“We’d expected a good turnout based on the early sell-out of exhibition stands but we’re overwhelmed by the turnout of visitors today already,” commented the IFSA Chairman Sean Martin on the first day of the show, “This is a very exciting and empowering time for us as an industry. Confidence in the sector has clearly grown – at menu prices the industry is worth €6 billion and is set to rise to over €6.5 billion by 2017.”
The winners of all the national cocktail, barista and culinary competitions that took place over the course of three days at Catex were also announced.
The country’s most promising talent in the foodservice industry took part in industry competitions organised by The Bartenders Association of Ireland, The Irish Chapter of the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe and Chef Ireland.
Cocktails at Catex
The event’s three major cocktail competitions were sponsored by Edward Dillon & Co.
The winner of the National Cocktail Competition 2015, who’ll go on to compete on behalf of Ireland at the World Cocktail Competition in Bulgaria later this year was Owen Hughes from Knockranny House Hotel in Westport, County Mayo.
Finbarr Collins of Cork Institute for Technology took first prize for the National Hospitality Student Cocktail Challenge while the First prize for the ‘Create it Mix it Shake it’ Conceptual Cocktail Competition went to Michael O’Shea at the Marker Hotel in Dublin.
Coffee at Catex
Ireland’s top baristas competed in the finals of their competitions too. The winner of the Irish Barista Competition was Natalia Piotrowska who’ll go on to compete for Ireland at the World Barista Championship in Washington in April.
The Irish Latte Art Champion 2015 emerged as Dave Regan while the Irish Cup Tasters Champion was Elvis Matiejunas.
Chefs at Catex
Catex also witnessed the country’s most talented chefs engage in a series of competitions (sponsored by Calor and Stephens Catering) including the Senior Duck Competition (won by Sebastian Nowak of the Annebrook Hotel) and the Fish Dish Competition (won by Gareth Carberry of Clontarf Castle).
The College Student Competition was won by Galway Mayo IT via Cezary Sodel, Marek Hajdek, Shane Austin, Aisling Lee and Patrycja Sadowska.
The Irish hospitality industry has been buoyed by the clear demonstration of the renewed health of the sector. The event, sponsored by Bunzl and Calor, included over 250 companies and over 4,000 sq m of exhibitor showcase space.
For further information on the biennial CATEX event and all this year’s winners see http://www.catexexhibition.com