Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s seafood development agency, has teamed up with Chef Network, a professional community who connect chefs across the country, to promote the seafood experience of Taste The Atlantic.

The partnership aims to showcase the enormous potential for visitor food experiences (particular seafood experiences) on the Wild Atlantic Way, to promote and encourage the use of local seafood on menus by other chefs/hospitality operators and to encourage the partnership between producers and chefs to deliver this.

The first initiative, which took place this week was in the form of a tour of north Connemara whereby a group of Chef Network member chefs toured, visited and met with local seafood producers. Coordinating the trip on behalf of Chef Network, Ruth Hegarty said: “For Chef Network, working with BIM presents an opportunity to broaden the knowledge of chefs, encourage mutual support between local businesses (producers & restaurants) which is needed now more than ever, and important networking and peer-learning opportunity for chefs – who jumped at the chance to get together in this safe outdoor environment and to connect with local food producers, which is one of the things chefs are most passionate about.”

The tour which took place Tuesday 22nd September, had 10 chefs travelling and visiting DK Oyster Farm Letterfrack, followed by a visit Killary Harbour to meet with Tom Doherty of Curraun Fisheries and then on to Killary Fjord Shellfish to visit their production of rope mussels, oysters and clams etc. The tour finished with a spectacular seafood lunch overlooking the fjord.

A spokesperson for BIM, Máirtín Walsh, said “We are delighted to be working with Chef Network and some of the most talented chefs in the industry. The passion Irish chefs have for local produce is world-renowned and this partnership allows us to ensure Irish seafood plays a part in the development of menus across the country. By educating chefs and introducing them to our seafood producers gives a deeper understanding of our often misunderstood resource of seafood. Ireland’s food heritage is intrinsically linked to seafood and the Taste The Atlantic initiative gives both the chefs, but also the public, in general, an opportunity to experience this.”

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