Connect 2 Laois Food Futures hosted an event on Wednesday in the Heritage Hotel in Kilenard which brought local Laois food and drink producers, business owners, and chefs all under one roof.
The day consisted of a panel discussion by guest speakers including James Burke, Ireland’s leading consultant within the artisan food manufacturing and retail sectors.
Among the other speakers were. Domini Kemp, an award winning chef, food writer and entrepreneur; Olivia Duff, founder of Boyne Valley; Grace Binchy, from Bord Bia highlighting the importance of nutrients in diets; and Laois’s own Paddy O’Connell, owner of of Paddy O’s Cereals.
The morning consisted of a panel discussion with questions from the audience, followed by lunch and a display of different stalls from local Laois producers.
12 Acres, Kelly Lou Cakes, Brennans Gin, Ballykilcavan craft beer, G’s Jams, Rossmore Farmhouse Ice Creams, The Village Dairy, Le Skinny Chef, Seccotto Coffee, The Merry Mill and Granstown Free Rnage Eggs were among the many stalls promoting Laois produce.
Cllr Padraig Fleming and John Mulholland were in attendance representing Laois County Council.
Speaking to the organisers of the event spoke about how the whole idea of the event is targeted at food industries. “It’s all about making connections, and working together,” was a line repeated more than once.
The head chef at the Hertiage in Killenard has been inspired to create the menu with local produce by local producers.
In the afternoon Sarah Shimmons took to the stage to speak about digital marketing followed by Colin Jephson of Ardkeen Quality Foods Store based in Waterford.
To close off the show Darina Allen spoke about the importance of Laois business coming to gether and supporting local and organic produce.
LaoisToday was on foot to chat to all the local businesses. Check out some of these great photos below.