Sweet taste of success as food weekend returns to Belfast. The importance of the local food industry will be giving people food for thought this weekend with a major event at Belfast’s St. George’s Market.
The ‘Great Belfast Food Weekend’ returns to the market on Saturday 26 March and Sunday 27 March.

It is aimed at demonstrating all that is good about local food, its producers and those involved in bringing it from the field and from trawlers to our tables.

Following the huge success of last year’s inaugural culinary triumph, this year’s ‘Great Belfast Food Weekend’ will bring a taste of the sea on shore by featuring sea vegetables, fresh and sustainable local fish, our world famous dulse with locally produced beef and other home grown produce.

Top local chefs Nick Price and Niall McKenna will be hosting the event, joined by producers, sellers and other chefs, to highlight the importance of Northern Ireland’s unique food culture and history, as well as the benefits of supporting the local food industry.

Chefs Phil Rodgers, Nick Price and Niall McKenna join model Gemma McCrory for the launch of the Great Belfast Food Weekend which takes place at St George's Market this coming weekend.

“Buying food which is produced locally, processed locally and prepared and sold locally is one of the best ways of supporting Northern Ireland’s economy and sustaining local jobs, especially in these difficult economic times,” said Councillor Conor Maskey, Chairman of Belfast City Council’s Development Committee.

“As well as celebrating and showcasing the best of our local produce, this year’s event will give local food producers and of course chefs the opportunity to demonstrate the quality and exquisite nature of Northern Ireland’s food and our local culinary talent.”

The ‘Great Belfast Food Weekend’ is organised by Belfast City Council, in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, through the Northern Ireland Food Programme. Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew commented:

“We are delighted that on the back of the huge success of last year, Great Belfast Food Weekend is returning. The event provides a great opportunity for both consumers and tourists to sample the high quality of produce available from our local agri-food industry.

“By making regional food an integral part of the Food Week and by using well known local chefs who are capable of converting all our wonderful raw ingredients into mouth-watering dishes and recipe ideas, Belfast City Council have embraced the message that local food is good food and incorporated it into their food tourism initiatives.”

The event is also supported by the European Regional Development Fund, under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland, administered by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB).

Kathryn Thomson, NITB Chief Operating Officer, said:
“NITB is delighted once again to be supporting this venture through the Tourism Innovation Fund, which will not only help boost tourism throughout the city but will also make a valuable contribution to the local economy.”

The ‘Great Belfast Food Weekend’, which is being compered by TV and radio personality Emma-Louise Johnston, will see a variety of events and demonstrations across the two days at St George’s Market, including:
– food workshops;
– tasting sessions;
– cookery demonstrations;
– food story telling;
– meet and greet artisan food producers; and
– beef and fish themed recipes
For more information on all events during the Great Belfast Food Weekend, log on to www.gotobelfast.com/greatbelfastfood