Whether you are in the mood for a pub grub meal, a food truck snack or a culinary haven experience, here are the good food winners to visit this weekend
Founded by Margaret Jeffares in 2006, Good Food Ireland has become inextricably linked with quality Irish food and is today, the Trustmark for Irish food and drink experiences on the Island. This week, Good Food Ireland celebrated the food industry with an awards lunch at The K Club in Kildare and the guest list read like a who’s who of Irish food and drink. Craving an excellent Irish food experience this weekend? This is where to find it.
Shop of the Year: Firecastle, Kildare Town
Open since September 2023, Firecastle in Kildare town is an artisan grocery, café, bakery, delicatessen and gift shop with ten boutique guest bedrooms too. Described as a “food lovers paradise”, Firecastle stocks a range of freshly baked bread, a range of Irish Artisan foods, fresh and dried flowers, Irish ceramics and a selection scented candles and diffusers. wwwfirecastle.ie
Pub of the Year: Mikey Ryan’s, Cashel
The narrow terraced building that houses Mikey Ryan’s has enjoyed a colourful history but it’s the ingrained culinary tradition that has lingered. The current owners kept many of the original 19th Century features and it was recognized for its commitment to serving delicious food and creating a welcoming atmosphere for its customers. www.mikeyryans.ie
Food Truck of the Year: Seabiscuit, The Strand Cahore, Wexford
An award winning licensed bar and restaurant, with a history spanning more than 80 years, The Strand Cahore has a lot to offer in the culinary league but it was the food truck, Seabiscuit that impressed the judges at The Good Food Ireland Awards. From hot and cold drinks to scones, blondies, pizza and Irish coffee, the menu is eclectic and the locations is stunning. www.thestrandcahore.ie
Café of the Year: Farmhouse Café and Bakery, Dublin 12
With its own farm supplying the produce, it’s no wonder that The Farmhouse Café on Dublin’s Long Mile Road wowed the judges so much. From breakfast classics, to doorstep sandwiches and proper bread to take home, The Farmhouse should be a legal requirement in every Irish town. The bread subscription service is genius too. www.farmhousecafe.ie
Hotel of the Year: The Europe Hotel and Resort, Killarney
One of the most prominent jewels in Killarney’s hotel crown, The Europe Hotel won not only Hotel of the Year, but also the prestigious Supreme Award of the Year at the 2023 Good Food Ireland Awards. With an impressive array of facilities, luxurious surroundings and a mesmerising, panoramic view over the Killarney Lakes, it’s easy to see why. www.theeurope.com
Culinary Haven of the Year: Ballymaloe House Hotel, Cork
Ballymaloe House Hotel certainly needs no introduction, so it was no surprise that it was awarded Culinary Haven of the Year. Culinary accolades aside, one can only hope to be a resident on a sunny day when the outdoor pool is open. www.ballymaloe.ie
Restaurant of the Year: Woodruff, Stepaside
With an ethos that strives to showcase the best of what Ireland has to offer, focusing on provenance, seasonality and sustainability, Woodruff, the multi award winning restaurant in Stepaside, have certainly earned their award. The €35 lunch or early bird menu is money well spent. www.woodruff.ie
Bakery of the Year: Jinny’s Bakery and Tea Rooms, Drumshanbo, Leitrim
Starting out as a bakery, the Jinny’s brand was destined for bigger things. From humble beginnings, selling 16 loaves of bread in one week, Jinny’s has come full circle and now supplies bread to SuperValu, Centra, Tesco, Gala among others and is available online and in seventy locations nationwide. A Tea Rooms, on the shores of Acres Lake eventually joined the family with fresh bread daily (obviously) and vegetables and salads coming straight from the onsite polytunnels.www.jinnys.ie
More culinary champions who recieved awards on the day.
Culinary Haven of the Year Special Award Winner was Killeavy Castle Estate, Armagh while there were also sustainability awards for Brooklodge & Macreddin village in Wicklow and O’ Shea Farms in Kilkenny.
The Meat Producer of the Year was awarded to Market House, Ennistymon, Co. Clare while The Fruit and Vegetable producer of the Year winner was The Apple Farm, Tipperary.
The Fish & Seafood Producer of the Year was awarded to Realt Na Mara Shellfish in Kerry and the drinks producer of the year winner was Five Farms Irish Cream, in Cork. Killowen Farm, Wexford won Dairy Producer of The Year while Wild Irish Foragers & Preservers, Offaly won Jams and Savoury producer of the Year.
The Producer of the Year award went to The Apple Farm, Tipperary and the Excellence in Food Tourism Award went to Ballymaloe Cookery School Organic Farm & Gardens, Cork.
The Food Lover’s Choice Award Winners were The Lifeboat Inn, Cork, Brogan’s Butchers, Meath, Wilde Irish Chocolates, Clare, Keogh’s Farm Crisps, Dublin and Bushmills Inn, Antrim.
The Outstanding Contribution to Food Production Winner was Eamon Sheehan of Bawnlusk Dairy Farm, Kilkenny while The Outstanding Contribution to Irish Food and Drink Internationally award winner was London based chef, Anna Haugh.
The Lifetime Achievement Award Winner was Declan Ryan of Arbutus Bread.