Trends, tips and tasty insights on menu at Taste of Tourism 2020

Trends, tips and tasty culinary insights are on the menu for the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF) Taste of Tourism 2020 Summit on Tuesday, March 31 in the Culloden Estate and Spa.

The Summit was originally staged in 2016 as part of Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink and continues to recognise and celebrate the growing role of food in local tourism.

This year’s event will showcase innovation from local artisan suppliers and allow guests to share in the experience of industry experts including Michelin Star chef Michael Wignall, The Gastronaut Stefan Gates and journalist Joanna Blythman.

Janice Gault, Chief Executive of NI Hotels Federation, discussed the Summit and the opportunity for businesses to hear first-hand from specialists who have used food and drink to attract new customers, improve profits and enhance reputations.

“We’re delighted with the lineup of internationally-acclaimed speakers that will be joining us at this year’s event,” she said.

“Michelin Star chef Michael Wignall from The Angel at Hetton, will speak about his stellar career, opening his own restaurant and the challenges the sector faces. Meanwhile, fresh from his global travels, The Gastronaut Stefan Gates will talk of his love of extraordinary food coupled with an interest in science. From eating insects to Ribena spaghetti, this colourful speaker will make you look at food in a totally new way.

“Stefan’s 21st century scientific approach will be questioned by award-winning investigative journalist Joanna Blythman who has written seven landmark books on food issues, and is lauded as one of the most authoritative, influential commentators on the British food chain and is a leading restaurant reviewer to boot.”

Janice continued: “Joanna offers a 360-degree angle on the big food questions of the day and has broached a diverse range of topics from the environmental impact of salmon farming to the validity of healthy eating advice. A passionate omnivore, she believes in basing your diet on whole, unprocessed food that is sourced locally from sustainable suppliers.

“Sustainability will also be the theme of Business Coach Tina O’Dwyer’s session on how to grow your business successfully.

“Leading ‘Eat Like a Girl’ UK Food Blogger Niamh Shields will give tips on how to use digital platforms to attract new customers and enhance your business in a cost-effective manner. For those keen to establish a sustainable destination tourism offering, Alison Johnston who is Head of Tourism at Kildare Village will share the venue’s food strategy and outline how the team copes with international culinary demands.”

Concluding Janice said: “Finally, the combined experience of Giovanna Grossi and Amanda Afiya, the leading ladies behind Sauce Intelligence, will be accessible to delegates. They will be giving the inside track on new restaurant trends, what makes great service and how to engage your staff.”

Taste of Tourism 2020 is a full-day event sponsored by Tourism Northern Ireland, Invest NI, and Tourism Ireland along with a range of local suppliers. In addition to breakfast, lunch and refreshments, curated artisan food and drink will be served up at an Artisan Marketplace throughout the day. Delegates will also leave with a special Takeaway Bag.

If food is part of your business don’t miss out on this unique opportunity. For further information or to book your space, log on to or call 028 9077 6635.