Eight new ambassadors join Fáilte Ireland Development Programme

Fáilte Ireland today announced the names of the eight new food ambassadors providers that have been selected to represent Ireland and join the Food Tourism Network Development programme. 

This followed a very well subscribed selection process after the tourism authority had sought nominations for emerging food champions with a resounding passion and belief in Irish food who actively influence and shape the future of Irish cuisine and food tourism in their region.  The focus for the initiative in 2013 is on individuals located along the Wild Atlantic Way - Ireland's first long-distance touring route, stretching along the coast from Donegal to West Cork (for more information see notes to editor). 

The 2013 Food Champions are:

  • Hugh O’Donnell, Kitty Kellys & Hughies Bar, Killybegs – DONEGAL
  • Deborah Evers, Clareville House Kitchen Gardens, Ballyvaughan - CLARE
  • Jacinta Dalton, Dept Culinary Arts, GMIT - GALWAY
  • Martin Bealin, Global Village Restaurant, Dingle - KERRY
  • Mary McGettigan, A Taste of Donegal Food Festival, Donegal Town - DONEGAL
  • Benoit Lorge, Lorge Chocolatier, Kenmare – KERRY
  • Zack Gallagher, Irish Food Tours, Donegal Town – DONEGAL
  • Ross Quinn, Vasco Restaurant, Fanore - CLARE 

Speaking today, Helen McDaid Fáilte Ireland’s Food Tourism Manager said - 

“We received nominations for many able ‘would be ambassadors’ from along the Wild Atlantic Way route – many thanks to both the nominees and nominators for the interest that they have shown.  Our focus continues to be on ‘emerging’ food champions who have been working hard in their regions and can now become a part of this network which will support and guide them as they continue to develop food tourism experiences.

“Last year’s programme was a great success with many of the champions going on to do great work for food tourism in their areas.  The focus this year is on our new project the Wild Atlantic Way and how we can further develop the visitor experience by promoting our local and regional food experiences.” 

As they embark on their role as Fáilte Ireland Food Champions, the group will now travel on a food tourism benchmarking trip to Norway to see first-hand a real-life linkage between a driving route and food tourism – this trip will provide great insight and learning opportunities for our industry here in Ireland. 

The group will have the opportunity to meet with the people behind a range of food businesses in Norway who are utilising food tourism as part of their development and business generation strategy.

Looking further ahead, Ms McDaid commented -

“Once the group returns home the focus will be on working together with their local communities to help build Ireland’s food tourism reputation and encourage visitors to stop, spend and stay longer on the Wild Atlantic Way.

“Working together and developing networks and relationships within their localities will help to develop engaging food experiences to truly utilise food tourism as a workable economic development strategy.”


4th June 2013


Further to the successful food tourism benchmarking programme to Canada in 2012, Fáilte Ireland are looking for emerging food champions for the 2013 food tourism study trip; Destination Norway along the Wild Atlantic Way  – Ireland's first long-distance touring route, stretching along the coast from Donegal to West Cork – who have a resounding passion and belief in Irish food. They must have the commitment, drive and desire to actively influence the future of food tourism in their region.

The webpage for the 2013 Food Champions along the Wild Atlantic Way is now live on http://www.failteireland.ie/In-Your-Sector/Food-Tourism-in-Ireland/Food-champions-2013.aspx and nominations will be accepted online until noon on June 14th

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