Clipper Race Kitchens to whip up a food fest at Foyle Maritime Festival

Derry City and Strabane District Council is set to host its biggest ever culinary showcase during Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016 with the Clipper Race Kitchens promising to cook up a storm in Ebrington Plaza from July 14th-17th.

The four-day flagship family-friendly event taking place as part of the Foyle Maritime Festival programme, is expected to be the second biggest food festival in Northern Ireland this year after the Balmoral Show, attracting an estimated 40,000 visitors to the city.

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Alderman Hilary McClintock said she’s hugely excited that Clipper Race Kitchens will comprise three exciting food zones showcasing the wealth of delicious home-grown local produce on offer in the north west.

Ald. McClintock continued: “Festival-goers who love fantastic local food that is grown here not flown here, will be totally spoiled for choice at Ebrington where we will have two large marquees housing the Clipper Race Kitchen – incorporating the Flavours of the Foyle Seafood Showcase – and the Clipper Race Food Pavilion, as well as the Clipper Race Food Village, all on the plaza just across from the Peace Bridge.”

The Mayor said she’s delighted that the Clipper Race Kitchen will feature the LegenDerry Boulevard of Chefs where chefs from 12 restaurants across the north west will be serving up signature dishes that you can try and buy for around £5.

The Clipper Race Kitchen marquee will be a hive of foodie activity as some of Ireland’s best known celebrity chefs work their culinary magic in the popular Theatre of Food live cookery demonstrations. They’ll be whipping up creative mouth-watering meals using the finest and freshest local ingredients, with everyone getting a bird’s eye view of the sizzling action thanks to the big screens.

And if all that is not enough to whet your appetite and to tickle and tantalise your taste buds, the festival marquee will also incorporate a special Flavours of the Foyle seafood and shellfish showcase featuring Mourne Seafood Bar, Donegal Prime Fish (Skeoge, Derry), fish filleting as well as a Seafood BBQ.

The adjoining second festival marquee will be the Clipper Race Food Pavilion where 40 artisan food producers will be demonstrating and selling a wide range of tasty local produce including award-winning cheese and chutneys, ice-cream and patisserie, including a showcase of ‘Slow Food’ such as Broighter Gold oil and slow cooked breads.

The third zone will be the Clipper Race Food Village where high quality street food which has really taken off here in a big way – exemplified by Derry’s own award-winning Pyke ‘n’ Pommes – will offer the very best dishes from vendors across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland using locally sourced ingredients.

In addition, the four-day festival celebrating all things food related – and which is free to access – will comprise lots of interactive and ‘hands on’ opportunities throughout all zones including fish filleting, cookery demos and talks, sampling and tasting opportunities.

As always there will be a wide range of family-friendly animation guaranteed to entertain little gourmands, including comedy chefs, walkabout fish, talking vegetables and a culinary themed kids zone with arts and crafts as well as kids water boats, jungle playground, cheroplanes and live music, all on the Ebrington site.

Mary Blake, Council’s Tourism Development Officer, said excitement is already building ahead of Clipper Race Kitchens which will be open to the public on Thursday, July 14th, Friday, July 15th, Saturday, July 16th, and Sunday, July 17th, from 12 noon-6pm.

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 food destination with international appeal, particularly following our success last year as runner-up in Ireland’s Foodie Towns competition, and we have some really exciting celebrity chefs lined up for the event which will create a huge buzz for the city.”

Citing the numerous industry awards bestowed on local restaurants, chefs and Council itself over the past year, Council’s Tourism Officer said: “It is not just us saying it. Our LegenDerry Food Festival was runner-up in the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Awards 2015 and won the Chartered Institute of Marketing Awards 2015.

“We had another 38,000 visitors at the LegenDerry Food Festival in March this year and almost 15,000 people attended the Big Cheese & Beer Expo in April. We are hoping that Clipper Race Kitchens as part of our Foyle Maritime Festival will beat all records.”

For further information on Clipper Race Kitchens, visit