Cavan County Council see the Cavan Food Network as a key component of the County Cavan Food Strategy.
Deirdre Donnelly is the Food Strategy co-ordinator with the local authority. She explained the goals of the strategy: “It will provide a forum for all stakeholders in the Cavan agri-food industry and food tourism sector to come together, network and learn from each other and from other food regions in Ireland.”
The special launch event is the first of three network events scheduled for 2019. It will bring together four of the most dynamic figures in the Irish food scene to share their vision of what Cavan food can achieve.
Ms Donnelly is hoping that people with a vested interest in the area will come along to voice their opinions at the network event: “The launch is open to anyone engaged in the food and drink business in Cavan. It will bring together people involved in every aspect of the industry from food producers to food tourism. We expect restaurants, hotels, cafes, food producers pretty much anyone and everyone involved in food in the county.”
The guest speakers on the evening will be; Gearóid Lynch, chef/proprietor at the Olde Post Inn and Fáilte Ireland Food Champion; Birgitta Curtin, owner Burren Smokehouse and key figure behind Burren Food Trail; Daniel Willimont, executive head chef, Farnham Estate, Spa and Golf Resort and Olivia Duff, Headfort Farm and Fáilte Ireland Food Ambassador.
The Taste Of Cavan (TOC) event points to the potential of building a food reputation: “TOC highlighted the vibrant food and drink community in Cavan. We hope to harness what has been created by that and grow it through the food network. It will allow us to engage in collective marketing and people can learn from each other in hot house environment.”
Attendance at the launch of the Food Network is free to all stakeholders in Cavan food. Part of the motivation is to evolve the potential of food tourism in the county: “Hopefully, in time, we will have food series events for the public. A good example of this is the geo-park gourmet tours. That is more targeted to the public, but it all starts from getting feedback from the people on the ground and that is about building the Cavan Food Network.
So we are really looking forward to getting as many stakeholders as possible to attend tonight,” Ms Donnelly said.
The gathering will be facilitated by James Burke of Cavan County Council. Registration starts at 5:15pm, with the official launch of the Cavan Food Network commencing at 6pm. The speakers will make a presentation to the guests and there will be a Q&A session to conclude the evening. The local authority say that everyone involved in the county's food industry are welcome to attend.