Just Ask - Supplier of the Year
Gannet Fishmongers in Galway has received the most nominations in a survey conducted among leading Irish restaurant owners and chefs, who were asked to identify their ‘Supplier of the Year’. The survey was conducted among previous recipients of Bord Bia’s Just Ask! Awards, a campaign that aims to encourage diners to look for information on where the food on their plate comes from when eating out and encourages chefs to provide such information on their menus.
Restaurant owners have also confirmed that more and more of their desired ingredients are available locally, with over 96% of respondents sourcing both meat and vegetables from local suppliers and 48% sourcing the majority of the ingredients they use from within their own county.
Commenting of the results, Maureen Gahan of Bord Bia said, “I would like to congratulate Stefan Griesbach and his team at Gannet Fishmongers in Galway on receiving this honour. This survey highlights how restaurant owners right across Ireland appreciate the benefits of sourcing their ingredients locally, both to their own businesses and in supporting jobs and the local economy. It’s very encouraging news.”
Key survey findings include:
- Almost half of restaurant owners (48%) cited ‘quality and freshness of ingredients’ as the most important reason for sourcing locally. Other reasons included ‘transparency on food origin’, ‘supporting the local economy’ and ‘value for money’.
- 100% of those polled rated using local suppliers as ‘very important’ to their business.
- Similarly, all respondents (100%) rated using local suppliers as ‘very important’ to their local economy.
- Interestingly, the majority of restaurant owners (87%) believe the public has become more aware of the importance of sourcing locally in the past year.
- Almost half of restaurant owners (48%) use suppliers in their own county
- 26% use suppliers in their province
- 26% use suppliers from elsewhere within Ireland
- 83% of respondents have increased the number of local suppliers they use in the past year.
- Over a third of respondents (36%) spend between 80% and 100% of their monthly budget on local suppliers.
- 74% of respondents say the range of ingredients available from local suppliers has increased in the past year.
Maureen Gahan, Bord Bia, concluded, “It’s very positive that so many restaurant owners feel the public is becoming more aware of the importance of sourcing local ingredients. Remember – if the menu you’re looking at doesn’t specify where the food on your plate comes from, then Just Ask!’
“Just Ask!” is a public awareness campaign that aims to encourage consumers when eating out to look for information on where the food (particularly meat) on their plate comes from, and encourages chefs to provide this information on their menus. The programme supports both large and smaller artisan suppliers, encouraging both Irish diners and visitors from abroad to support restaurants that are in turn supporting their suppliers.
Here at Georgina Campbell Guides we have always been avid supporters of the ‘eat local’ concept, and we always enjoy reading menus that have a real sense of place. The dining experience is greatly enriched by knowing that the food on your plate is inspired by the produce and traditions of the area, and sourced nearby – and we would love to see more chefs sharing that precious information with their guests.
If you are a visitor to the area, learning a little about local food and the people who produce it adds a special extra dimension to the visit – and, for residents, it reinforces a natural pride in the good things of their locality and makes a meal all the more enjoyable.
So, we are delighted by the high standard of menus that continue to be submitted for our ' “Just Ask!” Restaurant of the Month Competition', menus that really speak of the best of Irish foods – and the dedication of both the people who make them, and the chefs who select them to create wonderful dishes with real Irish flavour for our enjoyment.