An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD presided over the 6th annual Good Food Ireland Awards ceremony. Over 300 guests including hoteliers, restaurateurs and artisan food producers were in attendance for the Awards, which are now a firm fixture in the food and travel awards calendar. RTÉ’s Mary Kennedy hosted the Awards ceremony.
Enda Kenny said: “I am delighted to congratulate the winners of Good Food Ireland Awards 2012. Each winner showcases the unique taste and flavour of indigenous Irish foods, which is delivered with consistently high quality and our traditionally warm and friendly service to customers.
“More and more, Irish counties, towns and villages are becoming associated with their locally produced and artisan food and these are a unique selling point to our visiting tourists. This evening’s event recognises the very hard work of those in the food and hospitality sector and highlights the potential of food tourism. It also marks how critical this sector is to our economy and how it will be at the heart of our economic recovery.”
The Good Food Ireland Supreme Award sponsored by Kerrygold went to Aniar Restaurant Galway, the newest recipient of a Michelin Star and the only one in the West. Other winners on the night included The Foods of Athenry for Producer of the Year; Restaurant FortyOne at Residence for Restaurant of the Year; The Food Store in Mayo for Local Food Shop of the Year; and Kai Café and Restaurant won the Food Lover’s Choice Award, which was voted on by the public.
Renvyle House Hotel won Culinary Haven of the Year and Café Rua in Mayo won Café of the Year. Hargadon’s in Sligo won Food Pub of the Year. The winner of this year’s ‘Come and See’ Producer of the Year is The Apple Farm in Tipperary – this award recognises the producer that encourages the visitor to experience, learn and understand their product in an engaging way.
Sage Café in Midleton and Mount Juliet were joint winners of the Newcomer of the Year in the South award; Harte’s Bar and Grill in Kildare won Newcomer to the East award; Balloo House won Newcomer to the North; and Aniar won Newcomer to the West. Aniar also won overall Newcomer of the Year Award. Farmgate in Midleton won Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year.
Margaret Jeffares, Founder and Managing Director of Good Food Ireland, said: “This year’s winners showcase the growing innovation and high standards in Irish ingredient-led cuisine. They reflect the culture of our island and can stand up to the best food experience anywhere in the world.”