Harvey's Point & The Elm Tree Crowned All-Ireland Carvery Champions
Published on Oct 1 2012 10:54 AM in Restaurant
Harvey’s Point in Donegal and The Elm Tree in Cork have come out on top in the third annual Great Carvery of the Year competition. Harvey’s Point took home the award for Great Carvery Hotel of the Year, while, amazingly for the second year running, The Elm Tree was crowned Great Carvery Public House of the Year.
This year saw exciting changes as the competition was extended to include Northern Ireland and a public vote was introduced to determine a top three shortlist from each of Ireland’s four provinces. Following a three-week-long public vote, Unilever Food Solutions’ business development chef, Mark McCarthy, and his team of mystery shoppers decided on eight provincial winners and two overall winners.
“Every year the competition gets tougher and tougher so to be shortlisted by the Irish public as one of the country’s Great Carvery venues of the year is something to be very proud of,” said Mark McCarthy, business development chef at Unilever and one of the judges for this year’s event. “There are some really outstanding carvery venues in Ireland – every time I go out on the road with the Great Carvery team I am blown away by the high standard and incredible calibre of pubs and hotels that are out there. It is a testament to all of the venues that made it this far.”
Irish rugby legend and competition ambassador Tommy Bowe was also on hand to present all of this year’s winners with their awards. Speaking at the final, he said: “Looking at all the great pubs and hotels that have made it to the Grand Final it’s clear that Irish chefs – North and South – take their carveries very seriously. When I joined the Great Carvery team this year, I knew that carvery was popular – I’m a big fan myself! – but I didn’t realise just how much of an institution it is in Ireland. Now that I’m back in Ulster, I am delighted to see the competition being extended to Northern Ireland for the first time, and was thrilled to see one of the overall winners coming out of the province. Hopefully it’s a good omen for the new rugby season!”
As the overall winners, Harvey’s Point and The Elm Tree will receive marketing support to the value of €2,500 each and a double-page spread in one of Ireland’s top trade magazines. Both venues will also receive a specially commissioned wall plaque and commemorative chalkboard to remind customers that they are about to sit down and enjoy the best carvery in Ireland.
“A great carvery is about much more than just good food; it’s about the whole package,” explained McCarthy. “That means creative menus, exceptional chefmanship, clever use of seasonal and local produce and top-drawer customer service. Harvey’s Point and The Elm Tree demonstrated all of these key ingredients and more. I was blown away by the passion, dedication and creativity that these two venues put into each dish on their menu – they are truly inspiring and very worthy winners.”
Launched in 2010 by Unilever Food Solutions Ireland, Great Carvery of the Year is a nationwide search for Ireland’s best pub and hotel carvery. After a hugely successful first year, the competition was expanded to create two separate categories of winner in 2011: the Great Carvery Public House of the Year and Great Carvery Hotel of the Year. This year saw even more exciting changes as the competition was extended to include Northern Ireland and a public vote was introduced to determine a top three shortlist of Best Pub Carvery and Best Hotel Carvery from each province – Munster, Leinster, Connacht and Ulster.
Overall winners: Great Carvery Hotel of the Year — Harvey’s Point, Lough Eske, Co Donegal. Great Carvery Public House of the Year: The Elm Tree, Glounthaune, Cork Provincial winners:Great Carvery Hotel of the Year — Leinster: Radisson Blu, Dublin Airport. Munster: Killarney Court Hotel, Co Kerry. Connacht: Carlton Hotel Galway. Ulster: Harvey’s Point, Co Donegal. Great Carvery Public House of the Year — Leinster: The Grange, Co Dublin. Munster: The Elm Tree, Cork. Connacht: The Merry Monk, Co Mayo. Ulster: The Old Orchard Inn, Co Donegal