Renowned Chef to Headline Hospitality Exchange 2024

The countdown begins to the most anticipated conference in the hospitality sector, set to take place on the 15th and 16th of October at the Crowne Plaza

Hospitality Exchange 2024 has announced that acclaimed chef Mark Birchall, Chef-patron of Moor Hall, will be headlining this year’s event. The countdown begins to the most anticipated conference in the hospitality sector, set to take place on the 15th and 16th of October at the Crowne Plaza, Shaw’s Bridge Belfast.

Mark Birchall, renowned for his culinary expertise and innovative approach, will bring a gourmet culinary experience to the event. Mark’s illustrious career, marked by numerous accolades and his role at the helm of the award-winning Moor Hall, promises to make this year’s Hospitality Exchange an unforgettable experience for all attendees.

Chef-patron Mark Birchall was born in Chorley, Lancashire where he trained at Runshaw College. Before establishing Moor Hall, Mark was Executive Chef of 2 Michelin Star L’Enclume in Cumbria and won the Roux Scholarship in 2011, the premier competition for chefs in the UK. He also worked at El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, a 3 Michelin Star restaurant owned by the Roca Brothers, twice voted the world’s best restaurant.

Mark Birchall will join the conference line-up speaking about his stellar career, culinary experiences, and his ambition which has seen him win many industry accolades. Mark opened Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms in March 2017, with a focus on delicate, produce-driven menus inspired by Moor Hall’s exceptional surroundings and home-grown ingredients. Within six months, the Restaurant at Moor Hall was awarded its first Michelin star, with a second star following in the 2019 Michelin Guide, an accolade it has retained. It also achieved five AA rosettes in the AA Restaurant Guide 2020, and a World class status in the 2022 Good Food Guide.

Mark Birchall was crowned ‘Best Chef in the UK’ after winning the Chefs’ Chef of the Year award at the prestigious AA Hospitality Awards 2022, which celebrate the very best in the industry. At The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards 2023, Moor Hall was crowned ‘Best Restaurant in England’ for a consecutive year.

Discussing the Hospitality Exchange 2024 programme, Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF) President Eddie McKeever says:

“Celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary, Hospitality Exchange 2024 will reflect on the evolution of tourism since 1999. This year’s programme will delve into topical issues, provide industry insights, and foster discussions on the future of tourism and hospitality. One of the highlights of Hospitality Exchange is the gourmet chef dinner which is staged the evening before the conference launches.

“We are delighted to welcome Mark Birchall as our guest chef for 2024 and are looking forward to an amazing culinary experience in the Merchant Hotel on the 14th October. As one of the UK’s most revered chefs, we are confident that his presence will elevate the event to new heights. A great start for what promises to be an unforgettable experience for everyone.”

Chef-patron Mark Birchall added:

“I am delighted to be headlining the Hospitality Exchange 2024. I look forward to bringing a taste of Moor Hall to this prestigious event and participating in the panel to discuss the hospitality and tourism industry. I am confident it will be an insightful experience, and I will of course be there to share my own insights. I look forward to seeing everyone there in October.”

In previous years, Hospitality Exchange has attracted over 600 delegates over the course of two days with business leaders from the hotel, accommodation, and hospitality sectors along with those from allied tourism industries and government agencies.

The final programme for Hospitality Exchange will be revealed in September. For updates and details visit