General Industry

IFEX 2014: Serving Up The Best Talent

By Publications Checkout
IFEX 2014: Serving Up The Best Talent

One of Northern Ireland’s biggest trade events is soon to open its doors, on Tuesday 11th March 2014. IFEX – the premier show for the food, drink, retail and hospitality industries - is running from March 11-13 at the King’s Hall Pavilion in Belfast, just 90 minutes from Dublin airport.

Without doubt one of the most exciting features of the IFEX show will be the Salon Culinaire section, which in the past has helped to shape the careers of some of the country's best chefs due to its world-class standards.

The kitchen is the heart of a home and Salon Culinaire is the heart of IFEX. Hosting almost 220 industry and student chefs, the Salon Culinaire is hotly anticipated as THE place where the ‘best of’ Northern Irish culinarians are formally acknowledged. Supported by the Department for Employment and Learning (DELNI), the Salon Culinaire will be purpose built in the King’s Hall Pavilion with Stephens Catering Equipment Co providing all of the major catering equipment that the 220 chefs will use, and Flogas fuelling the cooking.

The Salon Culinaire incorporates three key skill areas – The ChefSkills Theatre, La Parade des Chefs and Edible Art (Cold Display). The ChefSkills Theatre consists of 14 individual category competitions including the Department of Agriculture-supported IFEX Northern Ireland Chef of the Year and the Northern Ireland Caloriewise Award, sponsored by the Food Standards Agency. La Parade des Chefs will feature four teams of eight, primarily from NI culinary colleges, operating in a glass-fronted, ‘real time’ restaurant setting, preparing, cooking for and serving 60 covers each. With lunchtime sittings daily, tickets can be purchased for £22 from:

In addition, the Edible Art (Cold Display) display area will showcase competitors’ static submissions featuring hand-crafted works in fat, chocolate, marzipan and other foodstuffs. Categories include celebration cakes, bridal bouquets of handmade sugar, flowers and a decorative exhibit of the competitor’s choice.


Sean Owens, Director of Salon Culinaire explains: “Historically the Salon Culinaire has helped to shape the careers of some of our best chefs due to its world-class standards and the confidence boost it gives the culinarians early in their careers. We’re sure to uncover and award some of the culinary stars of the future at this year’s event. Michael Deane won the first ever chef of the year and look at him now!”

For the competition timetable of events, please see

© 2014 - Hospitality Ireland Magazine by Enda Dowling