Cork’s reputation as a centre of food excellence received another boost this month, with three of the eight Irish Food Writers’ Guild (IFWG), Awards going to the rebel county. The awards, now in their 26th year, celebrate excellence and recognise indigenous food producers and organisations that help to create and maintain Ireland’s outstanding reputation in food and drink.
At the awards - held for the first time at The Marker Hotel, where guests assembled at the sunny rooftop bar to see the winners’ displays and marvel at the spectacular views over Dublin city before enjoying a celebratory lunch created by executive head chef Gareth Mullins to showcase the winning produce - IFWG chairperson, Kristin Jensen explained their importance:

“We are honouring the innovative and dedicated exemplars of our industry who represent so much of what is great about Irish food and drink. In addition to taste, quality and continually achieving standards of excellence, sustainability is a crucial determinant when it comes to nominating and voting for our winners. And while the issue of sustainability has only really dominated the headlines in recent years, it has always been an integral part of our awards process. Over the course of the IFWG Awards’ history - which is over a quarter of a century now - we have consistently looked to reward those operating sustainable businesses, so this is not just a passing trend.”

The IFWG Food Awards are unique, as no one can enter themselves or their product into the awards and no company knows it has been nominated or shortlisted for an award. The Guild is the sole nominating and decision-making body. The exception to this is the Community Food Award, for which the Guild invites nominations every year from the general public as well as their own members.

The winners of the 2020 Irish Food Writers’ Guild Food Awards are:
1. Food Award: Frank Hederman for Hederman Hot Smoked Irish Salmon, Co Cork
2. Food Award: Shine’s Seafood for Shine’s Wild Irish Tuna, Co Donegal
3. Food Award: Inch House Traditional Black Pudding, Co Tipperary
4. Irish Drink Award: Teeling Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, Co Dublin
5. Outstanding Contribution to Irish Food Award: Joyce Timmins, Co Dublin
6. Environmental Award: Exploding Tree (Chocolate), Co Cork
7. Community Food Award: Falling Fruit Ireland (fruit harvesting), Co Dublin
8. Lifetime Achievement Award: Jeffa Gill (cheesemaker), Co Cork

The IFWG also paid special tribute to Bord Bia for its support of the awards and its tireless work on the home and export markets to promote and develop the Irish food industry. Una Fitzgibbon, Bord Bia’s Director of Marketing, said: “Consumers are actively seeking out new food experiences and research by our consumer and market insight centre, Bord Bia Thinking House, has shown that the majority of Irish shoppers have a real appetite to buy locally sourced, high-quality food and drink products. This is good news for the many small to medium producers who underpin the wider local community and the image of Ireland as a provider of innovative and sustainable food. The IFWG Awards are an opportunity to pay tribute to these artisan producers and recognise the important contribution they make to the Irish economy.”

To read more about award winners click here  
For the full menu and recipes incorporating the 2020 winners
click here 

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