Gildernew serves the ‘starter’ at IFEX
The Sinn Féin Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA today officially opened IFEX 2008 at the King's Hall.
Ireland's International Food, Drink, Hospitality and Retail Exhibition (IFEX) hosts a comprehensive range of local and international products and services from across the food industry.
The Minister said:
"IFEX provides a great opportunity for local food producers to prove that they have what it takes both in terms of variety and quality. It also puts producers face-to-face with the hospitality sector, affording the opportunity to find out what their needs are."
The Minister visited the new Artisan Producers Quarter, where local producers are showcasing a range of produce from bakery goods to wild boar meat. Ms Gildernew also helped out at a cookery demonstration, using local produce and led by Cathal Armstrong.
"Last year, I was grateful to Cathal for his support when we used his restaurant to deliver a Master Class dinner of local fare, to influential north American guests. I am now delighted to welcome him to IFEX and to help prepare the starter in his cookery demonstration."
"I believe that we should support local food producers wherever possible. In buying local produce, you are often getting fresher food, with a small carbon footprint. Equally important though, you are also supporting the livelihoods of local producers and their families." ENDS
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- IFEX 2008 is being held at the King's Hall, Belfast from 29 April to 1 May 2008.
- The Artisan Producers Quarter is being delivered by the NI Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) and the Ulster Pork and Bacon Forum (UPBF) with the assistance of DARD's NI Regional Food Programme.
- The DARD-administered, NI Regional Food Programme was established as part of the implementation of The Fit for Market Report, which was published by the Food Strategy Group in November 2004.
- The cookery demonstration involved a starter broccoli soup and a main course of home-cured belly of pork with caremelised Armagh apple.
- The Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development attended a masterclass in Cathal Armstrong's Restaurant Eve in Washington in May 2007 as part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.