NIFDA Awards: A Taste of Success for Legenderry

A Taste of Success at the 2015 NIFDA Awards for the LegenDerry Food Fest

Derry City Council was delighted to pick up a major award in the Ulster Bank 2015 Northern Ireland Food and Drink Awards, which are recognised as one of the most important food awards in Northern Ireland’s business calendar. 100,000 private sector jobs in Northern Ireland depend on the agri-food supply chain with an industry turnover of £5bn.

The awards are developed by The Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA). 2015 marks the 13th Northern Ireland Food and Drink Awards. Food and drink, is blazing a trail through the recession showing significant resilience and growth. Derry’s LegenDerry Food Fest was highly commended in the Best Event/Initiative for Promoting Quality Local Food and Drink category. This award was sponsored by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The LegenDerry Food Fest is a 3-day event to promote food provenance and ‘legendary and local’ produce in a fun and engaging way. The event is one of the largest food festivals in Ireland attracting 36,000 visitors. The Fest engages 40 chefs from across 19 restaurants and drives the destination as a must visit Food Tourism Destination. To give an authentic NI flavour, the focus was ingredients ‘caught here not brought here’ and ‘grown here not flown here”. The brand for the event was hugely imaginative with the icon of the plate with the city’s Peace Bridge as knife and fork.

Mary Blake, Tourism Development Officer and event organiser, was thrilled that the council received this award. “We gained an award against eight other major events, coming second only to the fantastic Food Pavilion at Balmoral Show. This NIFDA award is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our chefs, producers and suppliers who are so keen to develop our ‘LegenDerry Food’ brand. We are thrilled that the DETI minister recently announced 2016 as year of food as this provides an unprecedented opportunity for the region to showcase our LegenDerry food.

Mayor Cllr Brenda Stevenson extending her congratulations on the success of the festival, said it was a fantastic coup for the city and for the festival. “The Legenderry Maritime Festival is a fantastic event that showcases the local food industry and celebrates the city’s abundance of quality products. I am delighted that the festival has been awarded in this way and would like to extend my congratulations to everyone involved in making the festival such a success.”

The LegenDerry Food works with artisan producers and local suppliers from farmers to fishermen, dairies, patisserie etc. The programme unites the entire city behind a local provenance food brand, across the supply chain profiling locally sourced fresh ingredients and traditional recipes, as well as those with a contemporary twist. The event includes a massive Boulevard of Chefs where visitors can try and buy local produce. The event also included the LegenDerry Food Fair with over 40 NI artisan food producers including Taste Award winners and winners at the World Cheese Awards. Some of the local suppliers included Sperrins Blue Cheese, Flossies Fudge, Eva Macaroons, Abernethy Butter, O’Connaill’s Chocolates, Broighter Gold, Lough Foyle Mussel’s, Local Ice-cream and artisan brewers etc

Louise Millsopp, Head of Supply Chain Development Branch with the Department
of Agriculture and Rural Development was delighted to see LegenDerry win a major award. ‘Derry City Council should take great pride in achieving this recognition. The Legenderry Food Fest certainly punches well above it’s weight and is a superb showcase of what is good about the food that we produce in Northern Ireland. It has made a significant contribution to the northwest economy and I look forward to seeing it in the calendar for more years to come’.

Caption: Mayor Cllr Brenda Stevenson pictured with Derry City Council’s Tourism Development Officer Mary Blake along with Noel Lavery, permanent secretary with DARD, that funded the festival as part of its Regional Agricultural Food Programme pictured at the The Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) Awards.