2 million Canadians will tune in to four Irish episodes of popular French-Canadian TV cookery series
Renowned French-Canadian chef Antoine Sicotte, aka the ‘Rebel Chef’, visited Ireland with his production crew last week. He was here – as a guest of Tourism Ireland in Toronto – to film four episodes for the new season of his hit TV show, Le Cuisinier Rebelle Prend L’Air (meaning ‘Rebel Chef Hits the Road’).
Filming took placed in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Mayo, as well as in Belfast – 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. Jayne Shackleford, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Canada, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Rebel Chef agreed to film in 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 the island of 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 in 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.”
- In the Cork episode, Canadian viewers will see the ‘Rebel Chef’ take a tour of the famous English Market, meeting Kay Harte at the Farmgate Café. Antoine also tried his hand at cheese-making at Milleens Cheese on the Beara Peninsula; and, given that this is ‘October Month of Farmhouse Cheese’, it was the perfect time for the Rebel Chef to sample some of the superb cheeses on offer in this part of Ireland, including names like Gubbeen, Durrus and Ardrahan. Filming also took place at Ummera Smokehouse in Timoleague, where the ‘Rebel Chef’ sampled some of the superb smoked products on offer; at Ballinwillin House Farm, where he tried the venison and wild boar; and at West Cork Distillers in Union Hall.
- The Dublin episode will include footage of the ‘Rebel Chef’ in action at Number 31 guesthouse as he prepares the ‘best breakfast in Ireland’ for guests. It will also include visits to Gallagher’s Boxty House in Temple Bar and The Chop House gastro pub; as well as Temple Bar market and a trip to the Butlers Chocolate Experience, where Antoine enjoyed a tasting and got the chance to decorate his own chocolate!
- In the Galway and Mayo episode, the ‘Rebel Chef’ visited Ashford Castle, where he prepared a meal with the hotel chef and also tried his hand at falconry and archery. He visited Kelly’s Oysters near Clarinbridge, where he met Diarmuid Kelly who brought him to the Clarinbridge oyster bed to collect oysters; he then took the oysters to nearby Moran’s Oyster Cottage, where he prepared a dish with Catherine Moran. In Galway city, he sampled the fish and chips at McDonaghs on Quay Street and visited Moloney Music on High Street, where Seán Moloney and his band performed.
Tourism Ireland undertakes a busy publicity programme around the world each year to raise the profile of the destination – and media visits to Ireland are a key element of that programme. This was the fifth television crew invited to film here by Tourism Ireland in Canada, over the last six weeks (the others include crews from Fins & Skins, Canada AM, Occupation Double and Waterfront Cities of the World) – capturing footage and filming here for programmes which will be seen by a combined Canadian and worldwide audience of some 234 million people.