Irish Food Writers Awards 2011

These are an annual event and do not always get a lot of coverage. However their selection of artisan producers in each category of awards cannot be argued. This years branded product winners were:

Janet’s County Fayre – Beetroot Blush

I have seen these a couple of times in various deli’s and specialist retailers so must purchase some next time – chutneys and associated foods not my thing but I know someone who will appreciate this! Their website is here.

This is a Marmalade from them which I saw in the Shortis Wong Deli in Kilkenny


This long running business won this awards for their dedication to sourcing their oats from farmers in the local towns and villages around their mills. Their website is here.

I covered them on Biabeag previously when they were part of Waterfords Harvest festival last Autumn.

You can see full details of the awards on the Irish Food Writers site.



Wonder would this be viable in Ireland? Next Big Small Brand contest

Liking this a lot. Came across it via a link from Liza de Guia’s post in the Huffington Post (I was picked up via an automated twitter search box as far as I can tell).

I already follow Liza because of her brilliant Food Curated video series and she has done the clips for the second annual Next Big Small Brand content which is coming up in Brooklyn Brewery on the 12th January. I now have a 2012 goal – get to the 3rd one.

What does it do: “offers enterprising individuals who show great culinary promise a chance to win all the ingredients needed to launch their brand into food superstardom.”

It is run by the Rooster Design Group and offers brand, marketing, PR and advertising prizes for the winner. Eric Child from was the winner in 2009.


BBC 2010 Food and Farming Awards

The BBC Food program is one of the few podcasts I listen to regularly and a recent piece on these Awards caught my attention. It focused on a new category for drinks (everything from smoothies and juices to beers and spirits) and featured interviews with the 3 shortlisted businesses.

The following are the 2 relevant winners from the awards (by relevant I mean food brands as opposed to restaurants etc). You can see the full listing here.

Best Food Producer: Alex Gooch Organics

“Over the next eight hours, with the World Service for company, Gooch, 28, makes his slow-fermented loaves — the ryes and sourdoughs, fruit and olive breads, focaccia and ciabatta — all with their own live yeast cultures, which bubble and burp away like small volcanoes, scenting the air with beery warmth. The different cultures not only leaven the breads but create their distinctive characteristics.”

Extract from

Best Drinks Producer: Wye Valley Brewery

“Wye Valley Brewery is a family-run business dedicated to brewing the best cask-conditioned beer possible and championing pubs as important parts of local communities. We use only the finest quality raw materials – sourced locally wherever possible – and are proud to be recognised as the leading cask ale brewery in the county.”

Extract from their website


The Megabytes Awards 2010 from Sally and John McKenna

Calling out the best is one of the stepping stones to improving standards and The Bridgestone Guide is a veteran in the support of good, local Irish food.

On 30th Dec they posted up their 2010 awards and they are extracted below:

Artisan of the Year: Anna Leveque, Triskel Farmhouse Cheeses, Portlaw, County Waterford

Restaurant of the Year: Harry’s Bar & Restaurant, Bridgend, Inishowen, County Donegal

Chef of the Year: Mickael Viljanen, Gregn’s Castle, County Clare

Inspiration of the year: Michael Kelly, GIY Ireland

Man of the Year: Jack McCarthy, McCarthy’s Butchers, Kanturk, County Cork

Farmer of the Year: Jimmy & Bernadine Mulhall, Coolanowle Farm, County Laois

Retailer of the Year: Ardkeen Stores, Waterford

New Food Award of the Year: Highbank Orchard Syrup, Cuffesgrange, County Kilkenny

Newcomer of the Year: Tastefully Yours, Dunhill, County Waterford (Update – have done an Irish FoodBase entry for them –

Food County of the Year: County Kilkenny (some relevant links:,

Megabytes 2011 Award: Clanwood Farm, County Offaly

Megabytes Achievement Award: Field’s Supermarket, Skibbereen, West Cork

Some of those I am familiar with, others are new to me.

Very happy to have played a part in the foodcamp which is referred to as part of the Kilkenny award and fully determined (along with a host of others) to continue to encourage the spread of artisan, local and small scale food production and consumtion in Kilkenny.


A couple of artisan food award winners

James Whelan Butchers

From Clonmel comes a website selling meat from farm to plate – Aberdeen Angus and Hereford beef to be specific. A 2010 revamp of their online presence (which for years has allowed consumers to purchase directly from them) won them the Retail Excellence award at the recent Golden Spiders.


Hot Irishman

On Friday evening this Carlow based business won the 2010 Irish Exporters Association Emerging Exporters award. A well deserved win by the husband and wife team who started this business in 1999.

Congrats to both businesses.