The annual EirGrid Euro-Toques Food Awards took place this Monday 15th June.
This year the awards received the highest number of nominations from chefs for artisan food producers since the awards’ inception in 2005. The nominated producers covered a wide array of categories, from artisanal beers and spirits to hand-cooked crisps, brand new farmhouse cheeses, and grass-fed poultry. The winners ranged from brand new businesses to multi-generational.
The winners are as follows:
- Siobhan Ní Ghairbhith for her St Tola Irish Goat Cheese (a range which includes unique products such as the mature raw St Tola Log and the multi-award-winning St Tola Ash Log).
- Sinead O’Brien for ‘Mungo Murphy’s (hand-harvested) Seaweed
- Shana Wilkie for her ‘bean to bar’ organic chocolate (formerly on the production desk of the Tribune, Shana swapped newspapers for single origin organic criollo cocoa beans from Peru. Knowing her cocoa farmers by name, Shana was the first in Ireland making chocolate from bean to bar).
- Rod and Julie Calder-Potts for their Highbank Orchards Orchard Syrup (from the fourth generation Kilkenny farm, whose organic orchard produces some fine brandy-style apple spirit, gin and cider).
- Padraig and Anthony Farrelly’s for Farrelly’s Butchers and Abattoir (one of the few butchers in the country with their own abattoir, the Farrelly brothers offer breeds, cuts and carcasses to order. They know the farmers and the animals they work with and even explore experimental breeds from time to time).
Speaking about the awards, Euro-Toques Ireland Commissioner General Wade Murphy said: “The artisan sector in Ireland has grown so much in the last 10 years, there’s almost nothing Irish artisans don’t produce at this stage. This year’s awards have really shown where the standard is at in this country and I expect to see even more new producers and new products this time next year.”
David Martin, Head of Communications at Awards sponsor EirGrid, commented: “In our business we come into contact with every sector but we’re especially proud to support these awards. Small business owners are the lifeblood of the local economy and small producers in particular are the lifeblood of the rural community. They truly are amazing people in what they contribute to food, the economy, the environment and life in Ireland and we’re delighted to be able to recognise their enormous achievements, as individuals and as a sector.”
The awards are voted on by the members of Euro-Toques Ireland, a community of cooks and chefs established in 1986 by Myrtle Allen, who subscribe to the highest standards in sourcing ingredients and culinary excellence. Members include chefs such as Ross Lewis, Kevin Thornton, Derry Clarke, Sunil Ghai, Neven Maguire, Guillaume LeBrun, Wade Murphy, Gary O’Hanlon and Darina Allen.