If sourcing food through a computer screen isn't your thing, there is an ever-growing number of events and festivals taking place up and down the country this year, particularly throughout the summer.
Some are strictly trade events, and involve seminars and business forums. Others, especially the county shows, are aimed at the public. Don't let that put you off. Many of the smaller producers can't afford to go to large-scale city-based expos, but are just as willing to build a relationship with the hospitality industry as they are with the local deli. Suppliers, producers and farmers will all be in attendance, showing off their prize goods, with plenty of cooking demonstrations taking place as well. You might even find the croquet and Pimms drinking fun.
Visit the regional food group websites (page 15) for a full list of what is going on.
Food From Britain (FFB) is also planning a series of national food service seminars to help the industry learn how to source local and speciality British produce effectively. Phone 020 7233 5111 for more details.
Brighton Food Lovers Show 10-20 June
Various events across Brighton and the surrounding area
North West Food Lovers Festival 19-20 June
Westmorland Showground, Cumbria
The British Food and Drink Festival 19 June
The Hop Farm Country Park, Paddock Wood, Kent
Speciality & Fine Food Fair 20-21 June
The Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate
0870 429 5336
Hampshire Food Festival 26 June to 1 July
Royal Norfolk Show 30 June to 1 july
New Forest Show 27-29 July
Speciality & Fine Food Fair 5-7 September
0870 429 5336
Ludlow Marches Food & Drink Festival 10-12 September
British Food Fortnight 18 September TO 3 October
Various promotions and events taking place around the country
020 7840 9292
British Cheese Awards and Food Market and beginning of British Cheese Week 24-26 September
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
Highland Food and Drink Festival 30 September to 3 October