Cork’s reputation as the food capital of Ireland was confirmed yesterday at the 2014 Irish Food Writers’ Guild Food Awards, with six of the seven awards going to producers, organisations or individuals based in the county.
Myrtle Allen of Ballymaloe received a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to culinary excellence since the 1960s.
Announcing the winners, Lizzie Gore Grimes, chairperson of the IFWG, said: “Cork is flying the flag at this year’s awards and the guild has discovered some truly wonderful products and innovative organisations in the south of the country that just couldn’t be ignored . . . Over the past 20 years we have celebrated over 100 producers, individuals and organisations from every county in Ireland, but today belongs to the county of Cork, which has swept the board for its exceptional food credentials.”
Seven awards, including an inaugural Drink Award, were presented at an industry celebration at l’Ecrivain Restaurant in Dublin, where executive chef Derry Clarke created a lunch incorporating the award-winning products.
Among the 2014 IFWG Food Award winners are Cork’s Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms, Coolea Matured Farmhouse Cheese and Irish Atlantic Sea Salt.
Stonewell Cider (Co Cork) claimed the Guild’s inaugural Drink Award and Dermot Carey and David Langford were awarded for their notable contribution to Irish food for their expansive Heritage Irish Potato Collection.
An Environmental Award was presented to Responsible Irish Fish (Co Cork) for its commitment to the development of sustainable fishing practices.
Top nosh winners
Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms:
Lucy Creegan and Mark Cribben, Ballyhoura, Co Cork, who have a background and well-honed skills in food science, grow a wide range of varieties.
Coolea Matured Farmhouse Cheese:
Since 1979, the Willems family in Macroom has been making cheese with milk sourced from two local farmers.
Irish Atlantic Sea Salt:
Aileen and Michael O’Neill, Beara, Co Cork.
Michael and Aileen O’Neill’s salt flakes produced from Grade A seawater are unpolluted.
Daniel and Géraldine Emerson, Kinsale, Co Cork.
Chosen for the guild’s first-ever drink award, Stonewell Cider is made by Daniel Emerson and his wife Géraldine.
Heritage Irish Potato Collection:
Dermot Carey and David Langford.
Heritage potato grower David Langford in 2006 teamed up with organic vegetable grower, Dermot Carey.
Responsible Irish Fish – Environmental Award:
Frank Fleming, Castletownbere.
Developed and run by members committed to the development of responsible, sustainable fishing practices, high quality and traceability.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved