The winners of the 2019 Euro-Toques Food Awards have been announced, at a ceremony in Gooseberry Gardens, Virginia Park Lodge on 27th May.
The awards, presented by EirGrid, were introduced by chef Richard Corrigan and food writer & author Caroline Hennessy. Five awards were presented under the categories Water, Land, Farm, Dairy and Artisan Produce with six awards presented under the category Craft, which this year recognises smaller growers.
Established in 1996 by the members of the Euro-Toques Ireland Food Council, based on an original idea by Myrtle Allen, the Euro-Toques Food Awards are held annually to recognise and celebrate the best food being produced in Ireland. The awards give Euro-Toques member chefs the opportunity to nominate the farmers, growers, fishermen and women, and food producers who mean most to them.
This year, every winner was presented with a piece of bespoke pottery from Fermoyle Pottery, each piece representing their award category.
The ceremony was followed by a garden lunch that included this year’s winners and an opportunity for over 50 producers to showcase their products. Over 150 industry stakeholders, chefs, owners and oeprators were in attendance.
This is the tenth year that EirGrid, operator of the national electricity transmission system, is partnering with Euro-Toques. Mark Foley, chief executive of EirGrid, said: “This enduring partnership reflects the importance of the farming community to the work we do as Ireland’s electricity transmission operator. Without the support and cooperation of the farming community, we would not be able to deliver secure and reliable electricity to homes and businesses throughout the country.”
“Our awards are always a highlight of Ireland’s annual food event calendar with many chefs, writers, and consumers taking note of them in Ireland and further afield,” said the Head of the Euro-Toques Ireland Food Council Anthony O’Toole. “As chefs, this is our opportunity to continue what Myrtle Allen started many years ago and celebrate those who grow, farm and produce with integrity and flavour in mind. We are very lucky to have access to exceptionally good, clean and fair food on this fertile island. Our congratulations to all recipients, whom we welcome to the Euro-Toques Ireland community. We will continue to encourage all our fellow chefs to support current and previous winners through their menus.”
This year’s award winners are:
Water: Connemara Seaweed Company – for their range of hand-harvested and sustainably produced seaweed-based products.
Land: Bumblebee Flower Farm – for their sustainably produced edible flowers, grown in respect of biodiversity.
Farm: Castlemine Farm for their pasture-fed dry-aged beef, lamb and rare breed pork, reared and butchered with a traditional sustainable approach.
Dairy: The Village Dairy – for their locally sourced fresh, organic & Jersey milk, cream and buttermilk
Artisan Produce: Ballyminane Mill – for their stone-ground wholemeal flour, produced in respect of an ancient tradition.
Craft: Ballyholey Farm (Donegal); Glensallagh Gardens (Cork); Gorse Farm (Wexford); Iona Farm (Dublin); New Leaf Urban Farmers (Limerick); Garrai Glas Farm (Galway) – for growing varietal fruits, herbs and vegetables in an organic, biodynamic or chemical-free way.