Northumberland County Council has brought together caterers and suppliers for its inaugural food event aimed at advising and inspiring operators in the region.
The one-day event held at Macdonald Linden Hall Hotel was attended by 200 local caterers who came along to get advice on areas such as menu development, marketing, advertising and managing business finance.
They were also able to benefit from food demonstrations, presentations and exhibits from 17 organisations in the catering trade, including 11 artisan manufacturers, Costco, Premier Foods, the Regional Food Group, Northumberland Tourism and the North East Catering Trades Association.
Guest speakers included Henry Roberts, chairman of Northumbrian Larder; Andy Hook, successful restaurateur and food consultant; and Helen Spark from Northumberland Tourism.
Councillor Alan Thompson, executive member for public protection at Northumberland County Council, said: "This is another step in the county council's programme to promote Northumberland. The event has not only attracted some of the key figures from the food industry, but also proved to be extremely popular with our local caterers who have had lots of opportunities to learn from those experts in the industry."
Catering students from Northumberland College were given the opportunity to gain some practical experience in the kitchen theatre with both former North East Chef of the Year David Kennedy and Jill Weatherburn, a food consultant with Premier Foods.
Student Kirsty Milligan said: "I have had a fantastic time today and learnt a great deal from my time with David and Jill, but the event has also given me an insight into the issues facing caterers and small businesses today and how these can be tackled."
By Janie Stamford
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