Northern Ireland will be serving a Year of Food and Drink in 2016 – 366 leap year days dedicated to its artisan producers, chefs and delicacies from every corner and county. There’s going to be a big celebration of all that is good about the top notch local produce. And the world is invited.
Considered as one of Europe’s best kept secret foodie destinations, Northern Ireland has built a strong reputation for excellence in food production and hospitality. The region’s epic landscapes, traditions and people make its food heritage very unique. Thanks to its wild coastline, endless green fields and famously fickle weather, the country produces some of the world’s finest and freshest ingredients – from fabulous seafood to rare meats and iconic breads, organic vegetables, artisan cheeses, premium spirits and craft beers.
A huge programme of food festivals and events will take place throughout 2016 and a full calendar includes a different food theme for every month. For instance, Breakfast Month in January will celebrate the Ulster Fry and ‘filled soda’, as well as Armagh Apple Juice, Gracehill Black Pudding and Hannans award-winning Guanciale bacon. It will end in December with ’Christmas and premium foods’. In between there’s everything from ’love meat’ to ’brewing and distilling’ to’ heritage and traditions’.
Northern Ireland also has a wealth of talented and emerging chefs, heading up some brilliant local restaurants. With two Belfast restaurants – Ox and Eipic – recently bagging Michelin stars, the country’s artisan food and drink producers are reaping international renown from food critics and the media.
From a Game of Thrones Afternoon Tea at Ballygally Castle Hotel in the heart of ’Thrones’ country in County Antrim to the Titanic Menu at Rayanne House on the edge of Belfast Lough, the local food reflects local stories.
All through 2016, Northern Ireland will host special foodie events, festivals, money-off deals, pop-up restaurants, unique tastings, cookery class and food trails galore.
For foodies in India, it's a menu not to be missed.