The middle of spring, bright glorious weather, blue skies and the arrival of the 5 day Spring Continental Market in the grounds of City Hall!!
I had the pleasure and honour of chatting to Andrew Smyth, the Great British Bake Off finalist yesterday. Andrew has joined the Northern Ireland Pork and Bacon Forum as a brand ambassador working on a creative campaign to celebrate NI Pork’s provenance and versatility. Andrew wanted to highlight the different recipes that can be cooked with pork from a simple quick sandwich, to more slowly cooked dishes like pulled pork. He would cook pork 2-3 times per week and likes the versatility of pork and uses different cuts such as fillet which is very good value and under used.
Andrew hails from Holywood and he was telling me that his passion for cooking and baking was passed on to him from his parents and granny respectively. After graduating from Cambridge in 2013, Andrew moved to Derby to work as an Aerospace engineer with Rolls Royce, where he is currently. He was saying that he really enjoyed cooking at Uni, throwing full dinner parties or tapas or cakes and bakes for his lucky friends!! His lucky flat mates in Derby are his guinea pigs and happy recipients!!
As part of the activity Andrew visited Northern Ireland recently to film a collection of locally produced pork inspired videos providing some great recipe ideas in the kitchen.
Andrew became well known on the seventh series of The Great British Bake Off in 2016 and rose to fame for his innovative creations which combined his love of baking with engineering. His cookery and baking skills have now made him a household name. Andrew said that to get onto GBBO he had to pass five stages, held around the UK, then the series lasted ten weeks with the final three candidates baking it out in the last week.
Commenting on the partnership Deirdre McIvor, Chief Executive of NI Pork and Bacon Forum said: “Northern Ireland Pork which carries the ‘Assured Origin’ logo guarantees that the cut, from pork chops to shoulder of pork, is wholly produced here in Northern Ireland to the highest possible standards. This means that customers can trust that item’s with this label have been produced in line with some of the highest standards in Europe.
The pig farming industry makes a significant contribution to the agri-sector in Northern Ireland and sustains 400 farming families and 2,000 local jobs. We’re proud of that industry and we encourage customers to support and protect it by always looking for the label and choosing locally produced pork.”
Andrew is an emerging local culinary talent and we are delighted that he has come on board with a range of tasty Pork based dishes bringing new energy to our campaign which has provenance and creativity at its heart.”
Andrew was over recently and spent around four days shooting 12 videos as part of the new campaign. The campaign has been created in support of NI Pork and Bacon Forum’s ‘Assured Origin’ quality seal which is a guarantee to customers that pork is 100% Northern Ireland produced, governed by the highest animal welfare standards and quality production systems. It forms part of NI Pork’s larger effort to encourage retailers across Northern Ireland to stock NI Assured Origin pork product to ensure they offer customers the best locally produced products.
Andrew said: “Northern Ireland pork is among the best and tastiest in the world – cue Andrew with his delicious, bespoke recipes for NI Pork. Pork is really versatile, is great value, incredibly tender if cooked correctly and oozes flavour. It can be enjoyed as a classic slow-cooked roast, in casseroles, as an accompaniment with fresh summer salads – the options are simply endless. Hopefully my recipes and videos will show people just how easy it is to cook and will offer some simple inspiration in the kitchen.”
Go to the NIPork’s Facebook or Instagram page for more of Andrew’s recipes or to find out where you can buy Northern Ireland Pork ‘Assured Origin’ products.”
For all the latest news, top tips and NI Pork recipes visit NI Pork’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nipork/
Im really looking forward to trying some of the recipes….so should you!!