Celebrity French chef Jean-Christophe Novelli for Clipper Race Kitchens

Magnifique sums up the calibre of the internationally renowned culinary talent confirmed for Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Clipper Race Kitchens event being held in the city from July 14th-17th 2016 with the announcement of Jean-Christophe Novelli, “the nation’s favourite French chef”, to get foodie pulses racing on the banks of the Foyle on Friday, July 15th.

Multi award-winning Michelin chef, TV star and author Jean-Christophe, will bring his distinctive French flair and creative excellence to the free admission, four-day family-friendly food extravaganza taking place in Ebrington Plaza as a highlight element of the wider Foyle Maritime Festival programme which runs from July 9th-17th.
Popular local celebrity chefs Jenny Bristow, Paula McIntyre, Noel McMeel, Brian McDermott and Ian Orr will also be headlining at Clipper Race Kitchens which is expected to be one of the biggest events held during Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016, and is being supported by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) NI Agri Food programme, Tourism NI and the Loughs Agency through the Sustainable Development Fund.

The Mayor, Alderman Hilary McClintock, said she is hugely impressed by the stellar line-up secured for Clipper Race Kitchens including internationally renowned Jean-Christophe Novelli and a host of award-winning local chefs who are all household names and TV and radio stars in their own right.

Ald. McClintock said: “Council is to be applauded once again for organising what promises to be an absolutely superb showcase of our finest local food produce and culinary talent as part of the wider Foyle Maritime Festival programme.

“Festival-goers will be delighted at the calibre of the visiting and local celebrity chefs participating in the four-day event and we are particularly excited at the announcement that Jean-Christophe Novelli will be joining us for a series of live cookery demos in the Clipper Race Kitchen’s Theatre of Food on the afternoon of Friday, July 15th.”

Mary Blake, Council’s Tourism Development Officer and organiser of Clipper Race Kitchens, is hoping for record attendances, with an estimated 40,000 people expected to flock to the four-day culinary extravaganza on the Ebrington site.

She continued: “Clipper Race Kitchens is the biggest event in our Year of Food calendar as we showcase LegenDerry food and produce from across our Council district and beyond. This is an excellent opportunity to profile the city as a leading food destination with international appeal, particularly following our success last year as runner-up in Ireland’s Foodie Towns competition, and we expect Clipper Race Kitchens to create a huge buzz as part of the Foyle Maritime Festival.”

Jean-Christophe Novelli is a 5 out of 5 AA Rosette and Michelin award-winning chef, who began his career aged 14 as a baker in his home town of Arras, Northern France, before becoming the private Head Chef to Elie de Rothschild, of the French banking family, at the age of 19.

Jean-Christophe’s life changed completely when he arrived in Britain in 1983. He spent a year taking care of Keith Floyd’s pub,‘The Maltsters’, as Head Chef, whilst Keith was filming his famous TV shows. In 1996, Jean-Christophe opened four restaurants in London and now runs the Novelli Academy from his home in Hertfordshire, providing training for chefs and inspirational courses.

He has made numerous guest appearances on TV cookery shows including Saturday Kitchen, Chefs Academy and Hell’s Kitchen as well as on This Morning, Loose Women and Countryfile.

Clipper Race Kitchens will have three main food zones on Ebrington Plaza, including two huge festival marquees. In addition to the LegenDerry Boulevard of Chefs with 12 local restaurants cooking signature dishes priced from around £5, and Theatre of Food with live cookery demos and sampling in the Clipper Race Kitchen marquee, there will also be a Flavours of the Foyle showcase.

The Clipper Race Food Pavilion will showcase around 40 artisan producers selling their delicious wares, while the Clipper Race Village will be serving up the finest local street food from selected chefs/vendors out on the Plaza.
The family-friendly food event, which opens from 12 noon on July 14th-17th, will also have a kids zone with arts and crafts as well as water boats, jungle playground, cheroplanes and live music to keep everyone entertained.
For more details about the Foyle Maritime Festival programme, visit