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02 Oct 2015

Londonderry chef to ‘cook up a storm’ in the Windy City

Tourism Ireland invites chef Emmett McCourt to highlight Northern Ireland food at iBAM! Chicago festival

Tourism Ireland has invited Londonderry chef and cookbook author Emmett McCourt to showcase Northern Ireland’s superb culinary offering at the upcoming iBAM! Chicago 2015 (Irish books and music festival). At the festival, Emmett will champion our local food and drink, holding cookery demonstrations and enticing visitors to the festival to come and sample a taste of Northern Ireland for themselves.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “We are delighted that Emmett will join us at iBAM Chicago, shining a spotlight on Northern Ireland and its growing reputation as an interesting culinary destination. 2016 has been designated Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink, when we will celebrate all that is good about our superb produce and world-class food scene. Northern Ireland is increasingly synonymous with culinary excellence and Tourism Ireland will take every opportunity to highlight and celebrate our wonderful culinary offering in 2016, promoting Northern Ireland in the US, and elsewhere around the world, to people who love great food.”

Emmett McCourt, who lectures at the North West Regional College, said: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be attending iBAM Chicago as food ambassador for Tourism Ireland and representing Northern Ireland. This is an amazing opportunity to profile and grow the appeal of Northern Ireland as a world-class food destination and to share our food story with an American audience. I am very proud to have been given this opportunity to showcase the best of what we have to offer, which will help bring attention to Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink 2016”.

The United States is an important market for tourism to Northern Ireland and Tourism Ireland’s extensive autumn campaign is now in full swing to continue to grow American visitor numbers, taking advantage of late booking trends as there is still plenty of business to play for. As well as highlighting Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink 2016, Tourism Ireland is also promoting the Causeway Coastal Route, new visitor experiences like The Gobbins Coastal Path and the refurbished Mount Stewart, as well as iconic attractions such as Titanic Belfast.

  Mayor Elisha McCallion (right) wishes chef Emmett McCourt well, as he gets ready for iBAM Chicago 2015. Emmett is pictured with some of the local produce he will be promoting in Chicago with Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland (second left), and Aoife McHale, Visit Derry (second right).

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 5.2% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 43,000 jobs.
  • In 2014, we welcomed almost 1.8 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of about £446 million.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, attracted about 14.25 million visitors.


Previous Press Release

01 Oct 2015

Silver ‘Ghosts’ roll into town