Business

Taste of Belfast on offer at new food and drink festival

Launching BelFeast are Susan Picken, Cathedral Quarter Trust; Gareth Neill, Destination CQ BID; Lord Mayor, Nuala McAllister; Saoirse Wolsey, Beannchor Group and Christine Cousins, Food NI

A NEW three-day food and drink festival is taking place later this month, which promises to provide visitors a taste of Belfast.

'BelFeast' will take place on the weekend of March 23-25 and aims to boost the city's reputation as a top food and drink destination by showcasing the finest in local produce, the skills of local chefs, and the best of local restaurants, cafés and bars.

The foodie festival, based around the Cathedral Quarter is being complemented by an entertainment programme that includes live music performances, street artists, tours, workshops, and talks, as well as an artisan street market and street food village. The BelFeast Food Theatre at the Mac theatre will also feature demonstrations from some of the finest chefs, food writers and creators in Northern Ireland as well as showcasing some of the emerging stars of the local food industry.

The festival is being delivered by the team behind Culture Night, in collaboration with Food NI and supported by local producers and the wider hospitality industry. The event is being funded by Belfast City Council and sponsored by Destination CQ BID.

Belfast Lord Mayor, Nuala McAllister believes BelFeast will enhance the city's reputation as a food destination.

"Lonely Planet 2018 has already named us as one of the best places to visit and a big reason for that is our food culture."

“BelFeast will shine a spotlight on Northern Ireland's outstanding food and drinks industry from the farmers and artisan producers who offer a dazzling variety of choice, to the restaurants and chefs who combine local ingredients to create mouth-watering meals and memorable dining experiences,” she said.

“The festival will also celebrate the unique role that food plays in our lives, encouraging people of all ages to get involved and learn more about what they eat and where it comes from.”

Michele Shirlow, chief executive of Food NI added: "We are delighted that Belfast City Council is holding such a fantastic event that showcases local food and drink. Northern Ireland has a wealth of award winning producers and chefs who are passionate and dedicated to their craft and this event brings some of the best offerings together at one event. This is definitely a date to add to the food lover's calendar."

More information on the festival programme is available at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/BelFeast. Tickets are purchased directly from venues.

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