3 June 2017
By Elaine Murphy
“Food tells a powerful story of the region, connects locals and visitors alike with the culture and the history of the area, and lies at the heart of truly memorable experiences.”
More than 30 members of the Food Tourism Development Network – comprised of Fáilte Ireland ‘Food Champions’ in Ireland’s Ancient East, the Wild Atlantic Way and Dublin – met with Fáilte Ireland this week (Monday) to discuss the road ahead for food tourism in Ireland at the Strand Hotel in Limerick. Included in the group were locals Kevin Ahern, Sage Restaurant and John Relihan, Holy Smoke.
The meeting looked at findings and insights in food tourism development and outlined a future vision for the development of Food in Tourism in Ireland for the coming years. Fáilte Ireland Food Champion’s on the Wild Atlantic Way presented a progress update on the new food tourism initiatives being undertaken by them as part of their Food Champion role (see details below).
The group are comprised of dedicated people who work with their local community to help build Ireland’s food tourism reputation. The Champions were chosen for their resounding passion and belief in Irish food, together with a commitment and drive to actively influence and shape the future of Irish cuisine and food tourism in their area.
John Mulcahy, Head of Food Tourism with Fáilte Ireland said “As we enter into the second year of the Food Champion cycle, with a number of innovative food projects delivered and underway, and a lot of energy on the ground with people like Kevin Ahern and John Relihan. This network is going from strength to strength with all focused on realising Ireland’s immense food potential. Food is now an essential part of the overall visitor experience to Ireland, impacting destination choice, so it’s important that when visitors arrive they receive a quality food experience that is representative of place throughout their stay. With visitors to Ireland spending some €2billion on food every year, it is our job in the tourism industry to ensure we put our best ingredients and flavours on the plate when it comes to giving visitors the experiences they want.”
Some of the initiatives from the Food Champions on Ireland’s Ancient East in Cork
- John Relihan – Cork in the Fall
A two day experience aimed at discovering Corks food heritage and celebrating Game season.
- Kevin Ahern, Feast – East Corks Food and Drinks Festival
Relaunch of the Midleton Food Festival and refocused programme to celebrate hyper local food offering, indigenous producers, landscape, history and culture of the East Cork area.