Published Sunday, 03 March 2013
Visitors to St George’s Market sampled some of the produce on offer. (© UTV)
St George's Market has long had a reputation for being one of the finest sources of fresh fish in the British Isles and this weekend's events helped demonstrate how to make the best use of the produce.
Former 'Masterchef' finalist Chris Souto - who operates the 'El Toro' grill and the new 'Lazy Goose' franchise - demonstrated how to cook three different fish dishes.
Chris made a delicious seafood chowder, a mouth-watering mackerel salad and a superb sea bass with samphire. He also served up a treat for the sweet-tooth with his speciality tarragon panna cotta dessert.
Over the course of the weekend, Chris was joined by chefs from some of Belfast's top bars and restaurants including Gerard McFarland from Shu, Michael O'Connor from The Barking Dog and Rick Orr from the Northern Whig.
And each of the culinary experts cooked one of their signature dishes live in the market for passing shoppers.
Chris told UTV: "We had some nice ideas from local menus and good local recipes from the produce available in the market.
"They were dishes that maybe people would not usually make, but they can be prepared very quickly and are easy to make.
"The variety of produce available in the market is amazing. We have the fish counters, the butchers and the fruit and veg stalls and it's all sourced and traced.
"St George's Market is right on people's doorsteps and it often surprises me when people, who live in Belfast, say they have never been.
"It's an undiscovered gem. The tourists know all about it and we need to locals to come and visit as well."
Chris, who operates a stall in the market, said the Backin' Belfast campaign has provided a much-need boost to trade.
He added: "The campaign is doing wonders for getting local people involved and business has been up in the past few weeks despite what is happening in the local community."
St George's Market is open from 6am to 2pm on Fridays, 9am to 3pm on Saturdays and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays.