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Northern Irish potatoes ‘one of the world’s best ingredients’

Potato producers in Northern Ireland have recruited Great British Menu contestant Mark Abbott to help grow sales. The talented chef is backing the ‘Mighty Spud’ campaign to encourage more consumers to buy and cook potatoes.

The campaign is led by the Northern Ireland Potato Promotion Group which represents the local industry and first launched the initiative last year.

Born in Antrim in Northern Ireland, chef showed his love for the ‘spud’ when he was awarded maximum marks during an appearance on the BBC2 cookery show, after plating up ‘ordinary to extraordinary’. Using six varieties of potatoes he created 14 potato inspired dishes including pomme soufflé, champ croquette, buttermilk mash, and purple potato salad.

 He says: “The Mighty Spud is a great example of an innovative industry campaign which supports growth, awareness and a continued contribution to Northern Ireland’s agri–food industry.

“I was delighted when the group approached me to take part in this fantastic event and can’t wait to be back in a Northern Ireland kitchen using, in my opinion, one of the best ingredients in the world!”

He will be presenting his creations at a special event hosted by award winning chef Michael Deane in his Michelin star restaurant in Belfast.

Ivor Ferguson, deputy president of the Ulster Farmers Union, which is at the forefront of the campaign, said: “We are delighted one of Northern Ireland’s top chefs is supporting the Mighty Spud campaign through this unique event. The potato is part of our culture and who we are, inextricably linked to Northern Ireland’s story. The industry forms an integral part of our food and drink sector and continues to make an important contribution to the regional economy.

 “The Northern Ireland Stakeholder Potato Promotion Group has worked tirelessly over the past three years to raise awareness of the humble spud’s enormous potential within the world of modern cooking, and Mark is a fitting ambassador.

“He is an extremely talented chef who achieved the best–ever score in a top cookery show using the spud, and I am really looking forward to sampling his innovative potato dishes!”

The event is part of a programme of activities being held to increase awareness of local potatoes.

Abbott is head chef at the two Michelin star Midsummer House, in Cambridge. He grew up on a farm but chose life in the kitchen and has worked with many big names in the industry including Michael Deane at his eponymous restaurant in Belfast, which for thirteen years held the only Michelin star in Northern Ireland.

He subsequently moved to Scotland where he worked with two Michelin starred chef Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, after a period at Paul Kitching’s Michelin starred restaurant in Edinburgh an opportunity arose in Cambridge at Great British Menu veteran, Daniel Clifford’s restaurant.

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Business Development Executive, ROI

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Nigel Hardy
Head of Business Development

Tel: +44 (0) 28 9069 8143

Mobile: +44 (0) 79 6808 6252

E-Mail: nigel.hardy@investni.com

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Karl Devlin
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Shauna Magill
Editor & Content Manager / Twitter @lovenifood

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