The winners of the Good Food Ireland® Awards were announced on Monday 17th April in a high profile business lunch at The K Club in County Kildare, attended by Guest of Honour Simon Coveney, T.D., Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment and some 300 guests including Irish and international chefs, buyers, food and drink writers, media and industry leaders.
The awards are unique in their cross-sector approach and core criteria around commitment to local Irish produce. They aim to enhance linkages between agriculture and tourism and present significant opportunities for stimulating local production, retaining tourism earnings in the local area, and improving the distribution of economic benefits of tourism to the four corners of the island.
County Cork took home the most awards of the afternoon. The iconic Ballymaloe House Hotel was named Culinary Haven of the Year and won the Excellence in Food Tourism award for its Cookery School Organic Farm & Gardens. Five Farms Irish Cream won Drinks Producer of the Year and The Lifeboat Inn won the public-voted Food Lovers Choice Award for the Wild Atlantic Way region.
Former chef, manager and hotel owner, Declan Ryan, who earned Ireland’s first Michelin star in 1974 alongside his wife Patsy at Arbutus Lodge, was presented with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his remarkable lifelong achievement across both the tourism hospitality sector and the food production sector.
The Europe Hotel & Resort in County Kerry received Supreme Award of The Year.
The country’s food producers are a key focus of the Good Food Ireland® Awards. Recognising producers for their premium produce and commitment to Irish provenance, and acknowledging those with a focus on environmental sustainability, preservation and collaboration with the local community.
The Apple Farm in Tipperary was named the overall Producer of the Year whilst Eamon Sheehan from Bawnlusk Dairy Farm in Kilkenny was recognised for Outstanding Contribution to Food Production.
Award winners were selected through mystery inspections and assessments of those businesses approved by Good Food Ireland and shortlisted by an independent panel of Irish and International leaders including Founder and Managing Director of Good Food Ireland® Margaret Jeffares, journalists John Wilson and Amii McKeever, IFAC Consultant Stephanie Walsh and Executive Chairman and Owner of Odyssey International Kevin Shannon. Members of the public also cast their votes online for their favourite places across the island of Ireland in the Food Lovers Choice Awards.
Returning for the first time since pre-Covid, the awards – proudly sponsored by Kerrygold, Irish Farmers Association, Bord Bia, Tourism Ireland and National Dairy Council – were opened by guest of honour, Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Anita Mendiratta, Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, delivered the afternoon’s Key Note speech.
Margaret Jeffares, Founder and Managing Director of Good Food Ireland® says: “There has been great excitement around the return of the Good Food Ireland® Awards this year. Each of those wonderful businesses who made the shortlist are a committed collection of passionate and driven people who genuinely capture the essence of Ireland’s food and drink. All the judges would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to today’s winners who we feel really do go above and beyond to inspire travellers, international consumers and locals to seek out real authenticity and Irish provenance.”
Paul Heery, General Manager of The K Club, added: “It has been an absolute pleasure to host today’s business lunch for the Good Food Ireland® Awards and see our hotel bursting with some of our country’s greatest food champions. Such hard work and passion goes into the production and provision of food and drink across our shores, to see that care and commitment properly recognised and the support businesses give to one another is a very special thing.”
Full list of 2023 GOOD FOOD IRELAND® AWARDS WINNERS:
HOTEL OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY IRISH HEREFORD PRIME
WINNER – THE EUROPE HOTEL & RESORT, KERRY
A best-in-class hotel, delivering a high-quality dining experience, showcasing seasonal Irish ingredients and food and drink produce across all areas. Together with an approach that celebrates Ireland’s rich traditions and hospitality.
CULINARY HAVEN OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY WATERFORD
WINNER – BALLYMALOE HOUSE HOTEL, CORK
This award recognises exceptional experience; in itself a food and drink destination that epitomises culinary excellence, highlighting the very best of local Irish produce
CULINARY HAVEN OF THE YEAR SPECIAL AWARD
WINNER – KILLEAVY CASTLE ESTATE, ARMAGH
RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY WATERFORD
WINNER – WOODRUFF RESTAURANT, DUBLIN
A strong emphasis on seasonal Irish ingredients, whereby the Chef’s creativity consistently demonstrates an aptitude for bringing out the integrity of the ingredients and successfully marrying those flavours as a complete dish. Warmth of hospitality, exceptional
CAFÉ OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY BALLYMALOE FOODS
WINNER – FARMHOUSE CAFÉ & BAKERY, DUBLIN
A clear demonstration of home-baked, in-house cooking or production with a passionate commitment to Irish produce, good old-fashioned Irish hospitality and a go to place for visitors and locals alike.
PUB OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY IRISHCENTRAL
WINNER – MIKEY RYAN’S BAR & KITCHEN, TIPPERARY
A pub that represents the very best of Irish food and culture, one that takes the Irish pub experience to a whole different level of excellence. Showcasing local Irish produce, with a consideration for traditional or speciality Irish dishes, supplemented by home-baked breads, cakes and desserts. A drinks selection of local Irish beers, spirits, drinks and beverages including Irish fruit cordials and juice, complemented by Irish Snacks and Crisps. A pub where people are immersed in another world of warmth, conversation, laughter and fun. What we Irish call ‘the craic’.
SHOP OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY IRISHCENTRAL
WINNER – FIRECASTLE, KILDARE
A Shop offering a selection of quality Irish food and/or drink, that shares the stories of the people and places behind it. A shop that celebrates Irish biodiversity and creates a better environment for cooking, eating and beyond.
FOOD TRUCK OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY THE FIRM HOSPITALITY RECRUITMENT
WINNER – SEABISCUIT AT THE STRAND CAHORE, WEXFORD
A food truck or trailer with a clear demonstration for Irish ingredients and produce, delivering a personal and trusting experience, bringing community together, energising the local economy and driving tourism to the specific area.
SUSTAINABILITY AWARD – SPONSORED BY KERRYGOLD
TOURISM HOSPITALITY WINNER – BROOKLODGE & MACREDDIN VILLAGE, WICKLOW
FOOD PRODUCTION WINNER – O’ SHEA FARMS, KILKENNY
Through the Good Food Ireland® philosophy every approved business contributes to economic sustainability, benefitting local communities and safeguarding the future livelihoods of local people. This Award goes even further, recognising businesses for their environmental or social sustainability, businesses that have developed and implemented clean production initiatives and sustainable practices, demonstrating how they are helping to protect Ireland’s environment and greater wellbeing for the long-term benefit of all.
This Award recognises producers for their premium produce and commitment to Irish provenance, leading the field in their production ethos, cultivation and catch practices and the top-quality produce it results in. We’ve acknowledged producers with a focus on environmental sustainability, preservation and collaboration with the local community.
MEAT PRODUCER OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY IFAC
WINNER – MARKET HOUSE ENNISTYMON, CLARE
FRUIT & VEGETABLE PRODUCER OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY IFAC
WINNER – THE APPLE FARM, TIPPERARY
FISH & SEAFOOD PRODUCER OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY ROE & CO
WINNER – REALT NA MARA SHELLFISH, KERRY
DRINKS PRODUCER OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY THE K CLUB
WINNER – FIVE FARMS IRISH CREAM, CORK
DAIRY PRODUCER OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY THE K CLUB
WINNER – KILLOWEN FARM, WEXFORD
JAMS & SAVOURY PRODUCER OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY ROE & CO
WINNER – WILD IRISH FORAGERS & PRESERVERS, OFFALY
BAKERY & CHOCOLATE PRODUCER OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY ROE & CO
WINNER – JINNY’S BAKERY & TEA ROOMS, LEITRIM
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY IFA
WINNER – THE APPLE FARM, TIPPERARY
EXCELLENCE IN FOOD TOURISM AWARD – SPONSORED BY TOURISM IRELAND
WINNER – BALLYMALOE COOKERY SCHOOL ORGANIC FARM & GARDENS, CORK
This Award recognises food and drink producers, providers, cooking schools, food attractions, farm gate experiences, trails or other food tourism experiences featuring Irish produce as the core component.
FOOD LOVERS CHOICE AWARD –SPONSORED BY FBD INSURANCE
WILD ATLANTIC WAY WINNER – THE LIFEBOAT INN, CORK
IRELAND’S ANCIENT EAST WINNER – BROGAN’S BUTCHERS, MEATH
IRELAND’S HIDDEN HEARTLANDS WINNER – WILDE IRISH CHOCOLATES, CLARE
DUBLIN WINNER – KEOGH’S FARM CRISPS, DUBLIN
NORTHERN IRELAND WINNER – BUSHMILLS INN, ANTRIM
The Good Food Ireland® Food Lovers Choice award gives you, the public an opportunity to vote for your favourite business across the island of Ireland. The shortlist for each location will be drawn from the finalists in all other categories, placing them in their relevant tourism area throughout the island.
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO FOOD PRODUCTION – SPONSORED BY NATIONAL DAIRY COUNCIL
WINNER – EAMON SHEEHAN, BAWNLUSK DAIRY FARM, KILKENNY
Farming is the backbone of Ireland’s Agri-food business, boosting our tourism industry and supporting the economy of our rural environments. This honorary award is in recognition and celebration of the thousands of farmers, for their steadfast contribution to food production on our island and the measures being put in place to farm more sustainably. It highlights the importance of farming not just economically, but its generational legacy and cultural contribution to Irish tourism and the wider community.
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO IRISH FOOD AND DRINK INTERNATIONALLY – SPONSORED BY BORD BIA
WINNER – ANNA HAUGH, LONDON, UK
This award honours individuals/businesses internationally for their contribution to Food Brand Ireland. Where their creativity and drive in the sourcing and promotion of Irish food/drink has effected much change, enhanced commercial export opportunities for Ireland’s food and drink businesses and inspired reasons to believe.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – SPONSORED BY PURE CORK
WINNER – DECLAN RYAN, CORK
In recognition of a remarkable lifelong achievement across both the tourism hospitality sector and the food production sector.
SUPREME AWARD OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY KERRYGOLD®
WINNER – THE EUROPE HOTEL & RESORT, KERRY