Feast or Famine!! Release Date 9th December 2013

Here it is!!

Its Been a long Road but we’re Finally Here.

This Book would not have been Possible if it were not for the Help and support of so many. Thank You so much!



Feast or Famine: A Cultural Food Journey of the North West of Ireland by Emmett Mc Court
Published by Guildhall Press (Derry)
Hardback with Dust Jacket, full colour inside, hundreds of images, 272pp, 200mm x 270mm (wide)
Release 9 December 2013.
ISBN: 9781906271770. £19.95.
Available at local book shops and from Guildhall Press www.ghpress.com on the 9th of December 2013.
When it comes to food and drink, the North West of Ireland has a heritage second to none.
Emigrant farmers from Derry and Donegal were the first to plant the Americas with seed potatoes and apple trees.
They carried their recipes with them too – and their descendants fed both sides in the Civil War.
The Scots-Irish from the North West didn’t forget their distilling skills either, producing whiskeys, bourbons and moonshine across the Southern states. And fishermen from Inishowen, who settled on the New England coast, helped found
some of the finest fishing ports in the New World.
For many years, the Derry chef Emmett McCourt has been researching the importance of his hometown’s contribution in terms of world cuisine. He has recovered age-old recipes, revived traditional cooking techniques, and rediscovered long forgotten Irish treasures such as the lumper potato.
Feast or Famine takes you on an historical tour of McCourt’s North Atlantic home-place and explores just what makes this area such an abundant source of food and drink.
The author recalls the heady days when Lough Swilly was the herring capital of the world, Magilligan was world leader in rabbits and Derry city was producing millions of gallons of whiskey for the US. But he also records, using first-hand
testimonies, the devastation wrought by the Great Famine in the 1840s.
In the course of his travels McCourt cooks some brilliant meals, meets some fascinating characters and visits some of Ireland’s most celebrated food-spots – and a few unsung ones as well.
Read all about this and much more in Feast or Famine, and join Emmett McCourt for a culinary odyssey not to be missed!
Ithe Sásta
Emmett McCourt
Irish Food Heritage Project
N Ireland.


Summer Events ,Irish Food Heritage Project

The Irish Food Heritage Project has been really exciting and Building so much Interest in last six months, with the many events and cookery demonstrations attended. We are about to Launch the key elements of the Project in the next few months, so stay tuned and call back for updates.

Please be advised that the Book Launch Scheduled for the 16th August during the Fleadh Cheoil , has now been postponed until November. It has been postponed because of circumstances beyond our control ,and I apologise whole-heartedly for this. Rest assured the Book will be a real quality Coffee table book and definitive publication of North West Food Heritage by Local Publishers Guildhall Press. Check out the Link below for the Fleadh Cheoil Programme.

Look out for the “Hog in The Bog” next Saturday evening in the bogside Derry as part of the Fleadh  ,where there will be hog roasts and Cruibeens on the go for a barbeque not to be missed ..




The Boys at Guildhall press are doing an amazing job with the design of the book ,and I Saw the draft of the book the other day ,it looks Fantastic–if you would like to pre order the book with discount please email below and contact guildhall press on the links below



Guildhall Press

Unit 15, Ráth Mór Business Park

Bligh’s Lane Derry

Northern Ireland

BT48 0LZ

T: (028) 7136 4413

F: (028) 7137 2979

The first of the project strands were launched in May -Feast or Famine Food adventures in association with Judith McLaughlin’s Shamrock and Peach Tours. This was well received by our American visitors and locals alike .I would like to personally thank all those who were involved in this and all those who supported these food tours .There will also be a section in the book Feast Or Famine ,dedicated to these food tours, so stay tuned for the book launch confirmed dates.


I also had the pleasure of working again with Shane Smith in his New Publication Yes Chef Ireland magazine on sale now!!Check out Shanes Fantastic Photos and feature on the IFHP in book shops now.


We also have great feature in the summer addition of Flavour Magazine ,which you can still purchase up until the end of September .

Shanes Castle Game Fair and Flavour Fine food Festival was a great success this year with record numbers attending. Catch us a Birr Game fair at the end of August also.


There has been so much happening the last 6 months that ,its been hard for me to even keep up with it all. I would like to thank everyone who supported the project this year –thanks so much ,it would not have come so far without your support and help.

The Irish Food Heritage Project has also been entered into the Arthur Guinness Projects -Food Section. Please see below details of why the Arthur Guinness projects fund has been set up.
If you could take 2minutes of your time to vote ,I would really appreciate it
Thanks again

The Arthur Guinness Projects – Championing the talent and creativity of Ireland.

The Arthur Guinness Projects – Championing the talent and creativity of Ireland.

The Arthur Guinness Projects exist to celebrate and reward the next chapter of Irish talent and creativity. We are looking for extraordinary people with innovative, inspiring, brilliant ideas, and the passion and drive to make them happen. So if you have a potential project in Music, Sport, Arts or Food that would benefit from financial and practical assistance, this is your chance to bring it to life.
Please take 1 minute to vote .click on the link below ,you will be asked to click on your register ,Country and age before voting. Your support is greatly appreciated .If successful this help from Guinness will help drive the Irish Food Heritage Project much further, mutually beneficial across all sectors.
Please click on the link below to vote –
Please call back for more updates and Launch Dates For the Book and App.. and don’t forget to vote
Thanks again.
Some Photos Below taken from the last few Months at events and festivals.
With Good Friend and Mentor Paddy Roddy at Shanes Castle Game fair
Peter Gott Artisan Butcher ,Shanes Castle
Shanes Castle Great Game Fairs Of Ireland.
Flavour Fine Food Festival Shanes Castle, With Emma & Kathy Jensen of Flavour magazine
Shanes Castle ,Great Game Fairs of Ireland billboard
World Food Tent Carnival of Colours Derry
Foyle Parents and Friends Association
Photos by Peter Mc Kane
Colmcille Festival Derry by Walk the Plank -Guildhall Square
Finalist Tourism initiative of the Year Licensed & Catering News, Sponsored by Diageo
Void Gallery Katie Holten Artists Garden Launch
Schools History Project ,Lumper Potato with Glens of Antrim Potatoes ,Michael McKillop and Horticulturist Gareth Austin
Feile Grianan Ailigh 2013
Children In the Crossfire Charity Dinner
Sean Owens at the Metro
Monreagh Ulster Scots Heritage Centre ,Blue Blossom Festival
Ashbrook House
Flavours of the Foyle Seafood Festival Derry 2013
Sean Owens Brian Mc Dermot, Mary Blake & Michelle Shirlow -photo by Gerry Temple
NI Food and Drinks awards 2013 -Winner Best local Food & Drink Promotional Event/Initiative 2013
Irish Food Heritage Project
The Legenderry Food Guide was launched in June By Derry City Council
Click on the link below to see this excellent food guide of restaurants and eateries in the Northwest.
Check back soon for Launch details of Feast or Famine!!

Feast or Famine ,Irish Food Heritage Project-Upcoming Events 2013

By Popular demand .Upcoming events Below. 

Emmett McCourt of  Feast or Famine ,Irish Food Heritage Project will be demonstrating  this year.

More confirmed Dates to be added shortly

Also Check back soon for New Blog

Emmett McCourt

Feast or Famine

Irish Food Heritage

Cookery Demonstrations

1st June 2013

St Columbs Park Derry/Londonderry-Carnival
of Colours 

World Food Tent , Multi-Cultural Cooking 12-4pm

Feast or Famine, Irish Food Heritage ,Mobile Hearth

Cookery Demonstrations

6th June 2013


Feast or Famine Food Adventures –Food

With Judith McLoughlin

Shamrock & Peach Food tours

Available for Bookings Soon

8th June 2013

Summer Jam in Strabane

Spice Rack Cooking

Demonstrations 12noon –

Compére: Emmett McCourt

Featuring Asian and
Indian influences

8th June 2013

The Return of Colmcille

A celebration of the
Saint & the City

2pm -5.30pm Guildhall Square

Feast or Famine

Mobile Hearth Cookery Demonstrations

13th June 2013

Local Charity Foyle Parents &
Friends, Richmond Hall, Derry/Londonderry

7-9pm Feast or Famine

Cookery Demonstrations -Fund Raiser

15th June 2013

Open Farm Weekend

Feast or Famine , Mobile hearth

Cookery Demonstrations with Lumper

Sponsors -Glens of Antrim Potatoes

June 2013

Feast or Famine interactive -APP
Launch .to be confirmed

Digital Centre

Creggan Enterprise Rathmore  Creggan

22nd June 2013

Feile Grainan Aileach -Inishowen Co

Cultural Heritage Festival

Feast or Famine -Mobile Hearth

12-6pm Cookery Demonstrations

29th & 30TH  June 2013

The Irish Game & Country Fair & Flavour
Fine Food festival

Shanes Castle Co Antrim

Feast or Famine, Mobile Hearth

Cookery Demonstrations- Flavour Fine Food Pavillion

 20th & 21st July 2013

Flavours of the Foyle Seafood
Festival –Queens Quay Derry/Londonderry

Feast or Famine, Irish Food Heritage

Cookery Demonstrations  Mobile Hearth“Feast or Famine”

10th  August 2013

World Peace & Fire Games- Belfast

Venue to be Confirmed

Feast or Famine Cookery

Irish Food Heritage Project

August 12th  -18th 2013

Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann Doire 13

Feast or Famine Book Launch!! –

Venue & date to be confirmed

12th -18th
August 2013

Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann Doire 13

Irish Food Heritage Project

Feast or Famine

Mobile Hearth Cookery Demonstrations

August 2013

A Taste of Donegal Food Festival

Feast or Famine

Irish Food Heritage Project

Cookery Demonstrations

30th, 31st Aug & 1st
Sept 2013

Great Game Fairs of Ireland –The

The Irish Game & Country Fair

Birr Castle co Offaly

City Of Culture 2013 Derry/Londonderry ,January February.

What a month this has been with the Irish Food Heritage Project .Bringing in 2013 was epic here in Derry.The firework display on New Years eve was breathtaking..

We had a wonderful Sons & Daughters Concert on the 20th that raised the bar for all the events to come.This was an amazing concert and was received by young and old alike as the best musical event that Derry has ever seen. News just in of the One big Weekend by Radio one also.This will be a fantastic coup for  Derry .

Summary of Events January 2013 for Irish Food Heritage Project

I did 4 fantastic Game tasting dinners in the Glens of Antrim in January ,which were well received by the guests.This was a great experience and diners were treated to the best Ireland has to offer of wild foods & Game from our Countryside.

As the game season draws to a close for another year, the expectations for this years Great Game fairs of Ireland Heightens .Ballywalter game fair and Shanes Castle Gamefair with flavour fine food festival have all been rolled into one.The Birr Gamefair has also incorporated The Gathering Ireland and is running an extended 3 day event this year.

FAIR 2013 – The largest ever IRISH GAME FAIR

THE IRISH GAME FAIR with its partner fair the Irish Game & Country Fair at Birr Castle are promoted nationally and internationally as the two GREAT GAME FAIRS of IRELAND. They are indisputably the largest game fairs and country sports events in Ireland with an unrivalled reputation for quality of
entertainment and international class ALL Ireland Game Fair Sporting Championships and competitions.

2013 sees the Ballywalter Game & Country Living Fair combine with the
normal event at Shanes Castle to create The IRISH GAME FAIR & FLAVOUR FINE FOOD FESTIVAL (our 52nd fair)
which is likely to be the largest Irish Game Fair EVER taking place on the  29th 30th June 2013.

The 2013 combined event with even more trade stands; many new and more enhanced
attractions including three arena programmes operating at once featuring a rich
mix of country sports and living history entertainment ; an enhanced range of
competitions with an enhanced prize fund ; some world class demonstrators and an
evocative Irish sporting theme of ‘The Year of the Salmon and Woodcock’, is
likely to set new standards for family countryside and country sports
entertainment as the best ever Irish game or country fair.

Check out the Gamefair & Countrysports magazine websites below



I have some excellent game recipes for you to try, featured in the current Edition of Country Sports and Country Life magazine .This is still available for you to purchase until March at all good book stores .Look out for  the beautiful painting of  “Woodcock In Snow” By John R Moore on the front cover –John R Moore has to be one of the finest  and most talented wildlife artists I’ve ever Come across .His Paintings are so life like.

Check out Johns Website here –http://www.johnrmooreart.com/


World Skills -uk skills “Have a Go” @North West Regional College 

We had a fantastic have a go day  at  the North West Regional College In January .This was an amazing opportunity for young people to have a go at Culinary Skills Service & Bar Skills.This was organised as part of the NWRC Showcase in Birmingham in 2012 It was funded by UK Skills

NWRC Invites Local Budding Chefs to HAVE A GO

North West Regional College  offered 12 – 18 year olds the chance to enjoy a free ‘Have a Go’ event, experiencing Hospitality & Catering at its state-of–the-art kitchen facilities Strand Road Campus, on Saturday 26th January. The College’s staff and students recently showcased its culinary excellence at WORLDSKILLS 2012, and are now brought the excitement of the globe’s largest skills competition to the College.

From 10am – 1pm, participants were given the opportunity to take part in a wide range of practical cooking challenges which were  designed to help them discover their hidden culinary talents. From preparing fresh pasta from scratch to making delicious cupcakes, the fun-filled event  gave young people lots of opportunities to get involved and enjoy a series of fun challenges which introduces them to new food delights and cooking skills.

This bite-size taster day is an exciting way for local young people to gain an insight into the workings of a professional kitchen and restaurant, and to learn some valuable skills they can use at home. They also had the chance to rub shoulders with leading professional chefs and managers, and to spark an interest in a career in the hospitality & cookery industry.

The event was FREE to attend hosted by the College’s award winning lecturers in Hospitality & Catering who recently impressed the thousands of visitors at WorldSkills Birmingham 2012, as an extra bonus, participants got  the opportunity to sample the culinary delights they created during the Day

For Further Information on NWRC Hospitality Department and Flying clipper restaurant,click the links below



Foyle Parents & Friends- Richmond Hall

I had a really fantastic cookery demonstration at the Richmond hall in Derry .This was organised  by Mary O Neil from Foyle Parents and Friends.Foyle Parents & Friends are a Charity working with children and young people with disabilities and their carers.They  work with children and young people with learning, sensory and physical disabilities. They also work with the carers of those young adults who attend local Day Centres

I cooked a few nice signature Dishes from the Project that had a great response .This is a real worthwhile charity and I hope to work with Mary and the Girls in the Coming months in raising funds for their charity.

Check out their facebook page below


Thanks to Peter McKane for taking these amazing photos of the night below.

Broighter Gold Economusee Artisan Product Launch 5th February 2013

Broighter Gold was launched on Tuesday 5 February as the second ÉCONOMUSÉE in the UK.

This was a great day for all who attended ,thanks also to Stanley Matthews of the Lime Tree Restaurant in Limavady for the fantastic food using Broighter Gold Rapeseed oil

Congratulations to Leona & Richard on this Fantastic achievement ..

The Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust (CCGHT) approached Broighter Gold in January 2012 and were immediately convinced that this rural family business ticked all the right boxes to be considered as the next ÉCONOMUSÉE in the region.

CCGHT Project Officer, Tiérna McAlister commented: ‘An ÉCONOMUSÉE is a working museum that sees the combination of sustainability, culture, craft and tourism and in turn offers an economic platform for local craft artisans such as Broighter Gold.   The interpretation inside the workshop will enhance the overall visitor experience and enable visitors to follow every step of the process of turning rapeseed into liquid gold. We are delighted to lead on such an innovative and creative tourism initiative and hope to encourage and promote more sustainable tourism experiences in the Causeway Coast and Glens area’.

Magne Haugseng, Project Manager, ÉCONOMUSÉE Northern Europe commented: ÉCONOMUSÉE is a concept developed in Québec, Canada.  The mission of the ÉCONOMUSÉE network is to promote and keep alive traditional crafts and knowledge, whilst ensuring economic growth within rural communities.  The project consists of partners in eight countries; Quebec, Greenland. Iceland, Faroe Islands, Norway, Sweden, Republic of Ireland and here in Northern Ireland.  The aim is to create 22 new ÉCONOMUSÉE and around 20 new jobs, taking the number of ÉCONOMUSÉE to around 40 in Europe.  The Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust has been an enthusiastic partner from the very beginning. It is a pleasure to work with them and on behalf of the ÉCONOMUSÉE Network I wish Broighter Gold ÉCONOMUSÉE every success in the future.

Bill Harpur, Chairman of the Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust commented: We have been honoured to work with Leona and Richard on establishing their small farm enterprise as an ÉCONOMUSÉE and we wish them every success in the future with their award winning Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil and also with their artisan museum.’

The Mayor of Limavady Borough Council, Cllr Cathal McLaughlin added: ‘Limavady Borough Council is delighted to be associated with this project and we welcome visitors to enjoy the experience and the hospitality offered in the Broighter Gold ÉCONOMUSÉE workshop.

2013 is an important year for the Derry ~ Londonderry City of Culture and Broglasco Farm is perfectly situated at the gateway to Derry and on the Causeway Coastal Route.’

More than 60 delegates attended the launch despite the wintry conditions including the Chief Executive of Limavady Borough Council Liam Flanigan, Micheal Scullion proprietor of Scullion Hurls, Loughgiel, Julie McLaughlin NITB, Chairperson of Moyle District Council Cllr Sandra Hunter, Robin Bolton CAFRE’s Senior Crops Development Adviser, Chairman of Binevenagh AONB Management Group Mike Jones, local restaurateurs and students from North West Regional College along with many more guests.

Leona commented: ‘We owe a great deal of gratitude to our friends and family for helping us to achieve this status and especially for helping us to get the workshop ready for today’s launch.

Huge thanks must go to the ÉCONOMUSÉE network, the Northern Periphery Programme Limavady Borough Council, NITB and the Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust.

Broighter Gold will also be part of The Feast or Famine Food Adventures — Dates to be announced soon.

Check out The websites below



Steelstown Primary School

I Had a great time Cooking Oatcakes and Cruibeens with Mrs McColgans & Mrs Devines P2 classes at Steelstown Primary School.

Children were treated to an insight into the past & taught their shared Food Heritage of the North West,whilst tasting samples of foods Likes Scone Bread ,Oatcakes and Pigs Trotters
This was another successful Irish Food Heritage Project Cookery Demonstration,made all the more fulfilling when the children could’nt get enough of the food! ,The Scone Bread especially.This is (My Ma’s Scone Bread Recipe) and will feature in the book and interactive app coming soon.

I’d like to thank Steelstown Primary Schools Principle ,Mrs Gillespie and Teachers Mrs Mc Colgan & Mrs Devine for inviting me to cook and tell the history of food to the children. I Thoroughly enjoyed it Thank you.

Irish Food Heritage Project ,Feast or Famine App

The coming months will be very exciting with the many activities Planned around the Launch of the Book Feast or Famine.I hope to give you a definative date for the Book Launch soon.

In the meantime Guildhall Press and other partners have been working hard on the Feast or Famine Ipad App.Guildhall press have been doing this at Creggan Enterprises and at the New Digital Studios at Rathmore Creggan.

Check out GHP website here  http://www.ghpress.com/catalog/

IFHP Feast or Famine–Interactive Web-APP IPOD /IPAD APP-EBook Funded By The  Arts Council of Northern Ireland- Creative Industries Inovation Fund & Digital Derry -CultureTech Fund.

IFHP – Feast or Famine: The App / Enhanced ebook
Visualise a very attractive, engaging, informative and interactive app / ebook being available on Irish Food heritage and the Provenance of local foods.
This product is truly multifunctional. It will be informative and engaging reading for the general public Tourism, academics, students and culinary enthusiasts. It will also be used as an academic / educational tool – as it will contain a unique guide to the industrial and agricultural heritage of the North West. This will include Real time interviews with artisan food producers, supplier’s chefs and agricultural stakeholder’s cookery demonstrations and interviews will also be featured. Cookery Demonstrations using very high quality video extracts custom shot for the project recording the Preparation and general background dishes in the publication. The App will Include very high quality photography for the general content of the app – still shots of the region and the raw ingredients, implements and final dishes when dressed and presented.The app will initially be developed to suit the iOS platform – iPad and iPhone -and will be imported to Android . The app will be available via the iTunes App store.
Check back for dates on the Launch of the app & More exciting news with The Irish Food Heritage Project- coming soon !!






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






May –June 2012 Summary of Events

May has been a wonderful month with so much happening with the project .Read on below for more on this exciting Journey

We started the Month off with the development night of the project on the 5th at NWRC,this was a great success and the feedback was great, from all in attendance .Dishes like Malin Head Crab Cakes with Dulce & Lemon Mayonnaise stole the show on the night.We got some great food Photography and action shots for the Book.The Irish Food Heritage project has gone from Strength to strength culminating into some fantastic presentation of the food on Inishowen Bog Oak and Bog Yew commissioned from Mary Doherty of Culdaff.This presentation Epitomizes the rich food Heritage and Culture of this Country .This is further enhanced by the Bog wood some of it up to 6000 years old.There have been some fantastic, random photographs also this month.These have all  been taken from  people who attended the events.Some of them posted below.

Special Thanks to David Porter and Clare Withy for the Photography

The Ballywalter Game and Country Living Fair,Hosted by Lord & Lady Dunleath at Ballywalter house on the 5th & 6th of May, was a great success this year and kicked off the Great Game fairs of Ireland,I met some lovely people who came to sample the Cookery Demonstrations and the celebration of The Salmon and Trout.MLA Jim Shannon Came to visit us ,whilst displaying his cooking skills.Casting Champion and World Flyfishing Guide Glenda Powell gave me a few tips on the Fly Casting and showed us her cookery skills also .The flavour food village was a welcome addition to the fair this year with the artisan food producers and the cookery demonstrations being a great hit with the Audience.Special thank goes to Lord and Lady Dunleath for hosting the fair In their Beautiful estate  Albert Titterington and his Team made Ballywalter Game Fair a huge success this year with Shanes Castle Game Fair to follow in July.This is the 5oth anniversary year of The Great Game fairs of Ireland at Shanes and an event not to be missed!!!. Check out The Game fair , Country sports magazine and Flavour Magazine websites below




One of the Most Successful Balmoral Shows took place also in May.This is the one of biggest Agricultural  shows in Ireland ,with the Food Pavillion this year being the best for some time .The Theme this year was Heritage and Food NI and NITB pulled off one of the best Chefs demonstrations Programmes ,Promoting Food Tourism ,provenance and showcasing local producers and suppliers .I delivered 3 Irish food Heritage cookery demonstrations on the Friday with the help of  student ,Catrina Lynch .The Food NI ,NITB Signature kitchen was a joy to work in and again the feedback from the audience was fantastic.Paula McIntyre was MC  throughout the 3 days and the craic was 90 with Paula  .There were some amazing food suppliers there this year also .I met Mark from Whites Oats, with there food Heritage Oat Products ,Whites have been milling oats for 170 years and is Northern Irelands only Oat Mill and Breakfast Producer, hope to work with Mark in the future with my own project and their heritage oats.The NI Pork and bacon kitchens were also a great success with the crowds at Balmoral.Our very own Leona & Richard Kane complimented the cooking Beautifully with there Award Winning Home Grown .Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil .This product has become the bestselling rapeseed oil of all the food events this year and a fantastic product to use .Check out Leona’s oil and the other Agri Food Groups Below




Thanks to Michelle Shirlow , Lindsay and Rebecca for pulling out all the stops this year at Balmoral and making it a great success.Check out their website site below.Working on some really exciting projects & events with them in the coming weeks.


Special thanks to Rosemary Lightbody  & Juile Mc Laughlin From Northern Ireland Tourist Board For Providing the Signature Kitchen at Balmoral Show and making this event an outstanding success.–“Our Time Our Place” –“Our Food So Good” , These are exciting times we are living in ,made all the more possible and achievable with NITBs help & support…  Check out Northern Ireland Tourist Boards website below


After The Balmoral show .The First Inaugural Event Of Grainan of Ailigh took place

Donal Doherty of Harry’s Restaurant in Bridgend presented the Inishfood 2012 Festival. A true celebration of Food Artisans from Inishowen . “local food from local people”. This was a fantastic event not to be missed by anyone who loves food  .

Check out Harry’s Restaurant Below


The grand finale was Féile Grianán Áiligh on Sunday 20th May , a spectacular new Historical & Cultural event at Grianan fort Burt.The Festival is the celebration of Ancient Arts & Crafts, Showcased at the home of the high kings of Ireland.  This unique historical gathering recreated drama, music, folklore, warriors, ancient beer brewing and Irish food Heritage demonstrations.An EPIC celebration of one of Ireland’s most significant heritage sites!This Event was also the inaugural event for my Hearth Crane Crook ,Built just in time for the festival.This is a unique aspiration of the project and truly exciting to showcase and celebrate the cooking skills of a bygone time in Ireland on the Hearth Crane crook..The response from the crowds that attended this event was breathtaking ,when the Indian meal bread was cooked &  served From the pot oven,memories flooded back from the crowds there.All this was further enhanced by the Signature Dishes of Feast Or Famine project,served on Inishowen Bog Oak & Bog Yew ,evoking our rich Irish Cultural Heritage and that of the Northwest “Doire” “City of The Oaks “.

This festival was only made possible by the hard work and dedication of a number of people , community groups and schools , both North and South of the border areas, a real cross-border Initiative .The Feile Grianan Group have shown real inspiration in delivering a festival that celebrates our rich cultural heritage at the Ancient fort of Grianan of Ailigh .This is a shared history Festival for all communities and cultures  in The Northwest of Ireland . Feile Grianan Ailigh looks set to be a major event for years to come.

Photos By Lorcan Doherty

Keith Wright launched  the Maiden City Family History Centre at the start of June.This centre is located on the racecourse road and helps people trace there family trees and heritage links .The centre holds  birth marriage, Death ,records and certificates dating back to 1845 .This is an exciting Genealogy & Cultural centre and was of unique help to me in my own Project in tracing the food heritage links with Derry/Londonderry and the New world.Special thanks to MP Mark Durkan and  Mayor Maurice Devenney for showing their support at the launch .Thanks also to Keiths Mum Francis , Dianne ,Eileen and young Jacob for their warm welcome hospitality ,the buffet was great.

You can Contact Keith below

Maiden City Family History Centre , Racecourse Road, Derry ,




The cream of the crop of culinary talent from Northern Ireland’s six FE Colleges converged on North West Regional College (NWRC) recently to battle it out in the inaugural Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons Placement Award, a unique competition aimed at developing the province’s next generation of professional chefs.

Sponsored by the Londonderry Rotary Club, this exciting culinary competition gave one lucky student Chef the opportunity to win an exclusive two week work placement at Raymond Blanc’s World famous Le Manoir Restaurant at Oxfordshire in England. The final six students had the honour of representing their College after winning their respective heat competitions, and during the final ‘cook-off’ they had to impress star judges Mark Peregrine, Head Chef at Le Manoir’s Cookery School, and recent Janus Award Winning Restaurant of Derry, Sean Owens. Their task was to prepare a four course meal using local produce ingredients, in front of a live packed audience in NWRC’s exclusive Flying Clipper Restaurant. Head Judge, Sean Owens, commented:
“Each finalist at this event is a winner…we have been overwhelmed by the standard of skills on view, especially the attention to every detail they make to their work. It is safe to say that the future of catering in this country is very much in safe hands.”There could only be one winner on the night and the judge’s vote went to South West College student Lauren Beavers, whose placement prize to Le Manoir will also include accommodation and mentorship from staff at the two-Michelin starred complex. Representing North West Regional College was Joanne McCallion, who had previously participated at Worldskills 2011 in London , and featured for the College during a special showcasing event in Parliament Buildings.Karen McLaughlin, Head of School for Hospitality, Tourism & Sport at NWRC commented on the success of the event:
“This inaugural Le Manoir event was a roaring success for everyone involved, not least for the students and their commis chefs. To have the opportunity to test their skills in direct competition against peers from the other NI Colleges in front of a live audience and top professional chefs, they are sure to remember this for many years to come. We would like to thank all of the representatives from the NI Colleges for making the event so memorable, staff and students, as well as the Londonderry Rotary Club for their invaluable sponsorship. We have no doubt that those in attendance were treated to a fantastic evening of top quality dining and atmosphere, and we wish Lauren every success on her placement at Le Manoir later this year.” Check out the NWRC flying clipper Restaurant below.


St Marys College was the venue for the Launch of Caroline Owens inspirational book  “If You Fall Run On”.This was a very moving ceromony at St Marys and Carolines book was greatly received .This is a book about growing up in Derry ,”It Illustrates the complex interplay between us as individuals our families and the wider Society and Communities we inhabit.”-Dr Julie Franklin this is a truly inspirational story .Congratulations to Caroline and her family for this great work.You can purchase the book at most book shops in the Northwest and at Easons & Waterstones..

After being so busy ,I was fortunate to steal two days on Lough Sheelin for the Mayfly Fishing.When I got to the lake ,the conditions could not have been better ,a balmy warm evening with plenty of spent Mayfly flying out on the lake .The Trout were moving to the fly also ,but were hard to tempt.I managed to hook a one and release it with plenty of offers for the two days.The boys who I fish with did well over the two weeks they were there.Billy ,Morris ,Mickey ,Dessie and Brian all landed trout up to 5 1/2lb and loosing a few bigger ones.There where trout caught up to 12lb in this beautiful lake, that shows signs of coming back to its former glory.Special thanks to all the boys on the site, for their amazing hospitality as always and to the good people of Finea for their craic and Hospitality.

Finally, had a great day at Sainsburys Derry on Friday Past.Food NI Kitchen ,Safe-Food on a Budget, Sponsored by Derry City Council Environmental Health.
Thanks to all the Environmental health officers from DCC who helped me with the cooking and serving.Thanks Girls enjoyed the craic…

Working on some really good stuff with the boys at Guildhall press this week.


Check back for more exciting developments and Events in the coming weeks.Speak soon & take care

Emmett Mc Court

Feast or Famine

Irish Food Heritage Project











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.


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





Gettysburg & The North West of Ireland–Scots Irish/Ulster Scots–Corned Beef & Boxty–City of Culture 2013.

This has Been a Really exciting and Inspirational week allround ….Exciting News and a Summary of the Food Heritage below .Enjoy!!!

Gettysburg & Northwest Of Ireland

At the time of the plantation of Ulster many thousands of  Scots came to the North of Ireland .One family name in Particular came from Scotland ,The Gettys!!  a name which  became an exclusive Derry Name and one in which has left a Legacy for future generations. The Gettys settled in Donegal Derry ,Antrim and Larne. They fought in the seige of Derry and settling in parts of ,East Donegal,Faughan Vale and Aghadowey in Co Derry  . The famous oil Tycoon Jean Paul Gettys ansestors can be traced back to Aghadowey and to a place called Gettistown.The Ulster Scots/Scots Irish were  persecuted by the English Penal laws in the early 1700s and the first wave of emigrants of the Scots Irish left for a better life to the New World in 1718 .Those first settlers and colonists to Leave for the new world came from Derry and Coleraine,the Foyle and Bann Districts .They came in through Boston and established Londonderry In New Hampshire.They took with them their Music ,Their Culture and Their Food to the  New World.

Samuel Gettys was born in Donegal from Parents who came to Derry/Donegal from Antrim around the time of the Siege of Londonderry,they later settled with  farmland in Faughanvale Parish outside Derry,later moving to lisneal parish  .The Gettys ancestors are buried at St Canices plantation parish cemetery, Church Of Ireland, in Eglington Londonderry.

At this Time in Ireland in  the 17th century ,Ireland was the biggest exporter of Salted Beef/Corned Beef exporting Huge amounts to the New world and to the west Indian Sugar plantations.Corned Beef gets its name from the salt Crystal used in curing the beef,the same size as a grain of corn .Corned Beef is Spiced ,salted and cured brisket ,a tough piece of beef which requires a lot of cooking to break down its connective tissues.This was cured in Brine for up to one week ,then Boiled for 3 Hours .Curing of Meat and Fish was  common practice in Ireland , cured to last and sustain people through the winter months. Cork was the biggest export Town of the time, of Corned beef ,Followed by Belfast and Derry which was a major port for import and export of many foods. The Ulster Scots were farmers and new the processes of curing beef, They Took This food with them and  many other Irish foods to the new world.The large scale exodus of Irish emigration at the time of the Great famine “An Gorta Mor” later popularised Corned Beef In the New World ,as meat in Ireland was a luxury only afforded by the very wealthy Landlords and Those who owned the big houses.Corned Beef is eaten today world wide by Irish Diaspora on St Patrick’s day….President Lincoln was said to have eaten Corned Beef on St Patrick’s day.

Corned Beef ,Cabbage & Boxty served on Bog Oak!!

Samuel Getty’s of Scots Irish decent, left from the port of Londonderry in 1740 on a ship called the Brutus.He came in through Charleston, South Carolina,  , moving to the county, later to be known as Adams County Pennsylvania ,this land was primarily settled by the Scots Irish pioneers in the colonies .  These lands where purchased from the Iroquois Indians.Samuel Getty’s Built a Tavern/Inn and became  a farmer and store keeper .Samuel Gettys sold foods that were familiar to them from the Tavern, like Corned Beef  Boxty & Mutton stew . Samuels son James later acquired his fathers land around the tavern, selling off plots of land . A  town was built around the Tavern that Samuel Gettys owned ,and Hence the Town of Gettysburg was born,Founded by Scots Irish Pioneers from the North West Of Ireland!!

Photo by Joanne Lewis

Almost 100 years later, President Lincoln’s famous address from Gettysburg Pennsylvania,  was one of the speeches that shaped America.It is the 150th anniversary of President Lincolns speech next year in Gettysburg and a host of activities around this anniversary are taking place.


I spoke to Mark Patterson the other day On radio foyle about this story ,you can listen to it below ,scroll forward on the iplayer to 1.43 mins.


There are quite a few people who I would like to thank for my research in this exciting story and in Celebrating the links with Gettysburg and the Northwest Of Ireland.

First the Late great Naturalist and Historian Olly Mc Gilloway who led me on the path of the Getty’s ,to Robert Lynch who first shared this amazing story with us in Olly Mc Gilloways Book “Along The Faughan Side”.

Brian Mitchell ,Derry’s Genealogist  historian  and author who has written some great books on the subject of genealogy .Brian helped me so much in my research with the Getty’s Ancestors and I would  also like to thank  Bernadette O Sullivan OF The Harbour Museum Derry .Brian  and Bernadette can be contacted below.





I would also like to thank a lovely lady, historian and Tour guide at Gettysburg Visitor and convention bureau -Joanne Lewis .Joanne who was instrumental in piecing the jigsaw pieces together when my trail went dry on the quest of Samuel Gettys in America.You can reach Joanne Below.


This story has been one of the many highlights of A Cultural Food Journey of the North West of Ireland, with more Detailed research to be featured in the forthcoming book “Feast or Famine” to be published by Derrys Leading publishers Guildhall Press in 2013. The lasting legacy of the Gettys of the Northwest of Ireland and the links of the North Wests Diaspora, will be celebrated  next year with Derry/Londonderry City of Culture 2013 .This looks set to be a fantastic Year for the Maiden City with sea changing events and  Cultural activities throughout the year .A must visit tourism and cultural destination of Ireland . With the North Wests Food Heritage  documented in this book,And the links being created & celebrated with the New World. Derry ,Londonderry looks also set to be the  food tourism destination to visit in 2013 .   Check out the City Of Culture  website below .


Contact Guildhall press below for more information on this exciting project


Recent photos of Food heritage Cookery Demonstrations at An Culurlann in Derry  which was agreat success

Check out the blog in the coming weeks for more upcoming events and Cookery Demonstrations .!!

Some exciting links with Derry, Food Heritage and the Titanic to come!!!


Photos by Jacky NWRC Marketing

Emmett Mc Court




Feast or Famine

Irish Food Heritage Project












Happy St Patricks Day, Real Irish Food!!-Culturlann

Had a great day at Culturlann on Friday the 16th the build up to St Patricks day,great feed back on The Irish Food Heritage Dishes I Demonstrated.Thanks for all your Support on the day .Thanks To Kieran and Crew,also to Jacki for the photos.

Thanks to Joanne and all the producers  Leona Kane,Mary Doherty,Donegal Prime fish ,Derry & Roe valley  Honey , Mc Daids & Doherty’s local bakeries..Thanks to Marty D for coming along way to support us.

Great To be working with Culturlann ,some exciting projects to come. Special Thanks To Gerry,Eibhlin ,Jim,  Fiachra ,Marie and all the girls in The Cafe . –Check out their Site below.


 ” A Celebration of Irish Food” at Culturlann Gt James Street Derry
Friday 16th March 12- 4pm
In the Build up to St Patricks Day I will be Cooking the best of Irish Food!! ,Regional Dishes from the Northwest of Ireland.”Crubeens wi…th Stout” “Boxty” “Poundies”Cured Herrings & Oaten Bread,-Sloke & Dulce Oatcakes!! Irish American “Corned Beef & Cabbage..Thanks for your support.
Happy St Patricks Day to all Our Irish Diaspora!!!
Emmett Mc Court
Irish Food Heritage Project
Celebration of the Pork industry In  Derry.
“Crubeens with Stout”
I’ve Been working with Vincent Mc Kenna of the Chef shop Belfast for some time now on the Embroidery of chefs jackets .The Chefs Shop embroidered our fantastic logo on the Chefs Jackets ,check out his shop below for all your kitchen needs.
Check out the blog soon more photos/Info to follow..
Emmett Mc Court

Watts & Co- Fantastic Meal Experience!! School History Projects-Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin

Went to Watts & Co on Saturday night ,Fantastic meal experience! ,ordered the Smoked Salmon Starter ,which came in a Kilner Jar “Smoking!!” Mary ordered the Ham Hock—–She Offered me a piece with homemade piccallili–did any of you see the movie Ratatouille ,when the food critic bit into the Ratatouille and was taken back to his childhood, to the food his mother used to make,with that one bite!!! that’s exactly the experience I had when I bit into that Ham hock flaked onto a crostini,,,This food is seriously good ,the Depth of  flavours  Kevin Pyke produces with his food at Watts is fantastic ….Kevin and his team are blazing the trail with good food and their unique styles in this waterside Restaurant .

Kevin and his team are putting together a celebration of the Pig,using a rare breed Pig,utilising all cuts from the pig on a special menu, including the squeal ,he tells me.Places are limited for this event next week, so if you miss it, don’t worry, check this place out soon..Great to see another fantastic Restaurant for the Northwest .Kevin is also supplying a signature dish for the book Feast or Famine along with quite a few  other restaurants from the Northwest  ,will be a hard choice of dish, for Watts given the number of great dishes they have.Congratulations to all at Watts, wishing them every success for the future .Check out there facebook page below.


Working on some  really exciting food projects at the minute ,launched the School History Projects Cookery Demonstrations during the week at Monreagh Ulster  Scots Heritage Centre .Special thanks to Kieran ,Mags ,Keith and all at Monreagh .

Check them out here


I have also been working with Culturlann ,Jim Hamliton in Irish Food Heritage projects ,this year promising to be an exciting year of events and Demonstrations..This is the Irish Culture and Heritage centre on Great James Street Derry .Thanks to Gerry, Jim, Eileen and all the team at Culturlann

Have a look at their site below or call in for a cuppa and check the centre out .


Check out the blog in the coming weeks for updates on local restaurants ,food suppliers producers  ,Artisans and  upcoming events .

Watch this space !! .

Sorry to hear another Derry Restaurant closed its doors last week .

“Hard times Come Again No More”!!

Emmett Mc Court

Irish Food Heritage Project–Feast or Famine…