‘Food for Thought’ was the order of the day on Wednesday 27th April, at the second Tourism Trade Event hosted by the Tourism and Recreation Team of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
With April being the ‘Brewing and Distilling’ month in Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink 2016 calendar, there was no better place to hold the event than in the oldest licensed distillery in the world: Old Bushmills Distillery, which is also one of the most important visitor attractions in the area.
It is well known that Food and Drink has become increasingly important to tourism, as they offer destinations an opportunity to differentiate and celebrate indigenous foods. The audience was treated to insights from some of the success stories in the Causeway Coast and Glens. This included Donal Doherty from Harry’s Shack, Portstewart and eminent food writer, Trish Desine who spoke with passion about how ‘a plate of food can tell a great story going back years’.
The Causeway Coast and Glens Food Network outlined the many opportunities for local producers to engage with trade and consumers, echoed by Michelle Shirlow from FoodNI. Many of the local producers that have already signed up to the network showcased their produce at the event. Suppliers also had the opportunity to network with the hospitality sector and tourism-facing businesses, building on existing relationships and developing new contacts.
In keeping with the ‘Celebrating Local Produce’ theme of the event, award winning Executive Head Chef, Darran Benham of Sodexo Ireland served up a mouth-watering menu using local ingredients. This included North Coast Smokehouse Salmon, Ballinteer Quail cooked in Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil, Glenballyeamon Eggs and Broughgammon Meats. As well as, possibly the most desired plate, an almost decadent Brownie Cupcake topped with Bushmills Whiskey Frosting and Chocolate Manor White Chocolate.
For further information on the Causeway Coast and Glens Food Network go to www.causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk/foodnetwork.