July, August & September 2012 Summary of Events

Its been really busy the last few months ,with some really exciting developments .The Irish Food Heritage Project -Feast or Famine has grown from strength to strength with the ultimate Goal of showcasing the Northwest of Ireland as a food tourism destination to a global Audience,one in which to visit and experience the regions culinary heritage ,chefs, Restaurants and great natural food resources, leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come .We have been successful as a region, in the last few months in building the foundations of some elements of these ambitions  .The Clippers home coming with”Flavours of the Foyle ” Seafood festival was a massive success and an unanticipated number of visitors were recorded over the two days of the seafood festival.This has shown the potential that exists here in the North west, to host such a food event for years to come.This would not have been possible if it were not for a large number of people, food organisations chefs & restaurants.

Special thanks to NITB and to Mary Blake and all the team from Derry City Council who made this happen.Gillian Simpson, Andy Sides and all from the Loughs agency.Mechele Shirlow and all from Food NI, who shared the vision .Jane Irwin and all at Morrow Communications who delivered a world class event with Food NI. Special thanks also to all the  Chefs, Artisan producers ,suppliers & food businesses ,Students & Staff at NWRC.David From Diamond Ice and the musicians and acts who added so much value to the seafood festival. .To all who were involved ,This would not have been the Event it was, if it where not for you.. With your help, this will be a Bigger and Better event for our City of Culture Year 2013  …Enjoy the photos from “Flavours of The Foyle”

Photo Below By Lorcan Doherty Photography

Kelan Rathmullan House

With Gerry

Paula McIntyre

Belfast Cookery School

John Crowe NWRC

Below- Canada Day 1st July 2012 Ice Sculpture of Maple Leaf By Diamond Ice. A Celebration of all the Emigrants who left the Port of Derry/ Londonderry for a new life in Canada.

With Mary Blake DCC

Students David & Orrie NWRC


Leona Kane Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil

Patsy Looking Happy ,Donegal Prime

Kevin Pyke Watts & Co

With Gavin Glackin Student NWRC

Michelle Shirlow Food NI ,Mayor ,Mary Blake,David Bannon NWRC

3 Amigos  Mark ,Gareth & Brian

Sea-food Monster

Community Chef Brian Mc Dermot

Ian Orr Browns

Barry O Brien Beech Hill & Niall Gorham  Chef  Oysters Strabane

Monreagh Ulster Scots 4th July Celebrations.

After Flavours of the Foyle, The 4th of July Celebrations took place at Monreagh Ulster  Scots Heritage Center at Carrigans Co Donegal.This was a massive success with unanticipated Numbers .The hearth Crane Crook was in action again,, where I demonstrated the foods that the People Of the Area ate, through the celebration of Irish Food Heritage.I also did a bit of filming with the comedian Kevin McAleer for a Programme to be aired At the beginning of 2013 ,Thanks toKevin, Juile and all the Crew ,had a Fantastic time..Check Back later for details…

Congratulations too Kiaran ,Mags and all the team at Monreagh for making the 4th of July celebrations an outstanding success .This event will prove to be one of the biggest 4th  Of July celebrations in the country next year.

This was followed by the official opening of the plantation village at Monreagh House.This is worth a special visit to see how people lived during the plantation of Ulster.. .Kiaran Fegan and his team have done so much in the last year for Monreagh House that ,This has truly added value to this fantastic heritage Centre and worth a special journey to visit. Check out Monreaghs website below.


Short Video Below of Irish Food Heritage Cookery demonstrations at Monreagh


Below With Charlie McConalogue Donegal TD, at the Opening of the Plantation Village Monreagh.

The Halyon Unplugged Festival 2012 ,”Haly Fest” took place from the 6th -8th  of July .This was a celebration of Music ,Art and Film ,A feast for the senses .The Halyfest Consisted of Authors ,Artists Musicians Film Makers Culinaires and Sommeliers.Halyfest 2012, the first festival of its kind in the area, is a celebration of the arts and senses; an amalgam of unplugged and traditional music, gastronomic and vinous delights, beautiful photos and painting exhibitions, authors reading aloud, filmmakers, open dancing and talented creative minds coming together under the summer sun in the Inishowen Peninsula of Ireland.  Hosted by Sarah Mcguinness ,at her home in Greencastle, with the most Beautiful and breathtaking views of lough Foyle .I Had An Amazing Experience at the Halyfest ,and such a fantastic location.Inspiring to talk about Irish food Heritage and the journey it has taken to the New World ,Looking down on Lough Foyle where our first pioneers Left From and built other nations.
Also great to see one of my early inspirations in my Career there.Denis Broderick “The Wine Man”.Thanks so much Sarah, Angela to you and all your team for making the few hours I  had so fulfilling!! .A Great Success .Hope to be there next year.

Find Denis Broderick Below


Check out Sarah’s website below ,and Haly fest website were you can get the full festival Photos….and line up…




Photos Below by David Mitchell

Sarah McGuinness

Garbhan Downey Author

Jenni Doherty Author

Fiona McCade & Sarah Mc Guinness


Denis Broderick

Chris Keys

David Mitchell

Contact David Below


The Great Gamefairs of Ireland

The Great Gamefairs of Ireland celebrated its 50 year, at Shanes Castle at the start of July. This year was the celebration of the Salmon and the Trout.I Had a fantastic day at the press Launch of  the 50th anniversary of the Great Game Fairs of Ireland…Special thanks to Deputy first Minister Martin mcGuinness for coming along to launch the Great Game Fairs and for casting the first fly..Deputy First Minister gave an inspiring Speech of his Love and support for Country sports and The Rural way of Life  and In Particular Fly Fishing.

In launching this year’s Game Fair the deputy First Minister said: “As an
enthusiastic angler I am honoured to have been invited to launch the 50th Game
Fair of Ireland. It is appropriate therefore that the overall theme for this
year is a fishing one, although this Fair will offer an action-packed weekend
and will showcase all that is good in Irish country life.

“The Fair is a great Irish tradition and I commend ‘The Great Game Fairs of
Ireland’ for their efforts in preserving this way of country life, and I
congratulate them on now having organised fifty game fairs. By introducing new
attractions, concepts and themes they have continued to maintain very high
levels of interest in this wonderful celebration.”

This years fair at Shanes Castle was a great success , congratulations to Albert and Irene Titterington for making all Three Games fairs of Ireland The outstanding success they were this year. Link to Country Sports & Country Life websites Below



Enjoy some of the photos and you tube  video of Shanes castle Gamefair below

Field Sports Britain TV



Flavour Magazine

This year also saw the Welcome edition of the Flavour Food Pavilion at Shanes Castle, with Artisan Food Producers ,Suppliers and chefs throughout the two days..This was a great Success for Emma and Cathy from Flavour Magazine .The Lough Neagh Eel challenge took place between Myself and my Good Freind Sean Owens  Chef Patron of Gardiners Restaurant Magherafelt .The Craic was great over the two days ,with Owensy Pulling out all  the stops and Cooking some fantastic Eel Dishes that wowed the crowds. Special thanks to Gareth Austin and Leona Kane for supplying The Fine Vegetables ,Edible Flowers and Rapeseed Oil for the Eel  Dishes. Don’t Miss the Full coverage of the Gamefair and recipes in the Autumn Edition of Flavour Magazine..On sale Now !!! Check out Gardiners Restaurant and Flavours Website Below.

Flavour Magazine on sale now!!




Some Photos from Shanes castle Gamefair

Summer Salad of Lough Neagh Eel, Featured in Flavour Magazine

Emma Cowen Flavour Magazine

Sean Owens Displaying My Eel Dish ,Served on BogWood

“A Celebration of Field Sea & Stream”

Kate Richey, Flavour Magazine

I met one of the Greatest Artisan Butchers/Farmers  Ive ever come across ,at Shanes castle gamefair..Peter Gott From Sillfield farm.Peter has a vast array of artisan rare breed,free range animals .He is a pioneer in Artisan Production and supplies to some of the finest restaurants on these Islands ..Peter has also a great knowledge of food Heritage ,some of which he passed on to me at the fair.This knowledge was so fascinating that I’m hoping to feature a few of Peters Secret recipes with stories ,some of which are ancient, In the Book Feast or Famine..I have also been invited to cook at London’s  most renowned and Greatest Artisan Food Market -Borough Market .I’ve been invited by David Matchett – Market Development Manager , Really Passionate Foodie and Armagh Man to Boot. This should be exciting, to bring the Irish Food Heritage Story to Borough Market Next Year..Really looking forward to this .Check out Peter Gott at Sillfield farm and Borough markets websites below.

Peter Gott Sillfield Farm –Cathy Jensen Flavour Magazine



During the summer I was invited to some pretty cool and inspiring events.One of them was ,Ballymagroarty Commmuinty Groups Gardening Programmes .This group involved, the local community getting together to grow their own vegetables fruit and herbs on reclaimed waste ground around the housing estates.What I discovered was breathtaking ,the vast array of vegetables and fruit the local people are growing was totally inspiring to say the least. The local lads explained to me how this programme had turned their lives around and had given them something to look forward to ,and to be proud of .They said they gave the vegetables to local people in the area  and those in most need of Them .This reminded of How my Father had grown his own Vegetables for the best part of 40 years in our back garden ,and of how growing your own Vegetables gave my father a great sense achievement and pride over the years.The Gifting of freshly grown vegetables, to a friend or stranger was how my father worked , when we were growing up. A bag of New spuds was like a bag of gold to give anyone,as people did’nt have much back then in Derry.This exchange and bartering way of  life was normal, in the bygone Times in Ireland.It was amazing therefore, to see some of the streets I had grown up on transformed into the most Beautiful gardens throughout the city.The man behind this ,food growing revival and who is the driving force, is Gareth Austin aka, Gareth the Gardiner.Gareth is doing some fantastic work in the community and is an inspiration to us chefs.Gareth is a regular on radio foyle and is running foraging hunts and grow it ,cook it open days.Check out Gareth’s website below


Hope Project

All the lads in Ballymac

Two Gorgeous Kids “Grow it Eat it” –Lee Canning and Linda Barr’s Wains .

My Fathers New Queens

Paul & Nick s Big Food Trip

At the start of August ,I had a Great Time cooking on Foyle Marina,with Paul Rankin & Nick Nairn.
Filming for the next series of “Paul & Nicks Big Food Trip”due to be screened next year
I was cooking on my Hearth Crane Crook on Foyle Marina,this was an amazing experience ! On the very spot were those First Emigrants  left For a better life to the New World.
This charted the journey that Irish Food Heritage took to the New World with the Scots Irish/Ulster Scots. It also documented that they left from the Port Of Londonderry and established Londonderry and Derry In New Hampshire.
Thanks to Paul ,Nick,Sarah, Orla, and all the Crew .I had a  Really fantastic time….
The Humble Spud..
Check out the Article In the Derry Journal for a Fascinating peice of Derry/Londonderry Food Heritage . I discovered  this whilst researching  for the Book Feast Or Famine.
Written by City of Culture Media Director Garbhan Downey.
The Hearth Crane Crook On Foyle Marina..
Last day in Derry For Paul & Nick,Cooking At NWRC in the Picture with Christine Mc Laughlin & Mark Armstrong
Birr Game Fair Co Offaly
Birr Game and Country Lifestyle Fair ,Co Offaly was a massive success this year .With Record Numbers reported over the two days.
Special thanks to Des Crofton from NARGC  for inviting me this year to Cook a range of Game and Fish Dishes.This year has been a massive success with the Go For Game and Fish Campaign.Organised again by the Great Gamefairs Of Ireland Directors Albert and Irene Tittering..Special Thanks to Albert And Irene for making this years Gamefairs a massive success.A special year in Celebration of the Salmon & Trout-Wild Salmon was supplied by Noel Carr of FISSTA…
Check out NARGC & FISSTA website Below.
With Noel Carr FISSTA
Lord & Lady Ross Birr Estate ,Little Brosna River
Photo below By Deirdre McCoy
Venison Loin with Tyrconnell Whiskey Sauce
Back to School
This week saw the return of Students to NWRC and a record number of New Students this year.
We had some really inspiring Chefs & Speakers who gave up their time to come to the college and talk to our students.
Special Thanks to Marty Getty from the Classic Limavady,Martin Lynch From Hospitality Solutions.Thanks to  Barry O Brien from the Beech hill ,Catherine from DVCB and Ken Crosland From ARK Foundation..
Great to see Creggan man, Martin Lynch at the college ,an old mucker who shares the same passion in Irish food heritage ..Martin had a facinating story to tell the students about  his journey in the Hospitality Industry.Past Student ,Martin began his Career at NWRC back in the early 1980s. Thanks to all our Speakers and Chefs ,you can contact them on their websites below..
Martin Lynch
Barry O Brien Beech Hill
Martin Lynch with his First Teacher in Hospitality ,Maud Rainey
Barry O Brien from the Beech Hill
Ken From the ARK foundation  with Students
Marty Getty at NWRC
Martin Lynch From Hospitality Solutions,Cathern From DVCB with NWRC students
Staff from NWRC Hospitality Department ,Who received their Wine Awards This week.
Book your table At NWRC  Flying Clipper Restaurant below,Great Theme nights throughout the year.
Culinary Adventures For 2013
Finally ,over the last few Months ,I have been working  ,with a lovely lady , Chef and Author—
Judith Johnston McLoughlin
We have been working on a Culinary Food Adventure of the Northwest for 2013.
Judith is the Author of the Book “Shamrock and the Peach”A highly successful Cook Book on Ulster American Cookery.
Judiths food will also feature in the forthcoming Book Feast or Famine,to be published by Guildhall Press in 2013
Judiths Book the Shamrock and the Peach Gives us an insite into the Ulster ,Deep South,American Cookery.
“a culinary journey from the green fields of Ireland to the front porches of the Deep South,
tracing the journey of the Scots-Irish through the language of really good food!”
Judith McLouglin is an Irish cook with a passion for good food and the art of great hospitality. Coming
from County Armagh in the heart of rural Northern Ireland she learned the
techniques of the Scots-Irish culinary tradition from her family who had
generations of experience in the Irish hospitality & restaurant business
before deciding on a move to the United States with her husband Gary. After
spending a short time in the Boston area, they settled in Roswell Georgia, just
outside Atlanta, where Judith started her own gourmet food business called ‘The
Ulster Kitchen’. Specializing in Scots-Irish cuisine, Judith has created her own unique food fusion by blending the techniques of her
homeland with the new found flavors of the South to great acclaim. Judith
teaches Irish cooking at many venues, has made numerous television and media
appearances and is busy throughout the year cooking and catering in Atlanta and beyond .
Im Really excited About working with Judith in our City Of Culture Year 2013.
Find Judith on her website below
Check back for more updates on This Exciting  Food Journey “Feast or Famine” Irish Food Heritage Project.
Follow me on Facebook or Twitter @EmmettMcCourt
Take Care .
Emmett Mc Court
Feast or Famine
Irish Food Heritage Project






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