The farm to fork movement, in which
ingredients have been directly
sourced from local farms, has
witnessed rapid growth in many of
our local restaurants over recent
With more and more consumers demanding
local seasonal ingredients, the connection
between the chef and the farmer has
become of vital importance to the success of
developing a strong community food system.
For example, local farming family the
Alexanders, of Ballyboley Dexters based
near Greyabbey in County Down, recently
had their pedigree Dexter beef featured on
the Great British Menu by head chef and
youngest contestant Andy Scollick of The
Boat House Dining in Bangor.
Great British Menu judge and two-star
Michelin chef Daniel Clifford believed the
quality of this 100 per cent grass and pasture
fed beef to be ‘outstanding’.
The connection between the producer
and chef was evidenced throughout
chef Scollick’s work on the Great British
Menu displaying his passion for local
produce. However, more needs to be
done to strengthen the relationship
between hospitality and our local farms,
like Ballyboley, that adopt a regenerative
approach to farming.
Regenerative farmers seek to improve the
environment while farming the land, with
efforts made to ensure the soil on which the
food is produced has encountered minimal
In bridging the gap between producer and
hospitality, Ulster University is hosting its
first Gastronomy Summit 2022 in Belfast,
April 11-13, which aims to unite academics,
chefs, producers, writers, activists and
destination managers, who are committed
to achieving positive change for the
communities they represent.
Keynote speaker and tourism strategist
Anna Pollock will be specifically addressing
the relationship between hospitality and
farms which adopt regenerative principles
and will consider how this might help local
The summit also provides an opportunity
to reinforce NI’s growing reputation as the
source of the highest quality agricultural
produce, which is helping to shape the image
of the region internationally, as well as
supporting local hospitality and retail.
Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines will
be discussing how to harness the power of
a local food system by connecting the farm
and the fisherman to the restauranteur.
He believes that utilising the power of
community has made County Devon in the
southwest of England one of the best larders
in the UK and Europe.
Supported by Food NI, Tourism NI and the
Oxford Cultural Collective, the conference
will host a range of world-renowned keynote
speakers from across the globe.
They include Joxe Mari Aizega, General
Manager of the Basque Culinary Center in
Spain; Gaston Acrio, chef, writer and founder
of Fundacion Pachacutec from Peru; as well
as culinary historian and broadcaster Dr
Over three days of keynotes, discussions,
academic presentations and social events,
delegates will consider the development of
cities, regions and even countries as food
and drink destinations in ways that deliver
tangible benefits to local people.
They will share practical solutions to
achieving lasting and inclusive community
regeneration, including in locations that
are facing considerable social, cultural and
The conference will also host a social
programme that will include informal
events, enabling delegates to explore shared
interests and consider future working
Dinners and lunches will showcase
outstanding local produce prepared
by renowned chefs. Delegates will also
experience Belfast, a city increasingly
defined by its food and drink stories.
Ulster University will be using the summit
as a means of showcasing great produce and
talent from across NI (again representing
the alliance between farms, producers and
hospitality), including through a dinner on
April 13 at City Hall dedicated to food and
drink from NI.
The Ulster University Business School
would love to welcome those from the
agricultural community across NI – tickets
are now available from the website.
n For more information on the Gastronomy
Summit 2022, including the call for best
practice case studies, keynote speakers and
registration, please visit https://www.ulster.
|Period||10 Feb 2022|
Title Farm Week Degree of recognition Local Media name/outlet Irish News Ltd Media type Duration/Length/Size 800 words Country/Territory United Kingdom Date 10/02/22 Producer/Author Dr L Hollywood URL file:///C:/Users/e10415544/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/ZECGPK5U/FW-059-100222.pdf Persons Lynsey Elizabeth Hollywood