A record number of visitors from the foodservice, hospitality and on-trade sectors attended this year’s CATEX in Dublin from Tuesday 21st to Thursday 23rd February. Sponsored by Bunzl and Calor, the exhibition took over halls of the RDS event centre with an impressive layout of trader stands and stages; 11,756 visitors flocked through the doors of the new look show to do business with the 250+ exhibitors.
Reporting significant sales and leads, initial exhibitor feedback has been very strong, with many indicating that the show’s complex mix of innovative products, informative seminars and world-class competitions was a winning combination. OpenTable were among the exhibitors at this year’s event and the team definitely found the amount of visitors and level of engagement to be highly beneficial, connecting with OpenTable customers on a face-to-face basis and getting to know potential clients.
CATEX 2017 was Ireland’s showcase for local excellence with many artisan food producers displaying their products, sampling and tasting with attendees. Among them were: Ballymaloe Foods, Bewley’s, Burren Smokehouse, Nobó ice cream, Glenilen Farm, Paddy O’s Cereals, The Tipperary Kitchen, Wildberry Blackberry and Oishi Sushi.
Among the exhibitor stands were a range of stages hosting panel discussions, demos and competitions and a pop-up restaurant supported by the Restaurant Association of Ireland. During the exhibition, the rising stars in the industry were identified, new champions in their field were born and renowned industry experts were recognised for their contribution to this diverse sector.
And the winners are…
- The Irish National Cocktail Championship was won by Ilario Alberto Caparo, with his delectable drink entitled ‘The Boss’, using Moet & Chandon Champagne, Elderflower Liquor & Grey Goose Orange Vodka.
- Avonmore Irish Barista of the Year was won by Niall Wynn, from Proper Order Coffee Co. Niall will go on to represent Ireland in the World Barista Championship in South Korea this November.
- Reda Matiejune, won the second major barista prize at CATEX, to be crowned Irish Cup Taster Champion 2017. Scoring an incredible 8/8 Reda will be representing Ireland at the World of Coffee Championships in Budapest in June.
- Taking home one of the biggest awards at CATEX was Tobias Streitenberger, Head Chef at Mulroy’s, Castlebar who was crowned the Delata Hotel Group Senior Chef of the Year.
- Mariana Sweeney from Baxterstory was crowned the Delata Hotel Group Junior Chef of the Year.
The Euro-Toques Ireland stage hosted a line-up of some of Ireland’s most talented chefs, demonstrating recipes and chatting to General Secretary, Caroline Byrne, while also fielding questions from the audience. Participating chefs included Ed Cooney, The Merrion Hotel Dublin; Takashi Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Cork; JP McMahon, Aniar, Galway; Wade Murphy, 1826 Adare, Clare; and Kate Lawlor, No.5 Fenns Quay, Cork.
The Chef Network’s Hub was a bustling centre for discussions and tastings between chefs, producers and the audience. A different theme shaped the line-up each day with Food on the Edge: The Future of Food on Tuesday, A Better Kitchen Workplace: Nurturing Talent for the Future on Wednesday and The Business of Food: The Reality of Running a Kitchen on Thursday. Participants included Gareth Mullins, The Marker Hotel; Hilary O’Hagan, 3Fe; Ros Lewis, Chapter One and Mark Anderson, Gather and Gather, among others.
For more information, visit: www.catexexhibition.com.