|Gary O’Hanlon, Donegal’s Food Ambassador for The Food Coast, in full flow|
during an exhibition at the 2013 Taste of Donegal food festival
“To have a festival of this magnitude in Donegal is great, I go to food festivals all over the country, but this is fantastic for Donegal" said Gary. "In conjunction with the whole Food Coast and Food Strategy it’s giving all these producers that we are trying to get out there into market, a big platform in their own county to see exactly how successful they can be.”
Carl Diver of Irish Natural Honey is one such producer. They launched their product ‘Active Irish Honey’ at A Taste of Donegal food festival and with huge interest from the public he was full of praise for the County Enterprise Board and The Food Coast for the help they had received in getting off the ground.
|Members of the Active Irish Honey team are joined at their exhibit by the Lord Mayor of Donegal |
and Mayor of Donegal Town. L to R: Carl Diver; Patricia Callaghan Mayor of Donegal Town; Mayor of Donegal, Councillor Ian McGarvey; Austin Duignan and Conor Daly of Active Irish Honey
Joe Doherty of Inishowen Country Kitchen described the support from The Food Coast as core to their success. “They have worked with us and invested in us and put in support systems to help us get our product into places like Tesco.”
|Joe Doherty of Inishowen County Kitchen keeps the visitors happy with his salads and desserts|
|Eve Anne McCarron and Jack Stein from The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall,|
join Enda O’Rourke of The Village Tavern in Mountcharles to sample his new chowder recipe.
Brian McDermott who runs The No Salt Chef, said he felt there is something happening and changing now in the county in terms of the food industry. “There is a real unity now in Donegal and I have to pay tribute to the agencies and to the Good Food Initiative from the Donegal County Enterprise Board. Everyone has got behind this now collectively, the chefs, the producers and we are showcasing now on platforms like the Taste of Donegal Food Festival. More importantly we needed the opportunity to do that" said Brian. "Maybe there’s a modesty around in Donegal in general but we are coming together and starting to shout, and rightly so, because we have some of the best produce this country has to offer.”
|Brian McDermott (The No Salt Chef) pictured with Gary O’Hanlon |
as he judged the Donegal Chowder Cook off at the Taste of Donegal food festival
That assertion is one shared by Gary O’Hanlon who says the Good Food Initiative and The Food Coast will lead to fantastic food opportunities for businesses in the county. “Donegal is steeped in talent, we have some of the best up and coming talents, we have some of the best chefs in Ireland - if not the best chefs in Ireland! We also have some of the best food in the country but no one has been shouting about it enough. We have given them, with the Food Coast Strategy, is a medium for developing their product and that can only be positive for the whole county of Donegal.”