Armagh is to become a foodie destination following ten Armagh-based chefs coming together in an attempt to create a hospitality forum which will turn the county into a food hub, similar to Kinsale's Good Food Circle.
Sean Farnan, head chef and owner of award-winning The Moody Boar, came up with the idea of turning Armagh into the 'Kinsale of the North' after competing in its annual seafood chowder cook off two years ago. The project already has the support of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council and Tourism Northern Ireland, reports the Irish Times.
After Farnan's previous restaurant, the Priory House restaurant in Co Tyrone, appeared on BBC's Northern Exposure tv series in 2009, the chef has seen the affect that being a food destination can have for restaurants, describing that experience as "probably one of the best things that ever happened to us, because all of a sudden we were getting people from Dublin, Belfast, Omagh, Monaghan travelling distances to come to our restaurant, and better still coming back."
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The Moody Boar is known for using local food and drink suppliers such as Keenan Seafood; Conway Farms; Rockvale Poultry; Farmlay Eggs; Armagh Cider; and The Hilden Brewery as well as ingredients like Lough Neagh eels and Comber potatoes.
The projects aim is to create a range of high-quality restaurants across the Armagh area, maintaining standards and educating locals about the quality of the regions food. It has already recruited restaurants such as The Yellow Door in Portadown, Groucho’s On The Square in Richill, the Uluru Bar & Grill in Armagh and the Armagh City Hotel.
"How are we going to develop if we are not talking together as a group? Chefs are always going to be very individualistic but together you are stronger, you can shout louder and you get further... I am very excited about this," added Farnan.