(Students from Belfast MET pictured with Sean Owens, IFEX Salon Culinaire Director and Paul Cunningham, IFEX 2018 DAERA NI Chef of the Year.)

Salon Culinaire have just launched the NEW Chefskills competitions schedule for IFEX 2022 - Northern Ireland’s longest-standing foodservice and hospitality trade exhibition – coming to the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast from Tuesday 29th – Thursday 31st March 2022.   

Playing its role in helping the industry’s rising stars and talented professionals battle it out in the kitchen, Salon Culinaire has always been central to IFEX and plays a key role in creating the electric atmosphere at Northern Ireland’s biggest foodservice and hospitality event.

As Northern Ireland's largest and most prestigious chef competition programme, attracting chefs from all sectors of the industry and with all levels of experience, Salon Culinaire raises the bar in terms of culinary excellence in Northern Ireland, with the programme featuring over 30 categories during the three days of the show.

At the heart is the ChefSkills Live Theatre – hotly anticipated as the place where the ‘best of’ culinarians in Northern Ireland are formally acknowledged – with previous winners including Michael Deane, Chris Bell and Roisin Gavin to name but a few. ChefSkills sees an exciting series of back-to-back, live, hot competitions, including the hotly contended Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs-supported IFEX Northern Ireland Chef of the Year and Northern Ireland Junior Chef of the Year accolades.

Returning in 2022 is IFEX Street Food International: Set to sizzle, Street Food International will see teams of invited competitors from Northern Ireland’s catering colleges produce and serve a range of exciting modern street food style dishes.  Supported by Department for the Economy, each team will cook up innovative, high quality ‘al fresco’ street food dishes that will be served to pre-ticketed diners during lunch service at IFEX.  

Following the launch of the new schedule, long-standing Salon Culinaire Director, Sean Owens comments: “I am thrilled to launch the 2022 Salon Culinaire at IFEX competition schedule; Belfast takes its rightful place as one of the top Salon Culinaire programmes in the UK and it is THE place to celebrate the skills within our industry.

“The past number of years have been a testing time for our industry, but with the return of IFEX, celebrating its 25th anniversary, we are confident that our industry is strong and resilient, and we relish the prospects for growth and development throughout our sector.”

Sean adds: “From student chefs and kitchen trainees to celebrated, leading chefs within the industry, we have a program for all at IFEX 2022. I’m confident that we’re going to discover some extraordinarily talented young chefs, and to have uncovered and encouraged new talent to flourish at IFEX is exactly what the premier event for the food, drink, retail and hospitality industries is all about.”

Bigger and better than ever before, Salon Culinaire at IFEX is designed to nurture the talents of the province’s young chefs and it is with the help of the show’s sponsors that the show continues to be such a success - in particular the Government departments and industry-leading companies and agencies who have supported the event over many years. Supporters for the Salon Culinaire 2022 include the Department for the Economy (DfE), Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), Stephens Catering Equipment, Flogas, Budget Energy, Andrew Ingredients, Keenan Seafood and Frylite.

For those who hope to compete, ChefSkills and Edible Art are now open for entry. For more information, visit: www.ifexexhibition.co.uk/salon-culinaire

IFEX 2022 is taking place from Tuesday 29th March to 31st March at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast. To find out more about the show, visit www.ifexexhibition.co.uk or @ifexexhibition on social.