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Food and literature combine for unique weekend celebration

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Arder Carson, and Steven Millar, Head of Agri-Food Support Services Unit at the Department of Agriculture, join model and self-confessed "baking nerd" Jenny Curran, co-owner of Tony & Jen's Cafe on the Lisburn Road, at the launch of Belfast City Council's 'New Norths' food festival, which takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Arder Carson, and Steven Millar, Head of Agri-Food Support Services Unit at the Department of Agriculture, join model and self-confessed "baking nerd" Jenny Curran, co-owner of Tony & Jen's Cafe on the Lisburn Road, at the launch of Belfast City Council's 'New Norths' food festival, which takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

A new food festival with a literary theme will take place this August Bank Holiday weekend, in a unique celebration of the life of one of Northern Ireland’s most acclaimed dramatists.

‘New Norths’ is a food festival with a difference, taking its influence from the cuisine of Ireland, Scandinavia and Russia, as well as the life and works of Brian Friel. Part of the wider Lughnasa International Friel Festival, it will take food out of the city’s cafés, kitchens and restaurants and into unique locations as diverse as the Titanic Slipways, the Giants Ring – and even one of Belfast’s Peace Walls.

Over the weekend of August 28-31, some of the city’s top chefs, baristas and bakers – including the award-winning Niall McKenna, Andy Rea from Mourne Seafood Bar, 2013 Great British Bake Off winner Stephen Chisholm, model and self-confessed baking nerd Jenny Curran and Danni Barry from Deane’s Eipic – will tantalise tastebuds with a wide variety of special events, from breakfast banquets to themed barbecues and pop-up restaurants in unusual locations.

Among the weekend’s highlights will be:
A ‘Big Dance’ at City Hall on the morning of Friday August 28, hosted by Mourne Seafood Bar and Oliver’s Coffee Bar;
An ‘Epic Nordic Breakfast and Ryanga Ritual Dawn Dance’ at the Giant’s Ring, hosted by Deane’s Eipic and Kaffe-O;
‘KiteTanica’ at the SS Nomadic, hosted by Cast & Crew;
‘Dancing On The River’, on the new Lagan footbridge, hosted by Holohan’s restaurant and Tony & Jen’s Café;
A ‘Tennessee Barbecue’ at the peace wall off Lanark Way, hosted by Bubbacue and Café Kreme;
A pop up coffee shop on the Titanic Slipways, hosted by Established Coffee and themed around Friel’s ‘Drowsy Maggie’s Waves of Tory’.

Local brewery Brewbot also will be popping up at all of the events, offering the festival goers the chance to sample some of their award-winning range of local beers and ciders.

In addition to taking inspiration from Friel’s works, ‘New Norths’ will link Belfast with Donegal and Moscow, as well as other locations across the 55th Parallel, such as Scandinavia and the Baltic States, home to some of Friel’s favourite writers, such as Chekhov, Strindberg, Turgenev and Ibsen. Special menus have been developed by all of the participating eateries, giving foodies the chance to sample delights such as apple and spelt porridge and the traditional Swedish Kalops stew, alongside local seafood.

The ‘New Norths’ food festival is organised by Belfast City Council and part-funded by the Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme.

Full details of ‘New Norths’, and the wider Lughnasa International Friel Festival, can be found at www.lughnasainternationalfrielfestival. Updates will also be available on Twitter, @lunghansaIntFF, using #LIFF2015, and on Facebook at lughnasainternationalfrielfestival.

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