This week (16 to 19 July) is the Department of Health’s fifth annual ‘Manx Produce Week’ at Noble’s Hospital Restaurant which has been renamed Thie Bee – Manx for ‘Eating Place’. As with previous years the Catering Department is demonstrating to patients and staff the volume and quality of locally sourced ingredients that are used in every day food production.
The week showcases and celebrates the local companies such as; Robinson’s, Isle of Man Creameries, Harrison and Garrett, and Greeba Mushrooms to name a few, all of which provide Noble’s Hospital with the highest quality of fresh produce.
Minister for Health, David Anderson MHK said:
'This is another fantastic display of how the Department supports local food producers by ‘shopping local’. Noble’s Hospital and the Department are 100% behind our local food producers, and demonstrating this commitment to our patients, staff and the public is important. Good nutrition is absolutely vital to good health, and doubly so when someone is unwell. It is paramount that we continue to show our support to the Island’s farmers and their produce so they can continue to provide Noble’s Hospital with the great tasting, healthy, fresh and nutritious food we rely on every day.'
As always, this year’s event has been extended to the patients at Noble’s Hospital as a way to raise awareness of Manx produce and how it is used within recipes in the patient menu system. A new special menu has been produced which is given to patients with an explanation of what local products are used at Noble’s Hospital. A picture of the Manx flag is placed next to the description of the dish and the patients have been given the opportunity to sample the local produce.
Each year Manx Food Week raises funds for a selected charity; this year the staff have decided to assist the Manx Blind Welfare Society to help replace their audio library. Throughout the week raffle tickets are being sold for a chance to win a variety of items donated by Manx producers. The first prize for the raffle is from Kathy Irwin, Greeba Farms, who kindly donated her living display of mushrooms, a fruit basket and a fish platter. There are also equally generous prizes - a Manx-themed hamper and Ken Hom wok.
Derek Peters, Catering Services Manager said:
'This is the fifth year that we have held an event celebrating the support that Noble’s Hospital gives to local suppliers. It is more important than ever in the current climate to support and secure a sustainable local food economy. By highlighting products used in the hospital to the staff and patients we hope to send out the positive message that locally sourced sustainable products are good for the economy, good for the environment and good for the staff, patients and visitors to Noble’s.'
Liz Lillis, Thie Bee Restaurant Supervisor said:
'This event has grown year upon year. Manx Food Week was created by Andy Pennington, Provisions Supervisor in 2006. Andy wanted to highlight how much Manx produce we used within the hospital and create an annual event not only for our customers but also, for the patients. A lot of hard work and effort by the catering staff goes into the preparation and organisation for this event, every year. A big thank you for their dedication goes to the catering staff, our customers and the suppliers; they all make these events a success each year and on a regular basis with our theme days. Last but not least our thanks to the Youth Arts Centre who created special Thie Bee badges for our launch day.'