Donegal Good Food on a platter

A group of pubs/eateries and local food producers have come together in an innovative project to promote Donegal local produce and the wonderful atmosphere at well known pubs around Donegal.

A group of pubs/eateries and local food producers have come together in an innovative project to promote Donegal local produce and the wonderful atmosphere at well known pubs around Donegal.

The initiative inspired Enterprise Ireland to fund it through innovation vouchers and it is being run in conjunction with the School of Tourism at Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT). The objective of “Donegal Good Food Taverns” is to raise awareness of local food produce and delicious menus in Donegal pubs. This will include an online presence, a pub trail, local producer database, a commitment to sustainability and development of new products.

Deirdre MacNamara Lecturer LYIT explains, “This is a new and exciting approach to food product development, drawing on the expertise and experience of the taverns, the LYIT and the food producers. The Donegal Good Food Tavern offers a forum which will identify key challenges and will foster an environment to share knowledge. The idea behind the Donegal Good Food Taverns brand is that as a collective it is a more effective way to compete in a difficult market.”

There will be three new food products which will be available in the retail sector, but will be launched together and showcased in the taverns as a “Donegal Good Food Platter”. The group will work closely with the School of Tourism at LYIT to conduct research throughout the product development process. Commented Deirdre MacNamara, “The LYIT will work with each food producer from research to the “ready to market” stage of the product development lifecycle. Through developing new products using local produce and showcasing in well known local pubs is an exciting way to for people to experience both great venues and quality food.”

“Fáilte Ireland research outlines that the visitor to Donegal is looking for good regionally sourced food, served in a casual setting of a bar environment accompanied by traditional Irish music,” explains one of the Donegal Good Food Taverns, Enda O’Rourke The Village Tavern, Mountcharles. Hugh O’Donnell Hughie’s Seafood Bar, Killybegs adds, “We decided to bring like-minded bar owners in the county together to form the new brand, “Donegal Good Food Taverns.” It means we’re giving visitors what they’re asking for, they can experience a lively environment and delicious quality food sourced locally.”

The group is already working with local food producers Gallagher’s Bakery, McGettigan’s Butchers and Filligan’s Jams/Chutneys and Sauces to create new products. Famous quality produce such as smoked Donegal lamb, stout bread and a plum and gooseberry relish are just some of the products in the pipeline.

Hugh O’Donnell Hughie’s Seafood Bar, Killybegs concludes, “It is difficult for rural pubs to survive and the Drinks Industry Group, Ireland has warned that there are continued weak prospects for the on-licence market for 2011. Already 1,300 pubs have closed throughout Ireland over the past five years according to the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI). This is a way to boost numbers.”

The preliminary Donegal Food taverns are; Dawros Bay House & Joe’s Seafood Bar, Narin, Portnoo, Hughie’s Seafood Bar, Killybegs, The Village Tavern, Mountcharles, Nancy’s Bar, Ardara, The Lobster Pot, Burtonport, The Beachcomber, Rathmullan, The Traveller’s Inn, Milford, Leo’s Tavern, Crolly, The Bayview Bar, Dungloe, The Tavern, Kilclooney, Portnoo.

For more information on Donegal Good Food Taverns contact Michael McBride, The Traveller Inn, 074- 9163499

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