The book Feast or Famine, by Emmett McCourt was launched earlier this week at The City Hotel Derry. This collection is a publication about food and culinary heritage in the North West of Ireland. Feast or Famine takes a fascinating look at the importance of the North West's cuisine worldwide and has been published as part of the UK City of Culture celebrations, by Guildhall Press.
The book takes its readers on an historical journey of McCourt's North West home-place and explores what makes this part of Ireland such an abundant source of food and drink. He recalls the days when Lough Swilly was the herring capital of the world, when Magilligan was world leader in rabbits and Derry city was producing millions of gallons of whiskey for the United States. As well as this he also records the devastation wrought by the Great Famine in the 1840's.
At the launch on Monday night Emmett McCourt carried out a selection of food demonstrations and had his audience captivated with his attention to detail and his evident love and passion for his work. He left many mouths watering as there was not enough for the large crowds to sample!
This book is filled with history, demonstrations, recipes and a very obvious passion for food and its heritage in the North West. It is awash with beautiful photographs. It is neither a cookery book nor a history book. It is a combination of both and it takes the reader on a journey. A journey well worth exploring!
Feast or Famine is available in all good book shops priced at £19.95. The perfect gift this Christmas!