Now in their 24th year, the Irish Food Writers’ Guild (IFWG) Food Awards celebrate indigenous food producers and organisations who create, make and share Irish produce and products while helping to maintain Ireland’s international reputation in food and drink. New to these awards this year is a Community Food Award, which highlights an organisation or individual working with food that has embraced an ethos of social responsibility to an exemplary level.
The 2018 IFWG Food Award winners are:
• Food Award: Connemara Smokehouse Smoked Mackerel, Co. Galway
• Food Award: Wildwood Balsamics range, Co. Mayo
• Food Award: Baltimore Bacon, Co. Cork
• Irish Drink Award: Cockagee Pure Irish Keeved Cider, Co. Meath
• Organisation Award: McNally Family Farm, Co. Dublin
• Environmental Award: Inagh Farmhouse Cheese (St Tola Irish Goat Cheese), Co. Clare
• Lifetime Achievement Award: Ferguson Family of Gubbeen Farmhouse, Co. Cork
• Community Food Award: Sligo Global Kitchen, Co. Sligo
Commenting on the winners, chairperson of the IFWG Aoife Carrigy said, “The winners of this year’s awards give a great sense of what Ireland’s best food producers can achieve with the island’s ‘raw materials’: flavours that are sometimes bold, sometimes subtle, but always pure and natural in their expression from our fields, orchards, hedgerows, mountains and waters. The Guild is proud to champion these artisanal producers from all over the country.”
The awards were hosted at two-Michelin-star Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, marked with a lunch devised and prepared by chef and co-owner Guillaume Lebrun, who incorporated the produce of each winner into a celebratory menu. The Community Food Award was presented by Hermione Winters, President of Slow Food Ireland.
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.
Carrigy thanked Bord Bia on behalf of the Guild for its support of the awards and its tireless work on the home and export markets to promote and develop the Irish food industry.