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Taste Lancashire 2019 will serve up a feast of produce from around the county at Holmes Mill on March 5th. This specialist food and drink conference, organised by destination management organisation Marketing Lancashire, will throw light on some of the best and newest artisan food and drink producers from the county.

Delegates will sample delicacies from a dozen producers with ice cream rolls, artisan chocolates, award winning cheeses, gins and natural soft drinks made with flowers on the tasting menu. With a focus on new products, free from and vegan ranges. Delegates will also enjoy a Lancashire lunch, featuring many more local meats, fish, cheeses, baked goods and preserves.

Joining the group of fantastic foodies is former biomedical scientist and mum-of-five Zainab Bilal, founder of blossoming Blackburn company, Pie Mezzanae. Zainab, who also works as a support facilitator at Blackburn College, launched her home-made pie business from her terraced home in the East Lancashire town. Now based in her own production unit in the town centre, Zainab has ambitious plans for her Pie Heroes brand.

“We’ve had a brilliant reaction to our pies because they are a bit different,” said Zainab, who will be filmed by the BBC at this year’s British Pie Awards held in Melton Mowbray. “We’re constantly working hard to conjure up new flavours and have launched our new McPie. We’re also working with Lancashire producer Heritage Kitchen to create a range of gourmet chutney and pickle pies.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of Marketing Lancashire’s Taste Lancashire 2019 Food and Drink conference. Having been involved in the organisation’s Lancashire Day celebrations at the House of Commons, I know this will be a true, tasty celebration of Lancashire and the diversity of its food and drink.”

Bringing together producers, retailers, buyers, chefs, hoteliers, food and drink entrepreneurs and exporters, as well as key influencers, delegates at this gathering of Lancashire’s most influential hospitality movers and shakers will hear from industry experts and commentators. Panelists including Ormskirk-born curry evangelist Nisha Katona MBE, founder of Mowgli restaurants, alongside BBC Apprentice finalist Camilla Ainsworth, representatives from VisitBritain and VisitEngland, the British Beer and Pub Association and Department for International Trade.

Joining Taste Lancashire for the first time is newcomer Goosnargh Gin, with their mix of botanicals and plants found in the Forest of Bowland, handcrafted by gin aficionados and husband and wife team Rachel and Richard Trenchard.

Rachel Trenchard, Goosnargh Gin commented, “We are proud to be a Lancashire producer and as such our gins take their inspiration from the surrounding area. Whether that be botanicals which inspire a particular gin or a link to the geography or heritage of the region. Our gins are produced using traditional methods, in small batches at our micro distillery in the Forest of Bowland AONB.  We are very much looking forward to showcasing our Chapter One Signature Gin and Chapter Two Dark Skies gin at the Taste Lancashire Conference and sharing our story so far.”

Topics like the latest food trends, sustainability, customer expectations, and food health and wellbeing will be on the menu as well as insights into how to further develop the profile of Lancashire’s food and drink sector nationally and internationally.

Rachel McQueen, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, said: “Our aim to be a must-visit gastronomic destination depends on the creativity, entrepreneurship and hard work of our wonderful band of producers. They play a huge role in Lancashire’s identity and what makes us special.

“From gin companies continuing to keep Lancashire on an international stage to multi award-winning cheeses, chocolates and heritage brands that are leading a revolution in Lancashire food and drink, we are undoubtedly Britain’s tastiest county.”

Food, drink and retail is now worth more than £1.04 billion and is the largest area of growth in Lancashire’s visitor economy. The sector also supports thousands of food and drink related jobs in Lancashire.

Tickets for this must-visit event are now on sale. For more information on how you can be a part of this one-day food and drink event contact comms@marketinglancashire.com