Six artisan food producers were honoured as part of the annual Irish Food Writers’ Guild (IFWG) awards together with the guild’s first posthumous award, which saluted Irish craft beer guru, Oliver Hughes, co-founder of the Porterhouse brewery pubs, who died suddenly last year at the age of 57. Since 1993, the awards have celebrated artisan producers considered central to Ireland’s reputation in fine food and drink at home and abroad.
This year’s winners are The Friendly Farmer for pasture-reared chickens, Ummera Irish Smokehouse for its smoked silver hill duck breast and Cuinneog for Irish farmhouse country butter and natural buttermilk. Bertha’s Revenge Irish Milk Gin won the drink award and Mag Kirwan of Goatsbridge Trout Farm received a special contribution to Irish food award.
IFWG chair Aoife Carrigy said the winners have created sustainable family businesses, continued and built upon the work of their forefathers or collaborated with like-minded people to create products of an exceptional standard. The common thread that binds them is their mutual respect for tradition and the forward-thinking approach they take to their craft.
Carrigy thanked Bord Bia for its support of the awards and its work on the home and export markets to promote and develop Irish food. The awards were hosted at the two-Michelin-star Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, with a lunch devised and prepared by chef and co-owner Guillaume Lebrun, who incorporated the products of each winner into the day’s menu.
Since their launch almost a quarter of a century ago, the awards became one of the first of its kind in the country. No one can enter themselves or their product into the awards and no company knows it has been nominated or shortlisted for an award.
The guild is the sole nominating and decision-making body.
For more on this year’s six IFWG award winners click on…