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Derry~Londonderry scoops second as the 2016 Foodie Destination

22 September 2016

The Restaurants Association of Ireland is delighted to announce that the winner of Foodie Destinations 2016 is Boyne Valley. Derry~Londonderry was named runner up in the prestigious competition. The winner was revealed at an event held in Hotel Doolin, Co Clare . After a rigorous few weeks of applications, town visits and over 10,000 online votes, Boyne Valley have beaten the competition and proved themselves to be an excellent leader as a foodie destination.

Derry~Londonderry was just pipped at the post in a close fought battle for the title of Foodie Town of Ireland as the Burren emerged top of the list of ten shortlisted food destinations. The judges introduced a special runners up category recognising the city's performance and the closeness of the final decision. 

​​The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion, said she was delighted that the city had been among the front runners to win the coveted title. “I think we put in a fantastic effort and to be placed second is a great endorsement of Derry as an exciting new food tourism destination and one that will really raise the city’s profile in terms of the quality of our restaurants and our local produce."

“Council has been working closely over the past few years with food industry professionals and suppliers to significantly raise the standards of what’s on offer locally to meet the growing expectations of our international visitors. Securing second in the Foodie Town of Ireland is a huge step towards securing our goal of being one of the best locations in terms of food provenance and culinary talent.”

Tourism Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Mary Blake, led in the city’s bid for the title, and was there for the announcement at a special reception in Dublin. “I was absolutely thrilled when Derry was singled out for the runner up prize for the first time in the competition, especially given the profile of the entrants,” she declared.

“I know that our local restaurants and producers are delighted at the acknowledgement and it reflects a significant shift in the food tourism market north of the border, with both Derry and Belfast hitting the headlines in the past month. We have been working hard to build the city’s profile through events such as the Legenderry Food Festival and the Flavours of the Foyle Seafood Festival, as well as our newly launched SAINT programme, and those efforts are clearly paying off. I want to thank everyone who voted and congratulate all those who have been working so hard to create new and exciting food experiences here in the North West.”

The outcome of the competition was decided by both an online public vote and the Restaurants Association judges, both having equal weighting in the final decision.

Following the awards the Restaurants Association paid tribute to the local campaign tipping the city as a big contender for next year’s awards, and saying that Derry~Londonderry had gained the biggest number of public votes in the competition.

For all foodie fans check out our Year of Food and Drink 2016 page
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