Bronagh Conlon Chairman BVF, Patrick Hanlon and Russell Alford present Conor O’Neill of The Glyde Inn with an illustrated map of BVF producers.
Food and travel writers and bloggers Patrick Hanlon and Russell Alford, better known as the ‘GastroGays’ have been appointed as ambassadors for the Boyne Valley Flavours brand of local food producers.
The Drogheda based pair who say that their three driving forces are food, travel and Eurovision, and Eurovision have a local knowledge, pride and pure grá for the food, drink, restaurants, hotels and bars of the region and will help spotlight and support Boyne Valley Flavours (BVF) members.
Established in 2013 as a food-based blog, GastroGays has become widely respected and the pair have also become regular contributors to the likes of RTÉ, Irish Times, The Journal, TodayFM, The Six O’Clock Show and have just joined Newstalk as regular food tourism contributors on Moncrieff.
Having travelled extensively across Europe and making their way beyond, the pair know a thing or two about what makes a region stand out, what makes a destination a “destination” and how food and drink is leading the way with the current wave of food tourism. Their experience will be invaluable to the Boyne Valley Flavours brand as they continue to develop their food strategy which began in 2016 and is designed as a 5-year plan.
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The GastroGays will specifically focus on showcasing the Place On A Plate initiative which was created to encourage businesses to adopt an ethos of offering fresh, locally sourced, seasonal food on their menu and just as importantly, make sure they are telling their customers about it.
The GastroGays official involvement began with a visit to The Glyde Inn situated in Annagassan which offers the freshest of local and seasonal produce especially seafood.
During their visit Patrick and Russell experienced locally caught razor clams and clams, Clogherhead langoustines and hake along with Carlingford oysters. To recognise their involvement in BVF’s Place On A Plate initiative the proprietor of The Glyde Inn, Conor O’Neill, was presented with a framed copy of an illustrated producers map which highlights all the BVF members across the Boyne Valley Region.
“What we do in our writing, interviewing and broadcasting in general is shining a light on what’s special” says GastroGays Patrick Hanlon. Finding what makes a destination different and unique, what makes it incredibly individual –– that’s worth shouting about.”
“We are absolutely thrilled to be working with the Boyne Valley Flavours team. Having personally grown up in Drogheda, it’s with great pride and interest myself and Russell take on this role, sharing the richness of produce the Boyne Valley has and demonstrating what a wonderful food destination it is” he added.
“Food tourism is fuelling the wider tourism sector right now and the Boyne Valley is perfectly placed for visitors to eat their way around this region, from #PlaceOnAPlate to farm tours and markets to entertainment that goes hand in hand with food and drink, like the upcoming Púca Festival, the Boyne Valley Flavours’ time to shine has only just begun and the future is blazingly bright,” Russell adds.
Welcoming the GastroGays as ambassadors, BVF Chairman Bronagh Conlon said “…they have always been champions of Boyne Valley produce and are absolutely passionate about locally produced food and drink making them an ideal fit with our values.”