TheTaste were fortunate enough to attend The Irish Food Writers’Guild Food Awards 2015, now in it’s 21st year last Wednesday, hosted by Ross Bannon Golden in the beautiful surroundings of Derry and Sally Anne Clarke’s L’Ecrivain.
Food provenance and authenticity were top of the agenda at this year’s Irish Food Writers’ Guild Food Awards, as seven food producers were awarded and honoured for the high standard and impeccable quality of their products, as well as for their unwavering dedication, devotion and commitment to Irish food. Special mention was also given to producers who embraced sustainable practices and techniques. The awards celebrate homegrown producers, organisations or individuals, whilst also celebrating the heroes who have devoted – and are continuing to devote – their lives to supporting and promoting Irish food.
Lizzie Gore-Grimes, Chairperson of the IFWG said, “The origin of food and drink products is becoming an increasingly important and influential factor for consumers; more and more we are seeing ‘local’and ‘homemade’ as key factors in their decision-making process. What’s more, as the consumers’knowledge and interest in food provenance grows, so too does the need for complete transparency on the part of the producer. The stronger the story behind the brand and the more that is known about its origin, the greater the connection between the consumer and the product.
“All of our winners are flying the flag for food provenance this year. They come to the market with products that are real, authentic and bursting with honest-to-goodness quality. The quiet success of these seven winners is in no small part due to the richness of their produce, the strength of their story and the passion of the people behind them. What may initially have started as a labour of love for our award winners is now reaping the rewards today. All of our winners are wonderful ambassadors for Irish food, and I am certain that they will remain key players in maintaining Ireland’s enviable reputation on an international stage.”
There were seven awards presented in total which are considered the most prestigious of their type in Irelands. They were supported by Bord Bia, which was commended by the Guild for its tireless support of the Irish food industry both in Ireland and abroad are considered the most prestigious of their type in Ireland
The 2015 IFWG Food Award winners are Cork’s On the Pig’s Back, Skeaghanore Farm Fresh Ducks from Ballydehob and Wexford’s Wild About Foods. A special Irish Drink Award was presented to Richmount Elderflower Cordial from Co Longford, while Foods of Athenry claimed the Guild’s Environmental Award, with the Guild recognising the integrity of the production methods in their ‘Free From’ product range.
Birgitta Curtin of Burren Smokehouse was honoured for her notable contribution to Irish food, she is seen as an extraordinarily energetic ambassador for Irish produce at international trade fairs and promotions, where she never misses an opportunity to raise the profile of Irish food. While Veronica Molloy of Crossogue Preserves won the Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to growing on the home farm and the consistent innovation of her range of artisan Irish preserves over 20 years.
This was the final year the awards will be hosted in L’Ecrvain, as Derry and Sally Anne pass the gauntlet onto Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud after 10 years of unfaltering support for the Guild.