James McIntosh to profile Northern Ireland's food sector around the world
James McIntosh is Britain's food ambassador, a world award-winning cookery writer and TV presenter.
He has joined NI Connections to profile the local food sector around the world.
I grew up in a farmhouse in Co Armagh where food was in our blood. When I am travelling, it is the comfort food from home I miss the most.
Our local produce is second to none. Northern Ireland still has a farming culture maintained in its purest form. Families have shared their skills from generation to generation and they genuinely care about the quality of their produce.
NI Connections is a great way for people all over the world to make contact and build business opportunities, whether in establishing Northern Irish firms overseas or bringing business home.
This is a changing country, and we should be proud of what is happening. There is a newfound confidence in the country as a whole. It's great to see local companies excelling in export markets and I am keen to support our innovative and ambitious food sector.
As ambassador for NI Connections, I can connect with chefs all over the world to urge them to use local produce and speak to local people.
Through NI Connections I have started work with Tom Kline, director of Western International School of Shanghai. I will be spending time at Tom's school, teaching his students new cooking skills and enhancing their knowledge of global food.
I have also been asked to become a patron of his school.
Northern Ireland is thirsty for work and thirsty for change, and I feel it is important that people who have left for work or other reasons continue to support the country to improve.