Fáilte Ireland today announced the names of the eight new food ambassadors providers that have been selected to represent Ireland and join the Food Tourism Network Development programme.
This followed a well subscribed selection process after the tourism authority had sought nominations for emerging food champions with a resounding passion and belief in Irish food who actively influence and shape the future of Irish cuisine and food tourism in their region. The focus for the initiative in 2013 is on individuals located along the Wild Atlantic Way – Ireland’s first long-distance touring route, stretching along the coast from Donegal to West Cork.
The 2013 Food Champions are:
Hugh O’Donnell, Kitty Kellys & Hughies Bar, Killybegs – DONEGAL
Deborah Evers, Clareville House Kitchen Gardens, Ballyvaughan – CLARE
Jacinta Dalton, Dept Culinary Arts, GMIT – GALWAY
Martin Bealin, Global Village Restaurant, Dingle – KERRY
Mary McGettigan, A Taste of Donegal Food Festival, Donegal Town – DONEGAL
Benoit Lorge, Lorge Chocolatier, Kenmare – KERRY
Zack Gallagher, Irish Food Tours, Donegal Town – DONEGAL
Ross Quinn, Vasco Restaurant, Fanore – CLARE
Helen McDaid, Fáilte Ireland’s Food Tourism Manager, said: “We received nominations for many able ‘would be ambassadors’ from along the Wild Atlantic Way route – many thanks to both the nominees and nominators for the interest that they have shown. Our focus continues to be on ‘emerging’ food champions who have been working hard in their regions and can now become a part of this network which will support and guide them as they continue to develop food tourism experiences.”
“Last year’s programme was a great success with many of the champions going on to do great work for food tourism in their areas. The focus this year is on our new project the Wild Atlantic Way and how we can further develop the visitor experience by promoting our local and regional food experiences.”
The food ambassadors group will now travel on a food tourism benchmarking trip to Norway to see first-hand a real-life linkage between a driving route and food tourism. The group will have the opportunity to meet with the people behind a range of food businesses in Norway who are utilising food tourism as part of their development and business generation strategy.