Crème de la Crème of NI Produce Adds Local Flavour to Celebrity French Chef’s Table
He’s been ‘keeping mum’ about it until now but Jean-Christophe Novelli, the multi-Michelin-starred and 5-out-of-5 AA Rosette-winning chef yesterday revealed the menu for his hotly-anticipated début Belfast restaurant.
And in a ringing endorsement of local suppliers, Jean-Christophe, who has been dubbed the UK’s ‘Favourite French Chef’, has given Northern Irish produce top billing.
Set on Belfast’s waterfront, with stunning views accentuated by a double-height glazed façade and open-air terrace, the 112-seater ‘Novelli at City Quays’ restaurant will open in April as part of the all-new AC Hotel Belfast, the £25million contemporary-luxe hotel developed by Belfast Harbour in the heart of its prestigious City Quays quarter.
‘Novelli at City Quays’ will be the celebrity chef’s first restaurant on the island of Ireland, representing a key milestone for him, a major coup for Belfast’s hospitality offering, and a valuable boost to local suppliers.
“You need to have wonderful ingredients to produce wonderful food, and I have been thoroughly inspired and excited by the quality and variety of produce available to me here on my Belfast doorstep,” said Jean-Christophe Novelli.
“At ‘Novelli at City Quays’, our customers can look forward to the authentic Mediterranean-inspired cuisine I am best known for, including my famous Coq au Vin, French Onion Soup and Loin of Sugar Pit Pork, and all made with the best of locally sourced ingredients.”
Reading like a veritable Who’s Who of NI producers and processors, Abernethy Butter, Hannan Meats, Ewing’s Seafood, Yellow Door and North Down Group are just some of the local companies hand-picked by Jean-Christophe and Jim Mulholland, his Belfast grand chef, to supply the new restaurant. Even the charcuterie board features homegrown chorizo and salami, produced by Limavady-based Corndale Farm.
“It has always been my passion and my mission to source whatever I can locally, and it has been an incredibly rewarding experience to introduce our amazing local produce to such a globally celebrated chef as Jean-Christophe Novelli and to see him, in turn, become a champion of it,” said Jim Mulholland, grand chef of ‘Novelli at City Quays.’
The 188-room, four-star quality AC Hotel Belfast is the first AC Hotel by Marriott on the island of Ireland, and the first purpose-built AC Hotel in the UK. ‘Novelli at City Quays’ is the first destination restaurant in the AC Hotels by Marriott® 100+ global portfolio. Built to Jean-Christophe Novelli’s exacting specifications, the made-to-measure kitchen features a rotisserie oven to enable him to produce his signature roasts.