The Search is on to Find Northern Ireland's New Signature Dish

Four of the country's top chefs get creative to find our new dish. Tourism Northern Ireland has tasked four of Northern Ireland's top chefs to create three brand new locally-inspired dishes, one of which will be named as Northern Ireland's New Signature Dish.

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Northern Ireland's New Signature Dish search is part of the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016 celebrations and the four creative minds taking part, referred to as the 'cooking collective', are Niall McKenna from James Street South in Belfast; Ian Orr from Browns Restaurant and Ardtara House in Derry~Londonderry; Kelan McMichael from Bull and Ram in Ballynahinch and Chris McGowan from Wine and Brine in Armagh. They have the incredibly difficult task of coming up with three delicious finalist dishes, using only produce from Northern Ireland, explained Susie Brown, Director of Corporate Development at Tourism NI.

"We are very excited about the prospect of a new signature dish for Northern Ireland. Our firm favourites like stew and champ are so familiar to us all but we want to create a lasting food legacy as part of the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016 to live on long after the year-long celebration is over and that is what the Signature Dish is all about.

"Once we have our three finalist dishes, we will ask the public to vote online for which dish they think should be named Northern Ireland's New Signature Dish," commented Susie.

Very soon, everyone will be able to see a picture of the final three dishes, details of all the ingredients and information on how to vote for their favourite dish. Everyone who votes will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win some great prizes.

The chefs are only allowed to use Northern Ireland produce and the dishes must all be new but other than that there are no rules.

The 'cooking collective' chefs, Niall, Chris, Ian and Kelan, said: "Our produce is the envy of the world with numerous awards and international recognition for hundreds of our food and drink producers. So choosing what ingredients to include is not an easy task for us but we're up for the challenge."

Susie said: "At this point we have no idea what the three finalist dishes will be but we'd love to know what people across Northern Ireland think. I encourage everyone to get their creative juices flowing and send us in some suggestions via and

"The winning dish, as voted for by the public, will be announced at a special unveiling event in December -- further details to come later this month. All of the 'cooking collective' chefs will be at the event and there will even be a cookery demo before the grand unveiling", concluded Susie.

What will be Northern Ireland's New Signature Dish? Let Tourism Northern Ireland know what you think by uploading your dish ideas online using #SignatureDishNI and #EnjoyNI16.

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November 29, 2016

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