The Causeway Coast and Glens Food Network has marked the legacy of the Year of Food and Drink with a special celebration event.
It brought together some of the region’s best local producers and chefs, along with representatives from the tourism and hospitality industries.
Hosted by Ulster’s Food Hero and renowned chef Paula McIntyre, the evening put the spotlight on the region’s buoyant food sector.
Guests enjoyed bite-sized portions of local produce, and were entertained by some of the ‘foodie’ themed short-films created by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s tourism department.
The Mayor, Alderman Maura Hickey, said: “It was a privilege to attend this celebration, and meet some of our finest local producers and chefs. The Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink has proved to be a fantastic launch pad for our region, which has now firmly established itself as a foodie destination. All those involved deserve to be applauded for their efforts, and I would like to offer them my congratulations for all they have achieved so far.”
During the event, the Causeway Coast and Glens Food Network launched its new publication – A Taste of the Causeway Coast and Glens. It includes information about local producers, markets, food tours, cookery schools, speciality retailers and delicatessens in an easy to use directory.
There was also an opportunity to recognise the producers of the future who have completed the Journey to Market programme, and the front-of-house staff who have gained World Host Food Ambassador accreditation. Three training courses were held across the Borough, with 80 members of the local tourism and hospitality trade now recognised as ‘Food Ambassadors’, the most of any Destination within Northern Ireland. The training was organised by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council in association with Tourism NI. The course trainer was local food ambassador Wendy Gallagher, who shared her knowledge and enthusiasm with all those that took part.
Joanne McLaughlin, from the Causeway Coast and Glens Food Network, said: “We have so much to be proud of when we look back on the Year of Food and Drink, and I have no doubt that we will continue to build on this. I want to thank all those businesses who have joined our Food Network, and helped to make our first year such a success. The variety of producers in our ‘Taste of the Causeway Coast and Glens’ brochure is a clear sign of how we are leading the way in this area.”
For further information www.causewaycoastand glens.gov.uk/foodnetwork.