Local producers from the Causeway Coast and Glens have proved they’re among the best in Ireland.
In a stunning performance at the Blas na hEireann Irish Food awards, six finalists from the region collected a total of 14 awards.
This included the award for Best New Product which went to Lacada Brewery for their Devil’s Washtub dark ale, named after a rocky inlet on the east side of Ramore Head.
Reflecting on the success, which saw the co-operative collect five accolades, Head Brewer Laurie Davis said: “We were stunned when we won five awards. Very few producers achieved that. I am so pleased for all the co-owners who took a leap of faith when we were starting up and who also put in so much hard work for the brewery. To win Best New Product in Ireland is a great reward for them all.”
For Alastair Crown from Corndale Farm, participation in the awards has opened up some very exciting avenues. Speaking after winning a gold and silver, he said: “We all work so hard to produce unique and high quality products. We were totally overwhelmed when we won the awards and to also receive “Best in Derry” is a huge accolade for us. The real work starts now. We have had a lot of interest from some really high quality chefs and retailers, Harrods and Selfridges to name a few. It is key for us now to build on the success of the awards and really get our award winning produce out there and see sales increase. Exciting times!”
Linda Christie from Ballinteer Farm came home from Dingle with three trophies – the farm’s quail eggs were selected in the Chef’s Choice Category, while their quail meat received a bronze and Best In Farmer’s Market. She is already reaping rewards from their performance: “We have generated new sales already and product enquiries are coming in. It was a great networking experience and a platform for our products.”
Broighter Gold’s cold pressed oil won a bronze award in its category, and owner Leona Kane said it was a fantastic experience: “There was a lot in our section, so to win anything in Dingle was a huge success for our family business. But it is also about the networking, and people that you meet when you are away that all add to sales and connecting with the right people.”
For Glenballyeamon Eggs, it certainly was a weekend to remember. Along with a silver award for its free range eggs, the company was also named Best Agri Business at the Causeway Coast and Glens Business Awards. Owner Niall Delargy said: “We are delighted to announce that we have received these prestigious awards, along with back to back Great Taste Awards through the Guild of Fine Food in 2016 and 2017.”
If you’re looking for the best frozen yogurt in Ireland, then Coleraine is the place to go. Morelli’s strawberry frozen yogurt, which is made in the town, scooped gold in its category. Arnaldo Morelli, who attended the awards in Dingle, County Kerry, with his brother Marino, said: “This accolade is testament to the dedication and hard work of both our staff and suppliers. The quality of Clandeboye Estate’s yoghurt complements the strawberries rippled through it perfectly to give our Strawberry Frozen Yogurt its delicious, refreshing and award winning taste.”
All of the successful finalists are members of Causeway Coast and Glens Food Network. It brings together local producers from across the region, and offers a range of support avenues. To find out more or to get involved email firstname.lastname@example.org.