Chef Jess Murphy of Kai in Galway has been announced as the Blas na hÉireann Producers’ Champion 2019 at a breakfast briefing in Urchin, downstairs in the Cliff Townhouse on St. Stephen’s Green.
The Producers’ Champion is selected annually by Blas na hÉireann producers, based on a survey that goes out to the entire Blas network. The network covers every county in Ireland, with producers represented from across the food industry.
Nominees for Producers’ Champion are put forward by producers early in the year when they are simply asked to nominate the individual they believe is representing and supporting their produce and the produce of other Irish food makers and growers in an effective and helpful way.
Previous winners include Neven Maguire, Simon Coveney T.D., John and Sally McKenna and Shane McArdle.
New Zealand-born chef Jess Murphy has lived in Ireland since 2003 and has been based in Galway since 2005, where she opened Kai with her Irish-born husband, Dave Murphy, in 2011. The philosophy at Kai is to focus on sourcing fresh, organic produce from local suppliers to create daily menus entirely dependent on what is fresh and in stock from the Kai family of producers.
“Our suppliers have become our friends,” said Jess Murphy, “and our extended family. Kai reflects Galway’s Sea Road and the west community of locals, artists and hungry eaters, as well as being a showcase for amazing local farmers, cheese makers and suppliers”
“Jess Murphy is a natural ally for producers all over the country,” said Artie Clifford, chairman of Blas na hÉireann. “She recognises quality and is happy to support it, both in her restaurant, on her social media channels, in her column and through her other activities. She is a true advocate and supporter of Irish ingredients and Irish producers.”