Country Choice of Nenagh and Inch House, Inch, won Best use of Irish Language Award and Producer of the Year respectively at this year’s Good Food Ireland awards in Dublin.
The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, presented the awards, which have now become the most coveted honour in the world of food and tourism. RTE’s Kathryn Thomas hosted the ceremony, attended by 350 guests from agrifood and tourism hospitality businesses. Margaret Jeffares, founder of Good Food Ireland said: “We are a committed group that want to change Ireland’s food reputation by giving the visitor one trusted guarantee for the very best food experience that builds a culinary picture of our country. The Award Winners have succeeded in delivering this Good Food Ireland Experience to supreme levels of excellence. Nora Egan’s Traditonal Black Pudding has the most unique wonderful taste and flavour that exemplifies tradition and culture.”
Mr Kenny said: “I am delighted to present these awards, which recognise the efforts of those who are producing, retailing and cooking food to the highest quality and standard. Whether it is in restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, markets or accommodation, customers and visitors can have a truly memorable food experience because of the wonderful produce and talent we have in this country.”
Mount Juliet, County Kilkenny, swept the boards taking the Good Food Ireland Supreme Award sponsored by Kerrygold, the Restaurant of the Year Award and the Outstanding Place to Stay Award. Other winners included URRU Culinary Store in Bandon for Local Food Shop of the Year, The Oarsman, Carrick-on-Shannon, won the Food Lover’s Choice Award, this award was voted on by the public. Newforge House, County Armagh won Culinary Haven of the Year and Toacana Restaurant in Dublin won the newly introduced Grow It Yourself Award.
Meanwhile, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, launched the Good Food Ireland Prepaid MasterCard, a mulitfunctional card, a Food Travel Passport and whole new way to experience Ireland like never before. It offers one-on-one connections with over 600 of the very best food places, culinary experts and artisan food producers and is a cherished passport where you will immediately become part of our Good Food Ireland® family.
Minister Varadkar said: “Good Food Ireland and its members have made a significant contribution to Ireland’s growing reputation as a great destination for food. Its members are committed to using local produce wherever possible, and providing a top-class service to visitors. This brings clear benefits to tourists, but it’s also vital for the tourism industry and for sustaining and creating jobs.”