Exciting Chef Line-Up Revealed for the

Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey Festival 2023!

 The Annual Bushmills Salmon & Whiskey Festival celebrates the rich heritage of the area's food and drink offerings. There is lots to look forward to from a variety of fantastic food demonstrations, with much loved Celebrity Chef Paula McIntyre MBE and local chef demos, spearheaded by Chef Producer Gary Stewart from Tartine at Distillers Arms.

Chefs showcase their skills whilst championing local produce, and these events are a real highlight of the festival programme. Scroll down and meet the Chefs you can expect to see at this year's festival.

Meet the Chefs

We are delighted to share the impressive line-up at this upcoming Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey Festival 2023. Festival headliner Paula McIntyre MBE, Local Chef, Patron and Producer Gary Stewart from Tartine at Distillers Arms, Head Chef Craig Garrott from the Atlantic Hotel in Portrush and the inventive Chef Rob Curley from the Slemish Market Supper Club will be demonstrating skills and showcasing local produce. Local Chefs will have the wonderful Wendy Gallagher from Causeway Coast Foodie Tours on hand to ask all the questions we are itching to know the answers to!
Not only are these chefs masters of their craft but they are also dedicated to supporting and nurturing young talent. Don't miss out on this unforgettable culinary experience.

Paula McIntyre MBE & the Building Me girls.

Paula McIntyre MBE is a firm festival favourite. A well-loved Celebrity Chef and Food writer, Paula takes time out of her busy schedule, including filming her smash hit TV series Hamley Kitchen, to spend the weekend in and around Bushmills village. Paula has supported this Food and Drink festival for many years.

As the Ambassador of Taste Causeway and the Regional Director of Slow Food NI, she will champion quality local produce and inspire us all with her culinary creations. 

Paula has many strings to her bow, but she can now add 'distiller' to her list as she recently launched her own Gin. Paula designed this Gin as a tribute to our country's rich culinary history. It's more than just a drink; it embodies the spirit of the stories and recipes that make Northern Ireland such a vibrant and extraordinary place. Paula will be doing a gin tasting at The Designerie on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th October 2023. You can purchase a bottle online via Paula McIntyre - (giantsbasaltrockgin.com), you can also purchase it from the Spar Shop in Bushmills, opposite The Old Bushmills Distillery.

Over the festival weekend, Paula will also be signing her latest book "Recipes and Stories"  a celebration of local food and drink from the Causeway Coast and Glens. It is both a travel guide and recipes book, telling the stories of farmers , fishermen, chocolatiers, bakers, chefs, distillers , brewers, smokers and charcuteries of the Causeway Coast and Glens. Paula will be at The Designerie Bushmills  on both days (Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th October 2023, check out the programme).

Paula has strong links with the village of Bushmills, having worked in the village in her early career and is now a Board Member of Building Me. This registered charity offers support and development to young females from Bushmills. Paula will be joined by some of the Building Me girls during her demonstrations. Come  and say hello!

Saturday 7th October 2023 - Sharvagh House Cookery area

12pm Cooking Demonstration with Paula McIntyre MBE

1.45pm Ruairidh Morrison, North Coast Smokehouse

2.15pm Cooking Demonstration with Paula McIntyre MBE

3.45PM Cooking Demonstration with Paula McIntyre MBE

Sunday 8th October 2023 - Main Street Cookery area

12.30 pm Cooking Demonstration with Paula McIntyre MBE

1.30pm Niall McGinn, Dundarave Estate

2.45pm Cooking Demonstration with Paula McIntyre MBE

3.45PM Cooking Demonstration with Paula McIntyre MBE




Click here for recipes

Gary Stewart, Tyler Campbell & the NRC Students

Gary Stewart is Chef, Patron and Producer of Tartine at Distillers Arms, an award-winning restaurant in Bushmills. Gary has worked tirelessly over the years, volunteering to support the festival's development. He is an active member of several community groups and organisations, such as the Bushmills Business Association and The Bushmills Trust. Gary is Chair of Building Me, a registered charity providing support and development opportunities to young girls from Bushmills. Gary feels passionately about investing in our young people and creating opportunities for them, and he will demonstrate this commitment during the Local Chef Demonstrations. He works closely with the NRC Ballymoney, which has a catering department. Gary will introduce you to 3 young Chefs, including graduate Tyler Campbell and two students, all of whom work at Tartine at Distillers Arms. Tyler Campbell is a keen baker and is working hard to work his way up through the ranks in one of the most popular restaurants in the province. Tyler will be demonstrating a delicious and inventive salmon dish at Sharvagh House on Sunday 8th October.  Please come and support these great aspiring chefs. 

Gary also has a growing range of award-winning products to add to his achievements‚ÄĒDistillers Pickle Sauce, Distillers Raspberry and Apple Sauce and Distillers Cranberry and Apple Chutney. They are made in small batches in Tartine Restaurant at Distillers Arms in Bushmills, and Bushmills Whiskey is an essential ingredient across the range. Distillers sauce range can be bought via Artisan Market online. You will have the opportunity to enjoy a range of festival-themed specials in Tartine at Distillers Arms (reservations recommended), and you can enjoy his award-winning seafood chowder and Guinness wheaten at his dedicated Chowder stall as part of the Naturally North Coast and Glens Artisan Market on Sunday 8th October 2023.

NCR Chefs
Sunday 8th October 2023 at 1.30 pm.
Location - Sharvagh House Local Chef Cookery Area
Gary Stewart
Sunday 8th October 2023 at 3.30pm.
Location - Sharvagh House Local Chef Cookery Area
Click here for recipes

Craig Garrott

Craig Garrott wowed the crowds at last year's Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey Festival and has been invited back again this year! Craig is the Executive Head Chef at the Atlantic Hotel in Portrush. Located on Main Street Portrush with fabulous views overlooking the Atlantic Hotel and serving the finest local produce, the Port Kitchen & Bar serves a diverse menu with a range of dishes showcasing local produce. Craig and Natasha (General Manager) have been instrumental in balancing its popularity with tourists visiting the area for golf and sightseeing with locals from the wider Nortn Coast area who want freshly cooked food and great service at affordable prices. 

Craig and Natasha will be introducing us to their mixologist, who will demonstrate a festival-themed cocktail in addition to the dish Craig will be inspiring us with.


Sunday 8th October 2023 at 12.30pm.
Location - Sharvagh House Local Chef Cookery Area
Click here for recipes

Rob Curley

Chef Rob Curley has more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant trade, having worked previously in L'Ecrivain (1 Michelin star restaurant) and Shanahans on the Green in Dublin.

He is a private Chef, specialising in fine dining using top class produce and modern cooking techniques.

He runs the award-winning  Slemish Market Supper Club, a fun, creative and innovative popup dining experience using produce from Slemish Market Garden in Ballymena and the Glens of Antrim in Northern Ireland. This is a six-course surprise menu comprising a drink, wee bite (snack), starter, fish course, meat course and dessert. The supper club is held in different venues around Ballymena, the Glens of Antrim and Northern Ireland.

Rob is no stranger to Bushmills and surrounds. He cooked a bespoke menu for celebrations at Tartine at The Distillers Arms for their 10th birthday celebrations and has brought his supper club to Rathlin to name but a few of his adventures which we have had the great pleasure of enjoying. He joined us for the Bushmills Banquet and collaborated with Gary Stewart for an intimate Supper Club earlier this year.

The Bushmills Banquet team were cheering Rob on at The World Paella Day Cup 2021 when he competed in Valencia, cooking with the best tapa chefs in the world and is just back from France where he was cooking at a venue during the Rugby World Cup!  This Chef never fails to impress with his innovation and drive to stretch our imagination using the best of local produce.

Sunday 8th October 2023 at 2.30pm.
Location - Sharvagh House Local Chef Cookery Area
Click here for recipes

Where are the cookery theatres located?

There are two cooking demonstration kitchens planned for Sunday 8th, October 2023.

Main Street Cookery Theatre (SUNDAY 8TH only)

Make your way up Main Street and find the Main Street Cookery Theatre. It is located at he Old Court House (under construction). This is where you will find Paula McIntryre MBE on Sunday, 8th October 2023, where she will be demonstrating a range of dishes ably assisted by some of the Building Me girls.

Sharvagh House - Local Chef Cookery Theatre (Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th).

Head up Main Street towards Tartine at the Distillers Arms, past Finn MaCools public house and on the left you will see the impressive SHARVAGH HOUSE. We have exclusive access to the historic Sharvagh House thanks to the generosity of Old Bushmills Distillery, who own this very special property. This listed property lends itself to the local chef demonstration with its origin as a model farm and its links to Hugh Anderson, one of Bushmills' great whiskey pioneers - bridging the region's old and new worlds of whiskey-making.


Where is Sharvagh House?

Chef Gary Stewart takes a walk from Tartine at Distillers Arms to 'Sharvagh House' where Chef demonstrations are due to take place over the festival weekend!

Our local Chef Compere

Wendy Gallagher, from Causeway Coast Foodie Tours, will be supporting the local Chef demonstrations. Wendy knows everything there is to know about local food, producers, where to go to experience great food and the fascinating stories behind our local food and drink scene. Wendy is a Bushmills girl who loves coming home to support the local chefs, and with her years of experience as an NRC lecturer, she is the perfect choice to put our young chefs at ease. Wendy is running her popular Coast and Country Tour on Friday 6th, October 2023. Tickets can be booked online via Coast and Country with the Salmon and Whiskey Festival - Causeway Coast Foodie Tours.

Catch up with Wendy on Saturday 7th, October at the Bushmills Visitor Information Centre, where she will be curating tasting and talks on the delicious local produce which the VIC stock.


This event is managed by Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council and is subject to change. To avoid disappointment, keep a close eye on the Council's socials in case of programme changes or cancellations. Bushmills Banquet and associates are volunteer members of the Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey Planning Group and cannot be responsible for programme changes or modifications. We hope you all enjoy this fabulous food and drink festival!