Monday, 15 October 2012

Speciality Fine Food Show - Bord Bia

I was recently invited to visit the Speciality Fine Food Fair (an event for showcasing artisan food and drink to high quality trade buyers) and in particular the Bord Bia - the Irish Food Board's area.  This consisted of over a dozen small food producers from The Republic of Ireland who are working in partnership with the industry to promote Irish food and drink  by developing long-term relationships between Irish companies and trade buyers.

Kelly from the PR company who are working to promote Bord Bia, invited me and treated us like real VIPs when we got there! She took me around and introduced me to each producer and we had a chat and sampled some of their products.

Kelly and the lovely lady from Pandora Bell - homemade sweets

Mr R and I were going to the Paralympics that afternoon and staying in a hotel in Central London in the evening so he accompanied me to the Food Fair.

The exhibitors in the Bord Bia area were so friendly and truly hospitable (they are after all known for their Irish hospitality) and were all keen to tell us about their product or service. There were lots of things to sample.  It was the first time I tried Black Pudding and not only did I try it twice but I actually liked it.

We tried olives from around the world via Olives Et Al,

and delicious fruit liqueurs from Bramley & Gage . My favourite was the Elderflower Liqueur.

A small selection of fruit flavours
And Burren Smokehouse sent us home with a lovely selection of their smoked salmon, trout and mackerel.


Also worth a mention was Yeats Country Foods who had a range of soft cheese (two cow and one goat) and which I tried.  They were creamy and definitely worth a place on a cheese board. I also met the people from Chia bia.  Chia is a seed originally from South America, which is really high in Omega3 and other essential minerals and vitamins such as Zinc and Magnesium. You can sprinkle it on yoghurts and cereals or use it to reduce the amount of fat in baking a cake. Chia can help with all sorts of health conditions and is definitely worth further investigation.

But I must say one of the highlights of the morning was meeting Cookbook author and TV presenter Catherine Fulvio.  Catherine is a very gracious and friendly lady who owns and runs Ballyknocken House & Cookery School in Co. Wicklow, Ireland.  I think a visit to Catherine's cookery school might be one of my 2013 New Year's Resolutions!

Catherine had a preview copy of her new cookbook Eat Like an Italian
We had to make a move to go to the Paralympics and as the arena was starting to get very crowded we left.  I would have like to stay longer - there were so many more stands to talk to so I am planning to stay longer next year!


  1. I love those olives..

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  2. Will have a look Mad Foodies, thanks for the comment.