Sargent: restaurants are farmers’ ambassadors

Speaking at yesterday’s Good Food Ireland Awards, Minister for Food and Horticulture Trevor Sargent made the point that restaurants and hotels are ambassadors for Irish farmers. This is something which can be simply ignored, taken for granted – or, more proactively, celebrated, with those in the hospitality industry becoming directly involved with the producers.

Good Food Ireland highlights the people and places that are committed to using Irish foods, through their website, touring maps and the annual awards. They aim to help tourists, both Irish and international, make informed choices about the food they eat, whether taking coffee in a small café, staying at a hotel, buying from a farm shop or participating in a cookery school class.

Their annual award ceremony acts as a showcase, with this year’s artisan picnic using products from over 30 members, including organic pappardelle from Noodle House, Louise Clarke‘s rosewater meringues, savoury bacon and cabbage mouthfuls from Caroline Rigney‘s rare breeds and Pat Whelan‘s supremely tender beef fillet. It is an opportunity to try a variety of top quality Irish foods, to meet the people responsible for producing them and to talk to those who showcase these products in their establishments.

Congratulations to all winners, benchmark members in their categories, especially to New Member of the Year, Café Rua, and to Jean and Peter at Glebe Gardens and café who took the Top Regional Member (South) award.

Good Food Ireland AwardsNew Member of the Year: Rua Deli, Bakery & Café, Co MayoBest Next Generation Award: Kelly’s of Newport, Co MayoBest use of Sustainable Local Fish: Connemara Smokehouse, GalwayTop Regional Member (North): Lough Erne Golf Resort, Co FermanaghTop Regional Member (South): Glebe Gardens and Café, Co CorkTop Regional Member (East): Ballyknocken House Cookery School, Co WicklowTop Regional Member (West): Doonbeg Resort Spa, Co ClareIreland Environmental Energy Efficiency: Monart Destination Spa, Co WexfordHost of the Year Award: Claire Nash of Nash 19 Restaurant, CorkBest Producer Award: The Burren Smokehouse, Co ClarePerson of the Year Award: Shared – Maurice Keller of the Arlington Lodge Country House Hotel, Co Waterford and Peter Ward of Country Choice Nenagh, Co Tipperary.Top Overall Member Award: Rathmullan House, Co Donegal



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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