Enda McEvoy's Michelin star restaurant, Loam, has achieved the highest rating of three stars from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), becoming the first Irish restaurant to do so.
The SRA awards focus on 14 key areas such as sourcing ingredients that are local and seasonal, using ethical meat and sustainable fish, societal issues like treating people fairly, as well as a restaurant being energy efficient and saving water, reports FFT.ie.
Discussing Loam's award, Chief executive of the SRA, Andrew Stephen said: "It's as crystal clear as the waters of Galway Bay, that Enda and his team at Loam are doing everything in their powers not only to serve the finest, best sourced local ingredients, but also to build a place at the very heart of the community in Galway City. They have set an exceptional standard for others in Ireland to follow."
Loam describes itself as being "seasonally driven, we work very closely with local farmers and producers, many of whom are close friends, to get the products we need to reflect and capture the feeling and magic of the west of Ireland".
The menu, which changes daily depending on the availability of produce, serves dishes such as monkfish liver with onion, duck hearts and egg with little gem lettuce, as well as having a wine list that consists mainly of organic, biodynamic wines from small family-run vineyards.
To win a three-star rating, restaurants and cafes need to go above, beyond and push the boundaries of how they can be run according to SRA. Loam attained its rating by only using ingredients from the west of Ireland, refusing to use ingredients such as lemons, olive oil, or spices, instead relying on the likes of elderflower, wild garlic seeds and pickled roses.
Speaking about Loam's latest accolade, McEvoy said: “We are absolutely delighted to be awarded a three-star rating. From the outset, we have strived to have a low impact, sustainable business. This shows us that we are on the right track and serves as motivation to try achieve more in terms of sustainability."