We list food and drink producers flying the flag for Ireland with international awards

We list food and drink producers flying the flag for Ireland with international awards

From Eyeries, on West Cork’s Beara Peninsula, the producers of Milleens Dote cheese are thrilled to have won a two-star 2019 Great Taste award, as well as a one-star for their Dunnes Stores Céad cheese.

Norman and Veronica Steele started cheese-making here in the mid-1970s, when there were 900 dairy farmers on the Beara Peninsula.

“Today, there are just four,” says their son, Quinlan, working with his wife Deirdre, running a beef herd and continuing the cheesemaking business, by buying in milk produced by other farmers.

His parents started making butter and yogurt. Norman grew a lot of vegetables, and made salami, which they supplied to local restaurants.

“The only Irish cheese on the market at the time was processed cheese. They started making cheese, just to have it for themselves. Their Milleens Cheese was an instant hit and drew national attention.

“Myrtle Allen, and Declan Ryan of Arbutus Lodge, tasted it in Sneem, and they asked what is this, where’s it from, they were delighted there was an Irish cheese.”

Quinlan is hugely proud of his parents.

What they did changed the country. It gave air to the artisan food market. Today, there are 70 Irish farmhouse cheesemakers.

Aside from Great Taste Awards, Milleens Cheese also won a silver award in the World Cheese Awards this year for a buffalo milk version of Milleens. Last year, they took a gold award for their Milleens Céad cheese.

“It is an honour to win such awards,” says Quinlan. “But you can’t let it go to your head. Cheesemaking is a humble, hardworking job, and you have to get up next morning at 6 am and get on with it. But getting these global merit awards really does mean a lot to us.”

Equally thrilled, with her first-ever two-stars at the Great Taste Awards (the ‘Oscars of the food industry’), was Nuala Hickey. She won the award with a traditional Christmas cake made with her late mother’s recipe.

Nuala is a fourth-generation baker at Hickey’s Bakery, Clonmel. She has won numerous one-star Great Taste accolades, most recently for her seeded soda bread, sourdough, and rhubarb and orange cake.

Nuala made her winning Christmas cake in February, and Great Taste judges tried it in May. Winning the two stars is fabulous, she says.

“We know we do a good Christmas cake, we’ve been using the same recipe for nearly 30 years. But to have this award behind it now is massive.”

Nuala’s mother, Margaret, passed away in August. Her recipe was a traditional one, with dried fruit, lemon juice, rinds of oranges, and many other ingredients (“there are lots of ingredients in a good cake” says Nuala), as well as whiskey.

“We add whiskey every few weeks to keep the cake soft.”

Hickey’s bakery is famous for its barm brack, with Great British Bake Off queen Mary Berry even arriving this Halloween to bake barm brack at the original bakehouse. Nuala’s grandfather, Éamon Hickey, set up the business in 1900. “He started with a bakery, a grocery store and a spirit store, there was a snug on fair days.

“We still hold the licence to sell alcohol. I set up the café, I’ve been here since I left school in the late ’80s.”

Out of a record-breaking 12,772 entries sent in from over 100 countries this year, 4,943 were awarded a Great Taste accolade.

And 432 of these are based in Ireland, with the star breakdown as follows: ten Irish and eight Northern Irish products were rated three-star (less than 3% of entries achieve this rating); 101 Irish and 62 Northern Irish products were awarded two stars (less than 10% of entries are); while 321 Irish and 109 Northern Irish took home one-star awards (about 25% of entries achieve this).

In Great Taste terms, the stars translate as follows: three-star is “extraordinarily tasty food”; two-star is “above and beyond delicious”; and one-star is “food that delivers fantastic flavour” (visit greattasteawards.co.uk).

2019 Irish 3-star Great Taste winners

  • CORK

  • Signature Tastes Rosemary Sheep’s Cheese, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland, Tramore Road.
  • Signature Tastes Smoked Rack of Bacon, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland.
  • Longueville Mor Cider, Longueville House Beverages, Longueville House, Mallow.
  • DONEGAL

  • Creme Fraiche, Green Pastures Donegal, Convoy.
  • DUBLIN

  • Simply Better Free Range Spanish Ibérico Rack of Pork, Dunnes Stores, 46-50 South Great George’s Street.
  • KILDARE

  • Sabotage IPA, Trouble Brewing, Unit A, Old Mill Industrial Estate, Kill.
  • Roadworks IPA, Aldi Stores Ireland Ltd.
  • Specially Selected Irish Free Range Whole Goose, Aldi Stores Ireland Ltd.
  • MAYO

  • Elderberry and Star Anise Balsamic Vinegar, Wildwood Vinegars, Lissadrone, Ballina.
  • WEXFORD

  • Killowen Farm Greek Style Yogurt with Wexford Blackcurrant Compote, Killowen Farm (Greenvalley Farm), Enniscorthy.
  • 2019 Irish 2-star Great Taste winners
  • CARLOW

  • Beechwood Smoked Bacon, Coolanowle Organic Meats, Ballickmoyler.
  • CORK

  • Atlantic Dry Mead, Kinsale Mead Co, Unit 5, Barrack Lane, Kinsale.
  • Handmade Sweet Chilli Sauce, Folláin Teo, Cuil Aodha, Macroom.
  • North Cork Pure Irish Creamery Butter 454g, North Cork Creameries, Kanturk.
  • Signature Tastes Tomato Ketchup, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland.
  • Signature Tastes Buffalo Ricotta, Mushroom & Truffle Ravioli, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland.
  • Signature Tastes Cashel Blue Cheese, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland.
  • Signature Tastes Cooleeney, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland.
  • Signature Tastes Buffalo Mozarella, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland.
  • Supervalu Creme Fraiche, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland.
  • Supervalu Irish Hampshire Smoked Roasting Bacon Joint with Spiced Brown Sugar Glaze, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland.
  • Signature Tastes Round Christmas Cake, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland.
  • Supervalu Plain Scone, Musgrave Retail Partners.
  • Signature Tastes Herford Bone-in Rib Roast, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland.
  • Three Fools Coffee - Brazil - Cerrado De Minas, Three Fools Coffee, Grand Parade.
  • My Goodness “Gold Finger” Rain Water Kefir, My Goodness, Unit 2, Princes Market, The English Market.
  • Union Hall Smoked Irish Mackerel, Union Hall Smoked Fish, Union Hall, West Cork.
  • Irish Atlantic Salt – Pure & Natural, Irish Atlantic Salt Ltd, Cahermore, Beara.
  • Healy Family Blackcurrant Fruit Jam, Healys Honey, Maglin, Ballincollig.
  • Supervalu Signature Tastes Atlantic Hill Lamb Rump Roast with Herb Rub, Kepak Cork, Watergrasshill.
  • Pom’O Apple Port, Killahora Orchards Ltd, Killahora House, Glounthaune.
  • Milleens Dote, Milleens Cheese, Eyeries, Beara.
  • Confit of Duck Leg, Skeaghanore Duck, Ballydehob.
  • Gentle Slumber, Remedy Roots, Inspire Herbal Ltd, 7 Georges Quay.
  • DONEGAL

  • Sour Cream, Green Pastures, Convoy, Lifford.
  • Light Creme Fraiche, Green Pastures Donegal.
  • Goats Milk, Green Pastures Donegal.
  • Full Fat Natural Yoghurt, Green Pastures Donegal.
  • DUBLIN

  • Dunnes Stores Authentic Greek Strained Yogurt, Dunnes Stores, Dunnes Stores Product Development.
  • Great Oaks Irish Whiskey, Dunnes Stores.
  • Grafters Working Day IPA, Dunnes Stores.
  • Grafters Clocking Off Kolsch Style, Dunnes Stores.
  • Kerrygold Shortbread, Brogans Bakery Ltd, Unit E2, Chapelizod Industrial Estate.
  • Thai Red Chicken Curry 300g, Donnybrook Fair, Morehampton Foods, Cloverhill Industrial Estate, Clondalkin.
  • Dairy Manor 100% Irish creamery butter, Lidl Ireland.
  • Deluxe Confit Duck Legs, Lidl Ireland GmbH.
  • Deluxe Unsmoked Horseshoe, Lidl Ireland GmbH.
  • Deluxe Yellowfin Tuna, Lidl Ireland GmbH.
  • Deluxe Seafood Chowder, Lidl Ireland GmbH.
  • Pota Cuig Irish Wheat Vodka, Lidl Ireland Gmb.
  • Rio Verde - Yellow Catuai, Khanya Craft Coffee Limited, Suite 60 Premier Business Park, Ballycoolin.
  • Java Republic Rwandan, Java Republic, 510 Mitchelstown Road, Ballycoolin.
  • BBQ Pork Empanada, Mora Foods Ltd, Broombridge Business Centre.
  • Spinach & Cheese Empanada, Mora Foods Ltd.
  • Sweet Potato & Mushroom Guinness Empanada, Mora Foods Ltd.
  • FiXX Oslo, FiXX (Hancock & Abberton), Unit 9, Naas Road Business Park.
  • FiXX Seattle, FiXX (Hancock & Abberton).
  • Simply Better Aceto Balsamico Di Modena IGP - Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Dunnes Stores.
  • Simply Better Handmade Irish Brie, Rocket & Cranberry Quiche, Dunnes Stores.
  • Simply Better 28 Day Matured Irish Angus Rib Roast on the Bone, Dunnes Stores.
  • Simply Better Italian Made Mango & Passion Fruit Sorbet, Dunnes Stores.
  • Simply Better Irish Farmhouse Salted Caramel with Honeycomb Dairy Ice Cream, Dunnes Stores.
  • Simply Better Handmade Seville Orange Marmalade, Dunnes Stores.
  • Simply Better Irish Handmade Mixed Berry Preserve, Dunnes Stores.
  • Simply Better West Cork Irish Smoked Duck Breast, Dunnes Stores.
  • Warbler & Wren Little Bird, Findlater & Co, 79 Broomhill Road, Tallaght.
  • GALWAY

  • NoGrainOla Zingy Orange bar, Caveman Grub, Knock, Inverin.
  • Window to the Sea Wild Argentinian Prawns, Breizon Ltd, Old Coast Guard Station, Ballynahown.
  • KILDARE

  • Kavanagh’s Double Oat Granola, Aldi Stores Ireland.
  • Specially Selected Lamb Guard of Honour, Aldi Stores Ireland Ltd.
  • Specially Selected Fresh Salmon Side topped with Spices and Herbs, Aldi Stores.
  • Duneen Dairy Craft Yogurt Authentically Strained Greek Style Natural, Aldi Stores.
  • Specially Selected Cranberry, Apricot & Orange Stuffing, Aldi Stores.
  • Specially Selected Wild Mushroom Soup, Aldi Stores.
  • KILKENNY

  • Mileeven Pure Organic Honey, Mileeven Fine Foods, Owning Hill, Piltown.
  • LIMERICK

  • Attyflin Estate Rosette Apple Juice, Patrickswell.
  • Attyflin Estate Irish Apple Juice & Elderflower Infusion.
  • Truly Irish Dry Cured bacon piece, Truly Irish Country Foods Ltd, Desmond Bus Park, Newcastle West.
  • LOUTH

  • Louet Feisser Oysters, Carlingford Oyster Company Ltd, Mullatee, Carlingford.
  • Carlingford Oysters, Carlingford Oyster Company Ltd.
  • Jaggy Loko, Greenbean Coffee Roasters, Coe’s Road, Dundalk.
  • MEATH

  • Newgrange Gold Cold Pressed Irish Rapeseed Oil, Crewbane, Slane, Navan.
  • Waitrose Orange & Cardamom, Lir Chocolates, IDA Business Park, Johnstown, Navan.
  • MONAGHAN

  • Silver Hill Whole Fresh Duck, Emyvale.
  • ROSCOMMON

  • Dunnes Stores Simply Better Organic Harissa Spice Seasoning, Oliver Carty, Monksland Industrial Estate, Monksland, Athlone.
  • SuperValu Signature Taste Irish Hampshire Pork T-Bone Steak, Oliver Carty.
  • SuperValu Signature Taste Irish Hampshire Pork Lollipop Steak, Oliver Carty.
  • SuperValu Signature Irish Hampshire Easy Carve Gammon 5Kg, Oliver Carty.
  • SLIGO

  • Connacht Gold Garlic & Herb Butter 100g, Aurivo Consumer Foods Ltd, Finisklin Business Park, Finisklin.
  • TIPPERARY

  • Dunnes Stores Cashel Blue, Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers, J&L Grubb Ltd, Beechmount, Fethard.
  • Cashel Blue, Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers.
  • Crozier Blue, Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers.
  • Rib Eye Roast, James Whelan Butchers, 18 Staunton Row, Clonmel.
  • Pork Lard, James Whelan Butchers.
  • Easy Carve Heritage Cure Ham, James Whelan.
  • Rosemary Sea Salt & Vinegar Pork Fat, James Whelan.
  • Tipperary Gold Dry Aged Certified Irish Shorthorn Fillet Steak, ABP Cahir.
  • Tipperary Gold 50 day Dry Aged Certified Irish Angus Rib on the Bone, ABP Cahir.
  • Emerald Oils, Emerald Oils, New Inn, Cashel.
  • Hickeys Christmas Cake, Hickeys Bakery, Clonmel.
  • WESTMEATH

  • Greenes Free Range Eggs, Fentonmill Ltd, Rockfield, Rathowen, Mullingar.
  • Nana’s Rocky Road, Nana’s Bakery Limited, Technology and Innovation Centre, Mullingar.
  • WEXFORD

  • Killowen Farm Greek Style Yogurt with Lemon Curd Compote, Killowen Farm (Greenvalley Farm), Enniscorthy.
  • Killowen Farm Greek Style Yogurt with Wexford Rhubarb Compote.
  • Killowen Farm Greek Style Yogurt with Wexford Locally Grown Blackberry Compote.
  • Dry Cured Bacon Joint, O’Neills Dry Cure Bacon Co, Ferns, Enniscorthy.
  • Wexford Home Preserves Ave Maria Farm Seville Orange Marmalade, Wexford Home Preserves, Waterford Road Business Park, New Ross.
  • Wexford Home Preserves Wexford Blackcurrant Jam.
  • WICKLOW

  • Wicklow Extra Virgin Rapeseed Oil 500ml, Sussed Nutrition Limited, Hawkstown Lower, Wicklow Town.
  • Pura Vida, McCabe’s Coffee, Newtown MountKennedy.
  • Mocha Java, McCabe’s Coffee.

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