Archive for May, 2012

April 2012 Terry Francis R.I.P “The Full Hog”-Celtic Media Festival – Cookery School Live-Ballywalter Gamefair Launch-IFEX,Chef-Skill 2012

Terry Francis R.I.P

It was with great Sadness, that I learned this week of the Passing of Terry Francis of Pennyburn Derry.Terry was my First Head Chef ,while I was training  as a chef at the Everglades hotel in Derry. ,Terry would often allow me to present the daily buffets at the Everglades Hotel and the Garnishes for service.There were times when I got carried away with the presentation of some dishes while Terry would often turn a blind eye ,only offering encouragement and advice . Terry was a great Chef and Mentor ,a Real  inspiration to us all as trainee chefs ,He will be sorely missed to all who new him and to all who were fortunate to work with him.I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to Terry’s Wife , family and Friends at this sad time.


“The Full Hog”

This has been a very busy Month  with so much to write about ,there have been some really fantastic events also this month summerised below ,Enjoy!.

At the start of the month it was amazing to meet Joe Mc Dermott an Artisan Rare Breed Pork farmer ,I knew Kevin Pyke of Watts was using his Pork at Watts ,but  I found it all the more inspiring when Joe opened “The Full Hog ” A Farm shop at the top of Spencer Road.This farm shop is like the Groceries/Artisan Butchers shops of old and a real revivalist addition to Derry’s  Food Scene.When you walk into “The Full Hog”  You are met by Home made Artisan food everywhere,locally sourced Breads, chutneys, pies and relishes,then there are the goose and duck eggs ,I was like a Kid in a sweet shop when I First entered Joe’s Shop.The vast array of pork cuts & Sausages at the butcher counter of all the rare breeds needs to be seen to be believed. Joe sells a sausage made from his rare breed pork called “Danny Boy”  with cabbage and bacon .These sausages  have been a  huge success,since first displayed on the shelves. I tried these sausages along with the leek sausages and they are very tasty indeed .I also met Noreen and Gary who work at the shop and the welcome I received  was amazing, Check out this Fantastic shop on Spencer Road .

The Celtic Media Festival Awards Gala Dinner was a huge success at Culturlann on the 20th of April,I was very Pleased with the food displayed. A true Menu on Irish Food Heritage highlighting local Artisan produce and regional Dishes from the Northwest of Ireland.The feed back from our guests on the food ,was fantastic ,many of them TV producers, Actors and presenters from shows like “The Inbetweeners” “Mrs Browns Boys” and Rabb C Nesbitt.My own team which consisted of students from the North West Regional College and Experienced Chef and Waiters ,were amazing !!They rose to the challenge and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience of Preparing Cooking and presenting Regional Irish Food for such  high profile Guests.Thanks so much .The display of the Buffet on the night was inspiring to say the least .As I am now using Bog Oak and Bog Ewe plates to present the food in this exciting Project. I have commissioned Mary Doherty of Inishowen Bog Wood Sculptures to produce serving pieces and plates for me, some of them up to 9000 years old ,so it was fitting to showcase some of Marys Work on the night ,the effect of these Bog Oak and Bog Ewe sculptures  alongside Regional Irish Foods was breathtaking and epitomises our rich Irish Heritage and the City of The Oak Tree -Doire   . Check out Marys facebook page below.!/pages/Inishowen-Bogwood-Sculptures/196393333760997

Thanks to Jonathan Lyttle from the NWRC who gave me expert advice on the layout of the buffet.

At the Celtic Media Festival I met  Miriam O’ Callaghan, a lovely lady,who enjoyed the Food and was very interested in the project.

I would like to thank Catriona Logan Celtic Media Festival Producer and all her team,  check out there pages below.

Also ,All the team at Culturlann Doire who hosted the Gala party,thanks for having us.

I would also like to thank Greg Whelan from Irish Linen House ,for his wonderful hand made Celtic Linen designs .This really showcased the whole event at The Celtic Media Festival.Check out Greg’s work below

Check out the Photos Below.


After the Celtic Media Festival an amazing 3 day event which was a great success was “Cookery School Live” @ Ebrington Organised By Brian Mc Dermot Community Chef.This consisted of Cookery Demonstrations over 3 days with Celebrity Cook offs and Competitions for students and young people.The event was a great success and congratulations to Brian and Partners ILEX NWRC & Culture Company with In Your space event Management, they pulled off a great show. The feedback from visitors over the 3 days was fantastic.This is the sort of Food/Cookery Event Derry/Londonderry Really Needs and has great potential for future shows with Brian’s Cookery School Live. Check out Brian below.

After Cookery School Live ,We had an amazing launch of The great Gamefairs Of Ireland at Ballywalter House with Lord and Lady Dunleath.This is the Year of Celebrating the Salmon & Trout at the Great Gamefairs with many Recipes and events sceduled around these King of Fish.Be sure to check out The go for game and Fish Cookery Demonstrations at Ballywalter Gamefair on the 5th & 6th of May.Also this year at Ballywalter are Flavour magazines food village with an array of Artisan produce and Cookery Demonstrations.The Gamefair & flavour websites below..

Easyfairs -IFEX 2012 Chef Skill  at the Kings Hall Belfast

This was a fantastic event this year and by far the best IFEX to date .The Chef Skill, Salon Culinaire  & Parade de Chefs was fantastic this year. The amazing standard of food presented this year,By those Chefs from Industry and Colleges Throughout the country, was inspiring to say the least.James Devine from the Deli on the Green won IFEX Chef of the year,whilst Rebbeca Doran from Victoria Restaurant in Belfast won Junior Chef of the year.Special thanks to all the Ministers who came to vist us this year at IFEX.This show would not be possible if it were not for many people in the team at Easy fairs ,Matt Benyon ,Lourda Derry, Caroline Mc Guinness ,Shona & all the team at IFEX 2012

Thanks to Riki Neil for organising the successful Learn Shop Seminars at IFEX ,A great addition to the show this year.The Feedback was fantastic from the Audience -Thank You….

Thanks to Mr IFEX himself Mr Sean Owens Salon Director and Marty Donnelly for pulling off another inspiring and fantastic event!!Sean Owens does so much for the industry here In N Ireland and for young chefs in their training and development.He campaigns regularly at ministerial level on a daily basis and if it were not for Sean Owens we would not have successful event that IFEX is , year after year!

Find Sean Owens at Gardiners Restaurant below

Special thanks to Peter Griffiths MBE and his lovely wife Mary for making IFEX World Class .Thanks to all the judges throughout the 3 days . The craic afterwards was 90 ,Keep er Lit!. some photos below

Congratulations goes to Leona and Richard Kane from Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil Limavady ,who won product of the show at IFEX 2012.I am totally delighted for Leona and Richard .They have a unique Home Grown Product with a fascinating story of Food Heritage, to be featured in the Forthcoming book Feast Or Famine.Another  fantastic award For the Northwest too!! check out their website below for full story.


Finally ,thanks to all the team at Guildhall Press, the Premier Local Publishers & Designers, For all their fantastic design work on the project over the last few Months

More Exciting Irish food heritage to come.

Check out the blog in the coming weeks

Emmett Mc Court

Feast Or Famine

Irish Food Heritgage Project