Top quality food and drink, superb entertainment and a very long dining table that stretched across the bridge from Blacklion to Belcoo were all the ingredients that went into making the Boxty Without Borders event on Sunday a huge success. The event was organised by the Irish Food Champions, an assembly of food professionals based around the island of Ireland involved in all aspects of the Irish food and beverage landscape.
Laden with symbolism, this foodie showcase saw 150 diners sit down side by side for a wonderful dining experience across the bridge. Producers served up a feast of delights from Lough Neagh Eel to Slow-cooked Short Rib of Beef. Fermanagh bacon, Ballymakenny Potato Salad, Kelly’s Oysters and Corleggy Cavanbert were among the many gems on a fascinating menu. Drinks included Boatyard Double Gin, Stameen Farm Apple Juice, Meadowsweet Iced Tea, Dan Kelly Cider and Jack Smyth Beers.
Situated on the very coalface of the border, Blacklion and Belcoo provided the perfect backdrop for an event to celebrate the all-island food industry at a time when Brexit looms large over the agri-industry as well as border communities.
But on the day, all the talk was about the fantastic food and drink and the local businesses that produced them. Among the wonderful entertainers on the day was Mabel Chah from Cameroon who got diners dancing in the aisles - the perfect way to work off the Lakeland Dairies ice-cream and the Corleggy cheese.