Renowned French-Canadian chef Antoine Sicotte, aka the ‘Rebel Chef’, recently visited Northern Ireland with his production crew. He was here – as a guest of Tourism Ireland in Toronto – to film a Northern Ireland episode for the new season of his hit TV show, Le Cuisinier Rebelle Prend L’Air (meaning ‘Rebel Chef Hits the Road’).
In addition to Northern Ireland, filming took place in Dublin, Galway and Cork – with four one-hour episodes due to air this November on Canadian food channel, Zeste; these will then be repeated in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The network has an audience of some 2+ million subscribers – reaching foodies across Canada who have a passion for travel, adventure and, of course, fine dining.
Sicotte is one of Canada’s top chefs and the author of an award-winning cooking book, also called Le Cuisinier Rebelle. He travels the world exploring different food cultures and trying out innovative cooking techniques.
In the Northern Ireland episode, Canadian viewers will see the Rebel Chef take a tour of Belfast’s St George’s Market to gather produce, before meeting up with chef Brian McCann, from Shu Restaurant on Belfast’s Lisburn Road, to make lunch. Antoine tries his hand at butter-making with Allison Abernethy, from the Abernethy Butter Company in Dromore, Co Down; and learns the art of traditional baking with Robert Ditty, at Ditty’s Home Bakery in Castledawson. Filming also took place at The Merchant Hotel in Belfast, where Antoine gets to serve up one of the hotel’s famous cocktails!
Jayne Shackleford, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Canada, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Rebel Chef agreed to film in Northern Ireland, in his quest to discover new food inspiration around the world. Lifestyle programmes such as this are an excellent way for Tourism Ireland to get positive exposure for Northern Ireland in Canada. Food is such an integral part of every holiday experience nowadays, with travellers becoming more and more discerning about food and where they eat and we know our Canadian visitors appreciate and enjoy our authentic, locally-produced food. The four episodes filmed around the island of Ireland will be seen by up to 2 million foodies – or potential holidaymakers – encouraging them to come and sample the culinary delights of the destination for themselves.”
Tourism Ireland undertakes a busy publicity programme around the world each year to raise the profile of the destination – and media visits to Northern Ireland are a key element of that programme. This was the second television crew invited to film here by Tourism Ireland in Canada, over the last six weeks capturing footage and filming here for programmes which will be seen by a combined Canadian and worldwide audience of many millions of people.
French-Canadian chef Antoine Sicotte, aka the ‘Rebel Chef’, with Brian McCann, Shu Restaurant, Belfast during filming of his hit TV show, Le Cuisinier Rebelle Prend L’Air (meaning ‘Rebel Chef Hits the Road’).
Further media information:
Elaine Moore/Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 07766 527719
Notes to editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is responsible for in excess of 4.9% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 40,000 jobs.
• In 2012, 1.55 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of £418 million.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is ireland.com, which is rolling out in 11 different language versions for 30+ markets around the world this year.