Northern Ireland’s burgeoning food scene takes pride of place at Moira Demesne this Saturday, 15 August with the region’s first Speciality Food Fair, which promises to have something to appeal to all the family.
The one-day event will feature over 30 artisan food and drink producers in an artisan food market which will host award winning food producers from within a 15 miles radius of Moira. Abernethy Butter, Passion Preserved, Krazi Baker, Brambleberry Jams, and Hilden Brewery, to name but a few, have recently been crowned with multiple Great Taste Awards accolades. They will be joined by some of the best food producers in Northern Ireland who are all equally committed to their craft and the provenance of the produce they source.
Funded by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council and the NI Regional Food Programme, the Chairman of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Development Committee, Alderman Allan Ewart, explained, “The council feels there is an appetite for an event of this nature by the NI food sector and the local community. We have the privilege of having an abundance of artisan food producer’s, many of them award winning, right on our doorstep, who are passionate about the quality and distinct nature of Northern Ireland’s food scene. As a council, we see the Speciality Food Fair as the stepping stone to many such events in the borough over the next 18 months as we approach NI Year of Food & Drink 2016.”
It would seem that timing is everything with the recent arrival in town of Great British Chef, Chris McGowan. Fresh from filming this year’s series of Great British Menu, Chris has just embarked on renovations in the old Ivory building in the centre of Moira with a new restaurant venture opening this autumn. “We had literally just broken ground in the old Ivory premises when word of the Speciality Food Fair started to spread. My wife Davina, always one to have her ear to the ground, immediately got in touch with the event organisers and asked what could we do. We are thrilled to be involved in what promises to be a great event. I am blown away by the quality of produce available literally right on our doorstep and also to the passion and commitment of the producers.”
There promises to be food and fun for all the family with children’s craft workshops such as t-shirt printing, fruity five hat-making, story-telling and of course the obligatory face painting! Grown-ups can experience foodie heaven with kitchen sessions led by Chris McGowan and Stevie Higginson of Square Bistro, Lisburn, with a focus on food provenance and inspirational ideas that can easily be created at home.
All this temptation can make a person hungry, but not to worry, there will be plenty of choice available for a bite to eat from the gourmet street food vendors, with Pizza Box, Broughgammon Farm, The Fabulous Food Factory and The Crepe Makers all featuring. Those essential Saturday caffeine kicks will be covered and you can even sample a beverage from our budding craft beer, cider and spirits producers.
It would certainly seem to be the right time for such an event with the forthcoming ‘NI Year of Food 2016’. Hopefully, this Speciality Food Fair will be the first of its kind.