enhance our visitor experience.”

The events mainly take place in the impressive marquee which will dominate the Guildhall Square over the course of the festival. On Thursday the venue will be hopping with live music throughout St Patrick’s Day. But the musicians make way for some culinary magic as the Legenderry kitchens open for business on Saturday and Sunday between 12noon and 6pm.

Look out for some familiar faces including BBC regular Paula McIntyre and RTE’s Brian McDermott, who will be sharing some top tips on how to impress your dinner party guests. And N. Ireland’s favourite chef Paul Rankin returns to the Marquee after a fantastic reception at last year’s Flavours of the Foyle event.

Visitors can enjoy some searing cook offs and demonstrations in the theatre of food as well as try and buy some five star dishes on the boulevard of chefs. And there’s plenty for younger gourmands to enjoy with animation, juggling and children’s crafts.

The Guildhall will provide the stunning setting for a Food Fair with a difference, as over 40 artisan producers showcase an array of local hand crafted products including chocolate, breads, sweets and cheeses.

Council’s Tourism Officer and festival organisor, Mary Blake, said the event continues to draw a dedicated following each year. “I think that we are really beginning to realise our potential when it comes to food and we are seeing an increasing number of industry professionals getting behind the campaign to make Derry an exciting food hub.

“The Legenderry Food Festival continues to grow year on year, and is the perfect platform for promoting food provenance and legendary and local produce. This is all about loving local food and sharing our passion for the unique food heritage that sets us apart.”

The Legenderry Food Festival will take place in the Guildhall Square & Guildhall from 12noon – 6pm on Saturday March 19 and Sunday March 20.

For more information on the event and the full St Patrick’s Day programme go to www.derrystrabane.com/stpatricks.