A cookery mecca showcasing all thats good about seafood from the North West....Flavours of the Foyle sounded right up my street. So I wrangled mesell an invite...what a great way to mix with chefs get an idea on how they're using seasonal produce and perhaps spread a bit of the GIY and Gardening vibe....well that was the plans anyways.
mrs...now thay was the plans...thanks to the organisers I found myself with a table in the main hall, a speaking time-slot in the demo tent and access to some of the best chefs in the town....so I took an early morning trip around the Foyle CommunityGardens and gathered up a selection of seasonal produce (not too much mind), had some cracking Kohl Rabi (we'll cover that in a minute), great mix of herbs, spring greens, onions, salads and fruits..Broadcaster Mark Patterson & Chef Brian McDermott loved the selection of stuff ...
Now when you have a table full of community produce, it draws foks in...both to ask questions about the produce but also with a genuine interest in the projects that are on the go in the town. Here new mayor of Derry Kevin Campbell getting ambushed for an interview with the community garden produce table in the background. Kevin is a keen grower himself, growing in his back garden with the family, and involved from the start with the CommunityGarden project in Creggan.
One of my main focus of being there was to see what the chefs were at and to encourage them to use seasonal produce, thus giving the GIY'ers out some inspiration for what to do with their produce and to highlight to the chefs that this is whats in season now in the gardens and fields around the town.
one of the more unusual things i had was Kohl Rabi, this is a turnip type vegetable, easily grown in the back garden. It combined the flavours of tunip and cauliflowers. The chefs went mad for it! Ian Orr (recent winner of Ulsters best Chef) used it all!...he used with with blackpudding and scallops...and by jeez it tasted mighty!
The selection of produce was available for all the chefs to use all day, in their continual cooking displays but also int he demo tent...and by 5pm this was the sight....not a leave left...the chefs all loved the freshness of it and the fact it had been produced on their doorsteps.
Gardening on Radio Foyle
A summary of each weeks gardening on Mark Patterson Show and beyond