Japanese visitors with a taste for Cheshire
14th December 2009
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Chester-Cheshire’s growing reputation for fine foods, great produce and gourmet dining has received another boost.

After sampling some of the best of the area’s food, drink and hospitality last week, the head of a specialist international tour operator based in Japan has pledged to encourage more of his countrymen to follow his example.

Kenji Tochigi, Managing Director of Tokyo’s Worldbridge Inc visited the Hollies Farm Shop, tasted cheese at The Cheese Shop in Chester and dined to Michelin star perfection at the Chester Grosvenor and Spa.

The hotel’s restaurant, ‘Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor and Spa’, has retained its Michelin star for 19 consecutive years and is one of only 26 restaurants in the UK to have been awarded 4 Rosettes by the AA.

“Japanese people will be very impressed with the delicacy and quality of the foods that are produced, sold and served in Cheshire, and the pride with which they are presented,” Mr Tochigi commented.

“I will certainly be recommending Chester and Cheshire to my clients as a holiday destination for its quality and diversity of opportunity.”

During a two-day visit organised by tourism board Visit Chester & Cheshire and the Chester Grosvenor and Spa, Mr Tochigi also visited Arley Hall as the guest of Lord Ashbrook, toured the Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre and stayed as a guest of the Chester Grosvenor and Spa.

Cheshire’s ‘fine food county’ status has been underpinned this year by several successes including the launch of the Cheshire Food Trail project, the success of several Cheshire providers in meeting the exacting standards of the new ‘Taste Cheshire’ quality assessment scheme, and the dramatic growth and popularity of food festivals, markets and other outlets across the sub-region.

“VCC’s creative vision to build a widespread reputation for Chester and Cheshire as a centre for great produce and diverse cuisine has to be applauded as one of its greatest achievements,” said Jonathan Slater, Managing Director of the Chester Grosvenor and Spa.

“Much of that success has been a result of the drive and determination shown by the VCC team. Its innovative approach in launching of the Cheshire Food Trails and other initiatives has generated national publicity and opened the door to a wealth of opportunity for future success.”

He added: “We’re giving visitors yet another compelling reason to consider Chester and Chesthire as their first choice destination, and that is something we should all be proud of, and work together to build on.”

Below: Kenji Tochigi and colleague Ito Kanko enjoy a taste of Cheshire with Ann Faulkner of The Cheese Shop, Chester.

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Steve N

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Steve is Commercial Director of thebestofchester.

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