A GROUP which promotes the best of food in Hampshire has held its first networking meeting of 2019.

On Tuesday, 8 January, The Restaurant at Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT) hosted Hampshire Fare’s event which was a chance for members and sponsors of the food group to catch up on plans for the year ahead and see behind the scenes at the college.

Guests could tour the college’s hospitality and catering facilities led by first year students while Moonroast Coffee offered tastings of its range of coffee which is roasted in Hampshire.

BCoT principal, Anthony Bravo, said: “I am delighted that The Restaurant at BCoT, our onsite training restaurant, was invited to host the Hampshire Fare networking event. We work closely with leading businesses and employers to ensure our students leave BCoT with a good level

of work experience and are ready to join the world of work, and this event provided students with the chance to meet some of Hampshire’s finest local suppliers and producers.”

Tracy Nash, commercial manager of Hampshire Fare, shared the group’s plans and the opportunities open to members and sponsors.

Representatives from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs also spoke at the networking event to encourage discussions about business owners’ opinions and concerns about the exit from the EU.

Tracy said: “It has been fantastic to get a glimpse inside the workings of BCoT’s hospitality and catering department. The students are clearly proud of their college and have their sights set on reaching the top in the industry. It is brilliant that the department is supporting and highlighting local producers with a Hampshire Fare Menu running at the end of this month.”

Hampshire Fare supports over 400 local businesses involved in growing, making, serving and selling local food, drink and craft.