Fermanagh castle shines in new BBC cooking series

A Fermanagh castle is set to become a common sight in homes across the North, thanks to a new TV cookery show.
The Crom Estate is the silent  star of the upcoming ‘Farm to  Feast: Best Menu Wins’ six-part series that began on BBC One this week.
Just as the famous tent and its colourful bunting have become an instantly recognisable sight to fans of the Great British Bake Off, the stately Fermanagh castle and its stunning surroundings will soon become very familiar to foody fans across the land.
It is hoped the programme, which was received well by audiences when it was first aired on Monday this week, will help boost visitor numbers to the historic estate near Newtownbutler. Now managed by the National Trust, the estate itself is open to the public while the 17th century castle remains the seat of Lord Erne.
Indeed, even before the series began, the dramatic aerial shots of the estate itself and the surrounding Fermanagh countryside provided invaluable free promotion for the area.
With regard the show itself, it couldn’t be more relevant to Fermanagh, where the local food scene has exploded in recent years. It is that locally-sourced ethos that sets the show apart.
“You’ve seen cookery competitions before, but never one quite like this,” said host Eamonn Holmes.
For the series, seven amateur cooks moved into Crom where they lived for the duration of the competition, where they spent their time creating bespoke menus and battling out against each other every day until a winner was decided. All ingredients used were sourced at farms and fishermen across the North.
“We’re so lucky in Northern Ireland, our farms have the best local produce. All we need are some great menus to show it off,” said Mr Holmes.
Judge by Michelin star chef Danni Barry and food critic Joris Minne, the seven cooks were battling out for a chance to serve their menu in the state dining room at Crom.
l ‘Farm to Feast: Best Menu Wins’ began on Monday night this week, will continue every Monday evening on BBC One at 7.35 for the next five weeks. Don’t worry if you miss it, all episodes will be available for viewing on iPlayer after they air.

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