Updated: 13/09/12 : 13:21:06
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Sligo Food Champion Selected to Lead Industry Forward

Fáilte Ireland have selected 14 emerging food champions from across Ireland who will travel on a food tourism benchmarking trip to Prince Edward County in Canada where they willexperience a bespoke itinerary developed by renowned food tourism destination expert Rebecca LeHeup (@OntarioCulinary), Executive Director, Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance (OCTA), who will be the guide throughout the trip.

Bríd Torrades of Sligo’s Café Osta and chair of Só Sligo has been picked from 160 nominations for her 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 the region.

Helen McDaid, Fáilte Ireland’s Food & Hospitality Innovation Manager, said:

“We received a phenomenal response to our quest to find Ireland’s food champions, receiving almost 160 nominations. The calibre of the nominations was very impressive and it has certainly confirmed the energy and commitment of the Industry within Sligo.

Brid Torrades will now represent Sligo in Canada and once she returns home will work together with the local community to help build Ireland’s food tourism reputation and encourage visitors to stop, spend and stay longer.

Working together and developing networks and relationships within their localities, the food champions will help to enhance regional knowledge of local foods and develop engaging food experiences to truly utilise food tourism as a workable economic development strategy.

Obviously from a tourism perspective how our overseas visitors view and experience Irish food while on holiday here in Ireland is important, not only for tourism, but for the economy.”

Canada’s Prince Edward County was picked as a model because it faces similar challenges to Ireland and has a range of successfully integrated food tourism products and activities, and the people behind these. While there, the group will meet with the pioneers of the local food movement about how they used quality local produce and food customs to differentiate and successfully position Prince Edward County as a reputable food tourism destination with initiatives like the Prince Edward County Taste Trail (http://tastetrail.ca/ ).

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