Top TV talent to cook up a LegenDerry Feast

Ireland’s most popular celebrity chefs will be taking a break from the TV studios this weekend, to impress visitors and locals alike with their kitchen secrets when they drop into the city for a culinary celebration to remember at the LegenDerry Food Festival.

Rachel Allen and Neven Maguire will both be here on Saturday afternoon to cook up a storm and sign copies of their latest books during the three day event, which is organised by Derry City Council and sponsored by the DARD NI Regional Food Programme, Invest NI and the City of Culture Legacy Programme.

Rachel Allen never fails to impress food fans with her simple but delicious approach to home cooking, winning her a dedicated following and making her a regular feature on all the best cookery shows. She will be taking a break from the famous Ballymaloe Cookery School in Cork, where she teaches alongside her famous mother-in-law Darinagh Allen, to star in the Theatre of Food in the Guildhall Square from 2.30pm, (check times from latest menu boards I sent you) and reveal some of the tricks of the trade. Rachel will sign copies of her book following the demonstration at 4pm.

She will be joined on Saturday afternoon by Cavan’s most renowned kitchen aficionado Neven Maguire, who will be creating a stir with his creative twists on classic Irish produce. Neven is another familiar face on our TV screens where he features on RTE’s most popular cookery programme Home Chef. He will sign his latest book at 1pm before impressing the crowds in the kitchen at 1.30pm.

They will be joined by Ian Orr, Irish Chef of The Year 2013 from Browns in Derry and  BBC Radio regulars Paula McIntyre, who brightens up Saturday mornings with her cookery slot on Radio Ulster’s Saturday Magazine Programme. Brian McDermott, the ‘No Salt Chef’, who is a favourite on our airwaves and television screens will demonstrate and compere the event. All chefs will working their magic on some fantastic local produce on Sunday afternoon, and Brian will be back on Monday for second helpings. In addition to the celebrity chefs at the event, 12 local restaurants and more than 20 providers will provide continual cook offs from 12 noon – 6pm.

Tourism Officer with Derry City Council Mary Blake, event organisersaid: “I am delighted to welcome all our chefs to the event this weekend, and in particular Rachel Allen and Neven Maguire who are at the very forefront of Irish cooking. I’m sure they will get a very Derry welcome on Saturday when they show off the skills that have established them as household names.

“We have a wealth of cooking talent here in the city and this weekend is the ideal platform to showcase the innovative and exciting work going on in our top class hotels, cafes and restaurants. The North West is such a bountiful region when it comes to fine produce, so it’s fantastic to be able to support the many producers and suppliers who will be bringing along a cornucopia of culinary treats from handmade fudge and preserves, to chutneys and fresh seafood. I would encourage everyone to come along and savour some of the best food in the country.”

The kitchen action kicks off in the Marquee each day at 12noon, with demonstrations, talks and dishes served hot off the stove until 5.30pm on Monday. A team of top chefs from our best local venues will be manning the stoves on the boulevard of chefs, rustling up mouth watering dishes such as Beef with home cured spices, potato cakes and local greens, and Pork Belly and Seabreem.

For the younger chefs there will be plenty of fun activities and entertainment courtesy of the Singing Chef, the Cake Ladies and the Candy Girls, with face painting, children’s crafts and balloon modelling. And when you’ve filled up on food, there’s plenty on the St Patrick’s Festival programme to entertain throughout the city from the Trad Triangle of music which takes place at three city centre stages each day, to the Magical Storytelling Garden which will transform Ebrington Square each day from 12pm – 5pm.

For more information and a full timetable of the LegenDerry Food Festival events go to And to find out more about all the St Patrick’s Carnival weekend, go to