The winners of the 24th annual Irish Food Writers Guild (IFWG) Food Awards have been announced, as part of a lunch hosted at the two Michelin star Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud.
New to these awards this year is a Community Food Award, which highlights an organisation or individual working with food that has embraced an ethos of social responsibility to an exemplary level.
The full list of this year's winners is as follows:
- Food Award: Connemara Smokehouse Smoked Mackerel, Co. Galway
- Food Award: Wildwood Balsamics range, Co. Mayo
- Food Award: Baltimore Bacon, Co. Cork
- Irish Drink Award: Cockagee Pure Irish Keeved Cider, Co. Meath
- Organisation Award: McNally Family Farm, Co. Dublin
- Environmental Award: Inagh Farmhouse Cheese (St Tola Irish Goat Cheese), Co. Clare
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Ferguson Family of Gubbeen Farmhouse, Co. Cork
- Community Food Award: Sligo Global Kitchen, Co. Sligo
The lunch was devised and prepared by chef and co-owner Guillaume Lebrun, who incorporated the produce of each winner into his menu. The Community Food Award was presented by Hermione Winters, President of Slow Food Ireland.
The IFWG Food Awards are unique, as no one can enter themselves or their product into the awards and no company knows it has been nominated or shortlisted for an award. Products are bought and paid for and a formal tasting meeting takes place where members vote, using proportional representation. The Guild is the sole nominating and decision making body - the exception to this is the Community Food Award, for which the Guild invites nominations every year from the general public as well as their own members.
“The winners of this year’s awards give a great sense of what Ireland’s best food producers can achieve with the island’s ‘raw materials’: flavours that are sometimes bold, sometimes subtle, but always pure and natural in their expression from our fields, orchards, hedgerows, mountains and waters. The Guild is proud to champion these artisanal producers from all over the country,” said Aoife Carrigy, chairperson of the IFWG.
Aoife went on to thank Bord Bia on behalf of the Guild for its support of the awards.