The Hans Sloane Chocolate & Fine Food Festival will pay tribute to the Killyleagh-born physician, naturalist and collector credited with bringing the recipe for drinking chocolate back to Europe.
It takes place in Killyleagh from September 23 to 25 and will see outstanding chefs from Northern Ireland and further afield joining up with festival organisers to ensure that the three-day festival offers a foodie experience not to be missed.
Downpatrick’s Finnebrogue Artisan are the festival’s overall sponsor and their consultant development chef Chris Burt will lead the charge with an innovative line-up of chocolate and locally-focused food activities to span the entire weekend.
It kicks off with the Hans Sloane Chocolate Ball on Friday September 23, where Chef Burt will join up with legendary Northern Ireland Chef Simon Dougan of Yellow Door to present a meal that will have guests buzzing for years to come.
Utilising the finest of hyper-local produce including Finnebrogue venison and sausages, locally farmed vegetables, eggs and butter, and even reindeer moss foraged personally by Chef Burt from the Finnebrogue Estate, this dinner will highlight the wide range of world-class ingredients available from across Northern Ireland.
As a dramatic end to the evening, Chefs Burt and Dougan are brainstorming a show-stopping dessert which will act as homage to Sir Hans Sloane and turn heads as the extraordinary chocolate dessert is unveiled to guests.
Live cooking demos
The festival will continue on Saturday and Sunday, September 24 & 25. Guests at Killyleagh Castle can enjoy live cooking demos led by Chef Burt alongside leading local chefs including Chefs Danny Millar, Balloo Inns; Roy Abraham, The Smuggler’s Table; and Fernando Correa, Quails at the Gallery, among others hosted by Food NI. Incorporating locally-grown and sourced produce paired with chocolate elements and even a chocolate stout from local Mourne Mountains Brewery, these chefs will bring home the theme of local cooking with a touch of chocolate in honour of Sir Hans.
In addition to the live kitchen demos on Saturday and Sunday, guests will also enjoy tasting freshly-made dishes and treats from over 30 local artisan producers including Great Taste Award winners S.D. Bells, Deli Muru, Abernethy, La Coquine, Glastry Farm Ice Cream, Finnebrogue, Krazi Baker and Mash Direct, among many others.
Founded in 2010 to celebrate Killyleagh’s most famous son, Sir Hans Sloane, who was born in the village in 1660 and later credited for bringing the recipe for drinking chocolate to Europe from Jamaica, the biennial festival has grown from strength to strength and is now regarded as one of the leading events of its type in the UK and Ireland and a highlight of the summer calendar for food lovers across the country.
The Finnebrogue Artisan Hans Sloane Chocolate & Fine Food Festival kindly acknowledges the support of Tourism Northern Ireland, Newry Mourne & Down District Council, and Food NI in the staging of this year’s event as well as the support of sponsors Bryan Somers Travel, Jeep, Killyleagh Development Association, Mash Direct, Roskyle, and S.D. Bell’s.
Ticket prices vary, based on events running throughout the Festival. For further information on all events taking place and to book tickets visit hanssloane.com or follow the Killyleagh Chocolate Festival on Twitter @KillyleaghChoc or facebook.com/KillyleaghChocFest