NI’s top chefs cook up a feast beneath the Mourne’s seven peaks

Seven of Northern Ireland’s award winning chefs created a Dinner with Difference in aid of local children’s cancer charity as part of Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink. IMG_3006

On Friday 13th May seven of Northern Ireland’s leading chefs took over the kitchen of Cancer Fund for Children’s Therapeutic Short Break Centre, Daisy Lodge, to create a mouth-watering seven course menu for over 70 guests.

The one-off event which was a celebration of the best local produce and talent Northern Ireland has to offer, involved seven top chefs from Newcastle including Simon Dougan from the Yellow Door, Joery Castel from the Boat House in Bangor, Danny Millar Head Chef of Balloo House in Killinchy, Darren Ireland from Vanilla Restaurant, Paul Cunningham Head Chef of Brunel’s Restaurant, Hazel Magill Head Chef of the Slieve Donard Resort a and Spa and Phil Rodgers also of the Yellow Door.”

The theme for the evening was landscapes and places and with breath-taking Mourne Mountains as the backdrop to ‘Dinner with a Difference’ guests were in for a delectable sensory experience. Highlights from the menu, which was accompanied by matching wines selected by Jane Boyce Master of Wines from JN Wine Merchants, included; Shellfish Tortellini with Strangford Sea Vegetables and Ballycastle Crab Consommé, Kitchen Garden Salad with Young Buck Brulee and Sweet Pickled Beetroot, Carnbrooke Salt Aged Sirloin with Ox Tongue and a beautiful Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Burnt White Chocolate. Guests also had the opportunity to take a little slice of the evening home with them in a goody bag of petit-fours.

Joan Burden Cancer Fund for Children’s Hospitality Manager said, “This truly was an unforgettable evening. I’m delighted, that most importantly, Dinner with a Difference has raised over £13,000 to support local children and families affected by cancer. We were honoured to have seven of Northern Ireland’s leading chefs’ give up their time to support the charity. The atmosphere in the kitchen was amazing. There wIMG_2998as a real buzz amongst the chefs some who had never met before and the feedback from our guests has been incredible.

Joan continued,

“ I would like to thank everyone who made this unique event possible including our main sponsors Café Maud’s, Event Stylists’ Add a Little Sparkle who brought the Mournes’ seven peaks into the dining room at Daisy Lodge, JN Wine Merchants who sponsored the drinks reception, Johnsons Coffee who provided speciality teas and coffees, U105’s Paul McKenna who was our wonderful compere for the evening, Simon Dougan from the Yellow Door who helped bring this event together, Taste of Ulster and of course the six other amazing chefs.”

For more information about Cancer Fund for Children please contact the charity (028) 90805599 or visit