The benefits of serving up a delicious regional breakfast were preached at Wilton Castle, just outside Enniscorthy recently, as Taste Wexford hosted a special Breakfast Showcase and Workshop in association with the Wexford Food Family.
The event was aimed at Wexford's thriving hospitality sector - owners, managers and chefs from cafés, restaurants and hotels across the County -and hoped to offer an insight into why serving a quality regional breakfast, using local produce, makes economic sense.
Keynote speakers on the morning were Ireland Guides founder and President of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, Georgina Campbell and Food Tourism Officer with Fáilte Ireland Sinead Hennessy. Taste Wexford co-founders Jean O'Connell and Anthony O'Toole opened the workshop by showcasing a delicious breakfast buffet made entirely of items sourced from Co Wexford and surrounding areas. Chef and Food Champion with Fáilte Ireland Anthony said that 'the Irish breakfast can be a simple affair with some key regional ingredients or an elaborate one depending on the time, location and level of hospitality within the establishment.'
After breakfast, Jean and Anthony presented an overview of Taste Wexford and its vision for the future of food and foot tourism in the county. Their presentation focused on supporting local producers and how servers should know the story behind the food and drink served - who produced it, how it was grown/made, where they are located and even down to why the chef has featured it on the menu. This, they said, can elevate the overall dining experience.
They also presented some fantastic new food and drink trails and experiences they have designed with Lorraine O'Dwyer of Gallivanting Tours featuring many of Wexford's producers like Bean and Goose Chocolates, Regan Organic Farm, Wheelocks Fruit, Macamore Buffalo, O'Neill's Bacon and Ballyminane Mill.
They called on the hospitality establishments in Wexford to step up and provide great regional breakfasts, lunches and dinners as locals and tourists are looking for them while touring the county. Anthony said, "there are only a handful of establishments in Wexford giving a dining experience which offers a true 'sense of place'".
Paula Ronan, co-founder and CEO of Wexford Food Family, a network of over 45 big and small food and drink producers in Wexford, also presented their new food and drink directory that was recently published for the retail and hospitality industry which is available online and in print to use. 'A resource that all hospitality providers should be using,' Paula says.
Taste Wexford food, drink and craft hampers were also displayed on the day and, priced between €80 and €250, look set to be a big hit this Christmas. For more details, see www.tastewexford.ie.