What a weekend! The Slow Food festival was a resounding success and attracted over 25,000 people. It was a beautiful autumn day, and the City was dazzling!

I had the pleasure of taking a tour group on a special one off ‘Slow Food Tour’. Over two hours they tasted their way around the City and learnt what slow food is whilst getting to know the people behind the produce and also getting to know each other! They tasted craft beers, local chorizo, creamy cheeses, fresh fish, sourdough bread along with lots of other produce. We finished up sitting outside with homemade chowder and some ‘dopey dick’ craft beer from Guildhall Taphouse. What a perfect Saturday afternoon!!!



Slow food is very much what the ethos of the food tour is all about, supporting local, whats grown here not flown here, quality produce developed without use of pesticides and growth hormones, eating in season and reducing waste! It is also about taking time over our food and eating as a social thing – whether that’s eating together as a family or coming on a food tour and eating in great company 🙂 If you would like to learn more about the Slow Food Movement check out Slow Food NI or keep an eye on our website and Facebook for the next Slow Food Tour date!


We were lucky to have a wealth of local producers as well as cookery demos and a kidz farm all in Guildhall Square. The clear marquee was an excellent choice, really opening the whole area up and the place was buzzing! I just love events like this, helping to raise the profile of the City as a Foodie Destination and really creating a sense of pride and feel good factor in everyone. Thanks to Derry and Strabane council for putting it all together.

Special Slow Food ‘Meet the Producer’ – Scarpello & Co


Scarpello and Co had a prime stand at the festival, alongside the historic walls and the queues were lengthy, everyone wanting some of their delicious sourdough pizza!

Sourdough bread epitomises Slow Food in terms of the love and attention that goes into making the bread. It really is a labour of love! Also they only produce it in small quantities and supply just local restaurants, cafes and farm shops.

Based in Donegal, Scarpello and Co. was born of a passion and obsession with REAL food. Their aim is to reintroduce an understanding of the importance of pure, freshly baked breads, for authentic, carefully made products, far removed from the mechanisation and mass production of today’s baking industry where additives, improvers and preservatives are standard.

Sourdough breads use a fermented batter-like dough starter to make them rise and enhance their flavour. A portion of the sourdough starter is mixed with the bread’s ingredients, while the remainder is kept and ‘fed’ with more flour and water to use in future batches.

Guests on food tours have been sampling some of this delicious bread and blown away by how tasty it is. Also it is much easier digested than your standard white or brown breads. Winner!

5 questions for Rachel at Scarpello

1. Whats your favourite sandwich? Pretty much anything in between lightly toasted sourdough.

2.How old is your ‘starter’ for making the breads? Going on for 10 years started from our kitchen in Donegal.

3.How long does it take to make a loaf of bread? Honestly, a really good sourdough is made over a 3 day period. Day 1 feed the starter, day 2 make the bread & a long slow rise, day 3 bake & eat.

4.Where can you buy from in the Derry area? Green Cat Bakery Eglinton, Flower Krazy Eglinton, Warehouse Cafe Derry City. Our breads are also put to good use & showcased at Pyke N’ Pommes, Blackbird & Sooty Olive.

5. How long does a loaf keep for? Looked after properly our bread will last a week or more

Our other speciality is Woodfired sourdough pizza showcased at The Taproom Rathmullan.

You gotta try it! There are some spaces left on

THIS Saturdays tour – 15th October.

Spaces are £47pp and you can book online here

or give me a shout 07716875764

I’d love to have you join us and show you all our amazing local produce!

Meet the Producer – Donegal Prime Fish

Donegal Prime Fish 1

Welcome to our new feature where every month we will highlight one of our amazing local producers. Keeping with the theme of the Year of Food and Drink – July is month of ‘Seas, Rivers and Loughs’ our first feature is DONEGAL PRIME FISH.

Given our geographical ‘prime’ location on the North coast we are so lucky to have some of the sweetest tasting fish, thanks to our cold atlantic waters. And back in the 1980s Reggie Ryan certainly knew it when he started Donegal Prime Fish. The business began in a humble shed beside Greencastle Pier but moved into Derry as the demand grew North of the border.

After an illness in 2006 sadly Reggie passed away, leaving behind his wife Dorothy and three daughters Emma, Grace and Laura. Determined to carry on with the business they immersed themselves fully in it. I caught up with Emma, Dorothy and their manager Patsy to find out the top 5 ‘fishy’ things you need to know about this family business…

  • They handle between 7 and 8000 kilos of fish weekly from their premises at Skeoge. The fish comes directly off the boats at Greencastle, is prepared at Skeoge and delivered straight to restaurants! Location Map here
  • They won a Great taste award  for their Irish Silver Smoked Salmon using dust from Oak trees so synonymous with Derry.
  • They sell what Dorothy jokingly refers to as ‘the incredible shrinking fish’! Orange Roughy, which when cooked dramatically shrinks in size and is one of the most unusual fish they stock, along with blue mouth red fish.
  • Dorothys favourite fish dish is fresh haddock, pan fried. She rightly believes in keeping keeping it simple so you can taste the full flavour and quality of the fish . Emma favours lemon sole, although she also revealed a penchant for some of our Fiorentinis gorgeous fish and chips!
  • They supply to the majority of restaurants on the ‘Made in Derry’ food tour. So if you want to taste the amazing fresh fish, cooked by our wonderful local chefs – come on tour! Available dates here


[Image Discover NI]

Donegal prime fish delivers Northern Ireland wide and they have been awarded a salsa approved supplier accreditation. You can buy the same quality fish as supplied to our top restaurants direct from their premise in Skeoge industrial Estate.



Facebook Donegal Prime Fish

Twitter @DonegalPrime

Phone 02871350059 / 07738802078


Derry’s First City Centre walking Food Tour!

Kicking off June 2016, this new food tour will show you the very best of Derry’s food & drink offer. The food scene in Derry~Londonderry is really burgeoning at the moment and we have amazing local artisan producers and talented chefs who recognise the importance of food provenance.

Over a period of 4 hours, we will visit 6 local eateries, hear from the owners, producers and chefs and taste over 20 different food and drinks. You’ll experience craft beers, local cheese, beautiful street food and mouthwatering fresh fish.

We believe our beautiful City has a food scene worth shouting about and we want to share it with you. If you love food and drink then this tour is for you!

Tours will be running regularly throughout the summer, please check our tour dates page for more information.





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And on Twitter @miderryfoodtour