Local tourism industry representatives have attended a WorldHost Food Ambassadors Workshop at Denvir’s Coaching Inn in Downpatrick hosted by Newry Mourne and Down District Council and Tourism NI.
Lynda Willis from Customer Sense Training delivered the course which was designed to provide insight into the rich food provenance in Northern Ireland and highlight all that is happening in the growing food industry.
The key players in the food industry were examined and the role that local accommodation, attractions and restaurant staff have in promoting Northern Ireland’s food to the increasing visitor numbers coming to the Newry Mourne and Down region.
Stories behind some of the area’s local products were shared as well as the opportunity to taste them. Local food producers including Andrew Boyd from Kilmegan Cider shared his story on how he produces his award winning Kilmegan Cider along with Damien Tumilty from Castlescreen Farm on how he breeds pedigree Dexter cattle for beef adding to the presentations alongside Rouge and Texel sheep. At lunchtime, everyone had an opportunity to taste some of the local delicacies at a hearty lunch.
The Chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick, said: “The Council is delighted to fund the first ever WorldHost Food Ambassador Programme in the Newry Mourne and Down region and this unique programme has enabled the local industry to give a warm ‘foodie’ welcome to visitors from home and abroad.
“Due to the success of the WorldHost Food Ambassador Workshop in Downpatrick, Council will now be hosting a further course in Rostrevor at the Rostrevor Inn on 25th April.”
Feedback from the delegates was excellent and they thoroughly enjoyed trying a wide range of local foods from artisan producers such as, Tasty Wee Numbers Traybakes, Abernethy Butter, Kilmegan Apple Juice.
Louise McKinstry, Tourism NI Industry Development Officer added: “We are delighted that the Council are supporting the Worldhost Food Ambassador programme and the participation of Denvir’s Coaching Inn.
“The importance of our food and drink staff in promoting local produce cannot be underestimated and equipping them with the tools to do so, benefits us all. This practical customer service also allows tourism and hospitality businesses to build on the success of the Year of Food and Drink 2016”.
If you are interested in attending the next WorldHost Food Ambassador workshop on Tuesday 25th April 9.30am – 2.30pm Rostrevor Inn, Rostrevor, please contact Newcastle VIC on 028 4372 2222
and the cost is £20.00 to attend.