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Cork triumphs at Irish Food Writers Guild awards

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019 4:45pm

Every year, the Irish Food Writers Guild gives out awards for outstanding producers.

These awards are prestigious, as producers can’t apply for consideration but the members of the guild nominate producers they believe to be deserving of the award.

This year, I am especially happy as a local producer is among the winners.

Cork always reaps awards – evidence of the outstanding producers and resources we have here in Munster.

This year, the winning producer lives just a few minutes from me and I know him well.

Dan Hegarty has already earned gongs for his cheddar but this year, he was awarded for his outstanding Comte-style cheese he has produced for a while now.

Hegartys produce cheese by hand and many chefs in the country who love to use this cheese in their cooking seek out their cheeses.

The other Cork winner is Killahora Orchards for their Rare Apple Ice Wine – I have to admit, I haven’t heard of them yet but that is going to change as I love ice wine.

Seeing that the Cork winners are using Cork soil to produce their amazing food, you can see why Cork has such a great reputation – our soil is the best in the land!

The guild also chooses awards for outstanding contributions and who deserves an award more than Penny Dinners in Cork.

The team behind Penny Dinners currently serves 2,000 people in need a daily warm meal. I was happy to see that the volunteers were given the award for all their hard work, especially as they are going to extend their scope by also offering educational opportunities. Well done to all Cork winners, well deserved to all.

Young Buck is a raw milk blue cheese and I had the pleasure of enjoying some of it. Mike Thomson of Co. Down raised enough money through crowdfunding to get his cheese made and it is worth every penny. Made for the serious cheese lover, this cheese will stay with you long after you have eaten it.

The lifetime achievement award went to Peter Hannan of Co. Kidare who founded Hannan Meats in 1991 – delivering high quality meats to clients in Ireland, UK and beyond.

The environmental award was given to Brouchgammon Farm in Co. Antrim for promoting back-to-basic, nose-to-tail and fork-to-field eating. They are one of the few producers who produce rose veal and kid goat meat.

The Outstanding Organisation award went to 3fe in Dublin for Colin Harmon for his amazing rise to fame with his coffee, having won the Irish Barrista Championship and becoming fourth in the World Barista Cup. He now supplies more than 50 businesses in Ireland as well as running cafes, their commitment for sustainability makes them stand out.

Congratulations to all winners – and I can’t wait to get my hands on some of the ice wine!

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