Salon Culinaire returns to IFEX with over 30 competitions

Salon Culinaire returns to IFEX with over 30 competitions
Entries for Salon Culinaire at IFEX 2024 are now open. Pictured at last year’s show are (from left) Sean Owens, Salon Director, Michael Deane and Toby Wand, Managing Director of 365 Events, organisers of IFEX.

As the highly anticipated Salon Culinaire Belfast returns to IFEX this year, the search is on to find Northern Ireland’s Chef of the Year who will be crowned during the event, taking place at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast from 5th to 7th March 2024.

We are also delighted to reveal that Ireland’s Forecourt and Convenience Retailer is a media partner of IFEX 2024, along with sister publications, Licensed and Catering News and Neighbourhood Retailer.

Aiming to highlight the country’s culinary talent, expertise and excellence, the Northern Ireland Chef of the Year contests will run alongside the new Northern Ireland Inter College Cook and Serve Challenge as part of Salon Culinaire Belfast.

Expecting more entries than ever before, the Salon Culinaire Belfast is designed to highlight and nurture Northern Ireland’s young chefs and will serve to provide a launchpad for a lucrative career in the hospitality and foodservice industry.

The Northern Ireland Chef of the Year competition is open to chefs working in Ireland and will require participants to devise a three-course menu, with an emphasis on local produce, alongside a plant based amuse bouche, to impress a panel of judges.

Also returning to Salon Culinaire Belfast this year is the popular edible art competitions where competitors will use their imagination and skills to create visually stunning exhibits from ingredients including chocolate, sugar paste, fondant or fruit and vegetables.

Commenting on the launch of the Salon Culinaire timetable, Sean Owens, Salon Director said: Northern Ireland is home to some of the world’s top chefs who are helping to cement the wider hospitality and foodservice industry as a global leader.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the immense amount of talent and skills that will be on offer throughout the competitions.

“The road to recovery after the impact of the pandemic has been tough for many establishments in the hospitality and foodservice industry but we’re delighted to see real signs of growth beginning to show. Celebrating the achievements of the industry, alongside the talent of our chefs will serve to encourage more and more young people to join the sector, which will help to secure its future expansion.”

Turning his attention to the upcoming competitions, Sean added: “The IFEX Salon Culinaire competitions are suitable for everyone – from students just starting out in their culinary journey to experienced chefs who are making huge waves in the industry.

“I have no doubt that we will discover a huge amount of talent at IFEX – both from established chefs and those who are yet to be uncovered. Highlighting and promoting our own, home-grown talent is what IFEX is all about.”

The Salon Culinaire competitions are now open for entry, visit:

To register your attendance, visit: and if you’re planning to exhibit, contact Lyndsey Harker by emailing: or call: 07946 320096.