So I made it to the grounds of @belfastcityhall at about midday on a crisp dry and sunny autumnal day for @BelfastRW in conjunction with @VisitBelfast. There was a bit of a chill in the air, so what better way to warm up by trying the delights on offer. There is a link to all the photos I took earlier.
The layout is pretty simple, there are 4 quadrants, two have tee-pee type tents and the other are 2x North Down Marquees. The first ti-pi is a pop up bar called The Bears Paw (@camra_ni). This is a fantastic venture by Declan and co. The idea is to sell local beers, ales and ciders from NI producers like @hildenbrewery and @Whitewaterbeer. No sampling of course!!
Then I crossed over to the other ti-pi where the lovely young looking @PamBallantine was assisting the one and only guest chef of the day, @tomparkerbowles. Pamela was amazing as usual. Tom was doing a food demo and on the menu was cooked green beans and chilli,which was simple yet delicious (there was supposed to be minced pork, but it didn’t arrive in time!!) and sweet corn and bacon,which again went down well. Incidentally Tom dined in @shurestaurant and @oxbelfast and was singing their praises!!!
The first food port of call was @treatboutique2 for hand baked delights.Always a gr8 place to grab a coffee and have a nice relaxed snack or indulge in something more tempting. Shivani and Alan have done a fine job.
Next stop was Tim @yardbirdbelfast. He was explaining that all the chickens are fresh from local supplier Kiln Cottage. They marinate the chickens for 24 hours in paprika, butter milk and lemon juice and then cooked in the rotisserie for a couple of hours mmm getting hungry now!!!
Met a couple of characters from @MollysYard and @tynedalegoatkid who we’re promoting goat meat. I love goat and got to try the goat stew which was very warming and tasty, they also did #bbq spicy goat. I will mention Tynedale later.
Moving along to the Creole fayre courtesy of chef Rick Orr from @NorthernWhig. Rick spent 4 years in New Orleans and had Seafood Gumbo, Cajun chicken and pork Jambalaya. I tried the Seafood Gumbo and it was delicious, not as spicy as it should be,more for the Irish palate.
Then onto the opulent and decadent AM:PM, @CabaretBelfast and @ChubbyCherub_NI. The decour is a sample of the Arthur Street venue. Kevin was great and had a good chat and had a wild boar burger with mozzarella, bacon, red pepper, tomato and rocket with a dash of ketchup in a brioche bun. The brioche bun kind of crumbled so may need to change it. The Chubby Cherub served hot dogs.
Richard @HoratioTodds was very busy but spared a couple of minutes. They serve Irish braised beef, seafood chowder which looked fabulous and a vegetarian flatbread.
Naomi was busy in @Rest25urant which was the old Carlitos on Botanic avenue. They specialise in Italian and Meditteranean food. I’ll see you in the restaurant Naomi!!
The second marquee was the #artisanmarket. The definition of artisan (from French) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates things by hand that maybe functional or strictly decorative eg furniture,arts,clothing,jewellery and so on. It has been used by marketeers and advertisers as a buzz word applied to food. Now one could argue that the people producing these products are artisans. Make your own mind up, after I went around I would call them artisans.
Before I went in I saw the boys hard at work making fish and chips from @belfastcookery part of @mourneseafood.
I noticed a new name when I was @StGeorgesBT1, it was Tom and Ollie. They have replaced Love Olive in the market and Shay runs Tom and Ollie. He is based in Portglenone and gets olives from Greece and sun dried tomatoes from Turkey.
Beside him was Charlie a young farmer from the @BroughgammonFrm in Ballycastle where they rear veal and goat and get in local game.
Pat from @LongMeadowCider along with his son Peter, make sweet and medium cider in Portadown. The medium won The Great Taste Award. They are bringing out Oak cider near #Christmas.
The next stand is a rapeseed and hemp oil one. It is @Harnettoils and at their farm in Warringstown they grow and press the rapeseed and hemp. They have been doing so since 2008.
Barbara @RubyBlueLiquer was very busy with her selection of 17% liqueurs. Lots of younger ladies were sampling and buying.
Next was @leggygowanfarm where there was delightful goats cheese to taste. I sampled the white cheese,the blue and smoked blue had run out. Remember Tynedale? They get the males from Leggygowan and use the males for meat, whilst females produce milk for the kids and cheese.
Jarlath set up a pop up coffee stop. It is Lola and Finn’s which is part of the Jude’s Estate brand. Jarlath has experience from Australia and his coffee smelt great! He is based in Tannaghmore near Ballymena.
@MangeToutDeli won Cafe of the Year and looking at the freshly baked patisseries from chef Franck Breteche you will know why. They are in Downpatrick and started in 2010.
I tasted the vanilla fudge from Flossies fudge. Debbie was telling me she does 8 varieties, and if they are as good as the vanilla I’m gonna get some more!! It was Debbie’s daughter who started this and in 2013 Debbie took over.All her fudge has no artificial flavours. She is based in Eglinton.
I did not get to meet the famous @MissMcKeowns teas, but smelt a variety. The Assam Gold was good and the pear Champagne won 2 Taste Awards. Miss McKeown started just this year.
Michael is the larger than life persona behind the Young Buck cow’s unpasteurised milk blue cheese from Ards. @fancycheeseco competes with the best of French and English blue cheese and I prefer it. Mike started in November 2013 and said that the cheese is aged for 4 months.
The last stand in the artisan tent was @fooddrinkshowni which is happening from 24-26th October in the Kings Hall Pavillion @kingshallevents.
On my way out I popped in to chat to Orla who is in charge of marketing @TRomasBelfast. Was just about to start dishing out the prime pork ribs,looked and smelt gr8.
Finally the omnipotent Swede and chef @jamesstsouth Carl Johannesson was showing the simple yet satisfying hot dogs,just your plain sausage in a bun, simplicity with a twist.The pork is Tamworth pork, and there were lots of takers.
So to sum up this was a fantastic day,a gr8 idea,weather was good,craic was good, plenty of good,clean,locally produced food and drink to be had. There was also entertainers and music.
It was a great shame to see the moronic protesters spoiling things and the announcement of funding cuts so that this event and the food show and culture night will not take place next year, as well as other events across the province.
Once again the BFM shares the food love!!! Ciao for now