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Get your votes in for delicious Derry!

14 August 2018

The countdown is on as the voting deadline fast approaches for entries in this year’s Foodie Destination competition, and local people are being urged to get their votes in now for delicious Derry ahead of the closing date on August 21.

The judges were in the city yesterday for a whistle-stop culinary tour to experience some of the North West’s finest cuisine, meeting with local chefs and innovators in the food industry.

The city was just pipped at the post in both 2015 and 2016 when it was listed as runner up in the prestigious culinary competition, which recognises the very best destinations on the food tourism map.

Derry has again been shortlisted amongst the top ten locations in the country for good food and exceptional produce and with 25% of the vote relying on the public, your views count, and could help secure the city’s reputation as one of the best places to visit in terms of food experiences.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor John Boyle, welcomed the judges to the city on Monday where they met with chefs and producers and got to sample some local delicacies.

Speaking after the visit, he said he was delighted by the judges’ feedback and confident the city could be a front runner in this year’s competition. “Derry’s growing reputation as a city for great food and fantastic home grown produce is drawing more and more people to the area each year,” he declared. “The passion for innovative and good quality food is obvious to anyone visiting the area and we have some really creative and visionary people driving the food revolution here.

“The judges were very impressed by what we’ve achieved in recent years in terms of prioritising the local food industry and establishing a number of highly successful annual showcase events which support our local restaurants and suppliers. I want everyone to get behind the campaign now to clinch the title and support our local food champions in making Derry the top Foodie Destination in the country.”

The city hosts a number of dedicated food showcase events which draw thousands of visitors every year, including the Legenderry Food Festival, Flavours of the Foyle, and the Slow Food Festival, as well as monthly outdoor markets in Derry and Strabane.

Major figures in the food industry have been singing the city’s praises in recent months, including renowned critics John and Sally McKenna of the McKenna Food Guide. After a recent visit, John said the city had experienced a transformation. “Derry city's transformation as a cultural destination has been echoed by its transformation as a culinary destination, which means this historic and charming city is the most happening urban place for good food in Ireland,” he enthused.

“A crew of dedicated and talented chefs, artisans, brewers, distillers all share a commitment to excellence and world-class standards. Something vital is happening in Derry, and it’s disarmingly delicious.”

Top Edinburgh chef and TV favourite Tony Singh regaled the quayside crowds at this year’s Flavours of the Foyle event during the Foyle Maritime Festival, and during his visit he fell for the local charm as well as the food.

"Derry or ‘LegenDerry’ - it’s the right name for this amazing food city!” he declared. “My appetite was whetted with the array of local produce form the sea and lush pastures around Derry, the vibrancy of the food culture, and most of all the best of Irish hospitality and craic from its people. Derry has only one drawback, once sampled it is hard to hard to leave."

The prestigious Foodie Destination competition is run by the Restaurants Association of Ireland, and a total of 10 destinations are competing for the title - including Galway, Kinsale, Sligo, Armagh, Monaghan and Glaslough, Cavan, Boyne Valley, Kilkenny and Mid and East Antrim Borough.

The winner will be decided 25% on public votes and 75% on the judges’ scores and the winning destination will be announced on 29th August.

To vote for the city in the Foodie Destinations Ireland 2018, click here -  http://www.foodiedestinations.ie/city/derry/