Updated: 13/09/17 : 07:38:46
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Sligo restaurateur promotes local food tours

Anthony Gray is chair of the Sligo Food Trail and says he wanted to connect and show off the best of local Sligo produce with their food tours. “We have great artisan produce - shellfish, fantastic dairy and with our stunning location on the Wild Atlantic Way, we have so many things to offer. I want to showcase that to tourists and also to Sligo people.”

Gray says the focus of his own restaurants, Trá Bán in Strandhill and Éala Bán in Sligo Town, is on local and fresh ingredients. The north west Atlantic has some of the coldest waters in the world and produces a high yield of fresh fish from salmon to lobster to crab.

“Sligo is Sligeach in Irish, which comes from the Gaeilge word ‘shell’ and we pride ourselves on the fantastic shellfish that we have here in Sligo. Ireland is renowned for its fresh fish and we don’t push ourselves enough when it comes to the amazing seafood that we have. It’s the best in the world.”

Gray hopes that the future of food along the Wild Atlantic Way will see more restaurants seek out local producers, and name them on their menus. “When people start explaining to consumers where the product is from, everyone benefits. I see my customer’s eyes light up when I tell them that I was out at the market buying edible flowers or where my cheese is from and who makes my bread. If we all do that we are on the right track to showcase, not just Sligo, but Ireland as a food destination. Ireland is one of the finest food destinations in the world, we just have to tell our story better,” Gray says.