Celebrity chef Ian Orr, from the multi award winning Browns Bonds Hill Group, will be the special guest in the festival Cookery Theatre on Saturday 8th Junefrom 12pm. Located in Main Street car park, visitors can enjoy a unique opportunity to get up close as Ian demonstrates his culinary prowess with delicious recipes using the best of local produce. As a previous guest on the popular Saturday Kitchen food show and regarded as one of Ireland’s top talents, event organisers are delighted to have his support this year.
On Sunday, it’s the turn of some of the region’s best local chefs to showcase the foodie repertoire of the Causeway Coast and Glens with appearances by Trudy Brolly (Ocho Tapas, Portrush), Pol Shields (Marine Hotel, Ballycastle) and Kevin Farren (Bayview Hotel, Portballintrae). Compered by local foodtour guide Wendy Gallagher, the live audience will benefit from her specialised knowledge and passion for local produce.
Over the weekend make sure to visitBushmills Distillery, the oldest of its kindin Ireland and a unique attraction where you can sample the famous whiskey while learning more about the story of whiskey distilling in the village which stretches back for centuries
To celebrate the International Year of the Salmon, the Salmon Fisheries will be open throughout the weekend (Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 12pm-4pm) offering free talks and tours showcasing‘The Cycle of Wild Atlantic Salmon’ and the history of the station. Fly tying and casting demonstrations, fish tanks, visitor stands and information on outreach and funding for angling events will also be available.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Sean Bateson said: “The Salmon and Whiskey Festival celebrates the village’s famous local produce and our growing reputation for world renowned hospitality. With free live music and artisan market stallsfeaturing an exciting mix of our food, arts and crafts produce there is so much to enjoy and Bushmills looks forward to welcoming you all.”
Throughout the weekend, take part in the self-guided Bushmills Taste Trail highlighting unique specialties from a range of local cafes and award winning restaurants. Maps can be picked up from participating businesses allowing you to plot your own course through the village from The Old Bushmills Distillery to The Bushmills Inn with many tasty stopsalong the way. Guided Food Tours are also available and can be booked at www.irishfeast.com.
For those with an interest in history, a free ‘Taste of Bushmills Heritage’ guided walk, led by Art Ward of Bushmills Walking Tours, will let you experience the conservation village’s unique history, heritage and culture. Please note, places are limited and tours are weather dependent. For further information and to book your place please ring Bushmills Visitor Information Centre 028 2073 0390.
For the children, Millennium Park will host various free fun activities and entertainment throughout the weekend. A‘quiet time’ Jumping Clay session will be available for young people with additional needs on Saturday from 10.30am-11.30am.
The Festival’s main attractions over the weekend will follow the hotly anticipated Bushmills Banquet which takes place on Friday evening. Building on its inaugural success last year, the Banquet is already a sell out. If you are lucky enough to have a ticket, the collaborative gourmet event will celebrate Bushmills Irish Whiskey and serve up festival themed dishes from local restaurants and artisan food producers.