Click here to visit our Irish Food Tours website - Arranging Food Tourism Visits to Artisan Food Producers all over Ireland for Tour Operators

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Enter your Irish Food & Beverage Tourism Experience in the 2016 World Food Trekking Awards

The recently launched 2016 Food-Trekking Awards, organised by the World Food Travel Association (based in the USA) is the world's first global competition for recognition of excellence in food and beverage experiences for travellers and Ireland has as much of a chance of winning as anywhere else in the world!

Eating and drinking are a crucial part of any traveller experience. Put simply, one hundred percent of visitors to any destination, local or international, must eat and drink! Food and drink represents the largest component of visitor expenditure in Ireland and exceeds the average spent on ‘bed and board’.

Travellers are always seeking the next great food and beverage businesses, destinations or experience and guests to Ireland can return home with memories of a plain old burger and coffee, or they can return with memories of fantastic local Irish food and drink experiences. People just need help identifying and even recognising those experiences. In addition to travelling across country or the world to eat or drink, we can also be food travellers in our own town, city or region.

Over the last ten years we, here in Ireland, have rediscovered a pride in our Irish food product and are now being recognised all over the world for our excellent Irish Food. We are slowly but surely eliminating the Google perception that Irish food is only bacon and cabbage, potatoes and Guinness! Far from it!

As drinking beverages is generally an implied and associated activity of eating and therefore the term is used to cover all aspects of  food and drink tourism. (Internationally, the term “Food Tourism” is now used as opposed to "culinary tourism" which tended to be interpreted as an eating only experience.)

Since the launch of the Failte Ireland National Food Tourism Implementation Framework in 2011, much time, money and energy has been put into developing assistance for food/beverage producers, unique hospitality providers and food service providers to help them tell their food story. Failte Ireland now have a complete and concise section of their website dedicated to helping develop Food Tourism in Ireland.

I believe that Food Tourism is a vital part of the future of Irish Tourism so much that I started a business called Irish Food Tours Ltd. that helps food producers and food service providers get connected with those looking to explore our Irish Food Tourism. Anyone running a business that offers guests an opportunity to eat and/or drink quality products or to see an excellent food product being grown or made on-site has the potential to be a world class Food Tourism business here in Ireland.

The  World Food Travel Association judges are looking for the world's best travel destinations with exceptional food and drink tourism opportunities. Why is your destination the best? Do you offer an outstanding food and drink culture for visitors and locals to enjoy? Do you hold any gastronomic events or do you have simply the best farmers markets? All organisations with a mandate of promoting a destination's food and drink are also invited to apply.

Categories in the 2016 World Food Trekking Awards include:

  • Best food or beverage destination
  • Best wine experience
  • Best beer experience
  • Best food or beverage tour operations
  • Best food-service experience for travellers

Reviewing the applications for the competition is an international panel of judges:

Steven Shomler, Journalist, Author, Radio Host (Portland, Oregon, USA)
Gabriela Ibarra, destination marketer formerly with Visit Mexico (Guadalajara, Mexico)
Livio Colapinto, Owner, Zest Food Tours (Italy)
Benjamin Brown, Journalist and cruise industry expert (Las Vegas/Los Angeles, USA)
Stephan Berrouet Durand, Chef, founder of Haitian Culinary Alliance, author (Haiti/New York City) 

There will be one grand prize, a second, and third prize for each category (only 15 international winners).
In addition to a physical prize, winners will also gain tremendous global recognition for an entire year and the visibility potential for your business and the destination area is huge, so Enter your Business today and lets get Ireland really noticed on the World Food Tourism Map!

The Closing Date for entry is 1st March 2016 and Winners to be announced on April 1.

To Enter your Food Tourism Business go to:

Best of Success to all involved!

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Ireland takes part in unique World Food Travel Association study into Food Tourism

Erik Wolf, Executive Director of the World Food Travel Association (WFTA) has announced the largest Food Tourism Study ever conducted. The new global food and drink tourism research breaks new ground and includes global data, beverage tourism and PsychoCulinary profiling.

PsychoCulinary profiling is an accepted profiling methodology which analyzes each destination within the context of the thirteen PsychoCulinary food-tourist profiles: a Gourmet, Authentic, Localist, Adventurer, Eclectic, Ambiance, Organic, Budget, Innovative, Social, Trendy, Novice and Vegetarian.

Following on its groundbreaking past research, the World Food Travel Association is raising the bar again with the undertaking of the largest food and beverage tourism study ever conducted. The survey, which will be released in early May 2016, is a significant evolution over past research. 

The Reasons why this new Food Tourism research is significant are:
  • It is the first multi-national research study about food and drink travelers. Eight destinations are included in this first benchmark study: Ireland, Finland, Scotland, Louisiana, California, the State of Oregon, Willamette Valley in Oregon and the Basque Country in Spain. Additional destinations will be added annually. 
  • It is the first food tourism research study that also measures interest in beverages, including wine, beer, cider and distilled spirits. 
  • This research will expand significantly on the WFTA’s PsychoCulinary profiling methodology first developed in 2010 and will analyze each destination in the context of its own PsychoCulinary profile.
  • It is the first food/drink tourism research that will survey both inbound and outbound food/drink travelers to/from the included destinations. 
  • Research specialists in food and drink tourism have designed the survey, giving an additional level of depth and understanding which will add value to the findings. 

Erik Wolf, Founder and Executive Director of the World Food Travel Association 
The World Food Travel Association (WFTA) is a non-profit and non-governmental organization and is recognized as the world’s leading authority on food tourism. Its mission is to drive economic development for the food, drink, travel and hospitality trade. The Association was founded in 2003 by its Executive Director Erik Wolf and today brings innovative food tourism solutions and thought leadership to 35,000+ industry professionals in 135 countries.

John Mulcahy, Head of Food Tourism for Fáilte Ireland, said, “A significant proportion of a visitor’s time on holiday in Ireland will be spent experiencing food in some way – either consuming it in local dining or hospitality establishments, visiting specialist shops and markets or having a hands on artisanal experience. As a consequence, the experience the visitors have of food will play a pivotal part in determining their satisfaction with their overall holiday. Fáilte Ireland’s vision for food tourism is to ensure that Ireland is recognised for its memorable food experiences which evoke a unique sense of place, culture and hospitality."

John Mulcahy, Head of Food Tourism for Fáilte Ireland
Mr Mulcahy added, "This study will aid in validating the efforts made over the last strategy, presenting our industry with a comprehensive view of the current perceptions around the Irish food experience, thus informing us of where Ireland is placed on a global scale in terms of its food offering."

Supporting the new World Food Travel Association research in a significant way are several international organizations including Fáilte Ireland, the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association, Travel Oregon, Oregon’s Wine Country/Willamette Valley Visitors Association, Basque Tourism Office in Spain, Visit Finland, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Finland and the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Additional project support comes from Visit California and Visit Scotland. 

Irish Food Tourism with Irish Food Tours Ltd
Food Tourism is a vital ingredient to the future of Irish Tourism

Fáilte Ireland was formed in 2003 under the National Tourism Development Authority Act and they became responsible for supporting Ireland’s tourism industry by keeping Ireland as a quality and competitive tourist destination. Researching and bench marking emerging tourism trends is an important facet of their work; as Fáilte Ireland continues to strengthen the holiday experience for visitors. They pride themselves on investing in tourism amenities and infrastructure, and constantly developing tourism education. Fáilte Ireland also has a unique national-specific campaign, Discover Ireland, which operates a year-round integrative marketing strategy to encourage locals to vacation within their beautiful home country.

Interested parties can pre-order the Food Tourism report here.

For info on Irish Food Tours Ltd see

Monday, 11 January 2016

The Top 10 Best Irish Foods to Watch Out For in 2016

2016 has a lot going for it, for many reasons. From a historical point of view this is the 100th anniversary of the year that Ireland fulfilled it's quest to become an independent state, to have it's Independence Day. From a Tourism & Food point of view 2016 is gearing up to be an incredibly busy year for many other reasons too.

The international marketing of Ireland Inc. by Failte Ireland through the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland's Ancient East initiatives is already paying dividends and Tourism Ireland's continuous all-Ireland marketing machine is at full throttle. (Just in case you didn't know, Tourism Ireland is responsible for marketing the whole island of Ireland overseas as a holiday destination, working through the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in the Republic.)

The filming of Star Wars on Skellig Michael has introduced Ireland to a new generation worldwide
The success of Skellig Michael's brief appearance in the the recent Star Wars film, the filming of the international hit TV series The Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland, Galway's Food On the Edge event, Bordbia's Origin Green program, the number of Irish chefs guesting on international TV programs, Northern Ireland's 2016 Year of Food & Drink and even Saoirse Ronan's rising star all add to Ireland's international image as a country full of many good things and a place well worth a visit. 

And if you're going to visit a great place then you want to eat great food made by great food producers!

Every year, around Christmas Eve - I ask a question on my Twitter: "What was Your Best Irish Food Find of the Year?" I always get hundreds of replies from food lovers all over Ireland and this year was no exception with the replies pouring in all over the days of Christmas and the New Year. Some people tweeted about restaurants they had discovered over the year, but this list is only concentrating on food products.

I collated all the suggestions from the public, of their new food finds over the last year from all over Ireland and from that have created the Top 10 Best Irish Foods to Watch Out For in 2016!

This year, people tweeted about honey and cakes, artisan breads, cheese, black pudding, gluten-free foods, quality meats, seafood, preserves, dips and chutneys, fermented foods and much more!

One new food product, above all others, received the most mentions. I'll save that to last! 

I have included a Twitter "Follow Button" so you can easily follow the producers to get details of their delicious food products. And so, as suggested by the Irish public on Twitter, here are...

The Top 10 Best Irish Foods to Watch Out For in 2016

Broughgammon Farm - Kid Goat Meat
Cabrito (Kid Goat Meat), Free Range Rose Veal, Seasonal Game, Hand Harvested Seaweeds
Ballycastle, Co. Antrim -

James Whelan - Beef Dripping
Dripping from the purest suet made from grass fed Irish Angus and Hereford beef
Clonmel, Co. Tipperary -

Frank Hederman - Smoked Salmon & Mackerel Pate

Made very simply with smoked fish, cream cheese and lemon juice. A satisfying pâté, full of flavour
Cobh, Co. Cork - 

Wild About Foods - Chutneys, Preserves and Cordials

 Made from naturally wild, home-grown and locally sourced core ingredients
Gorey, Co. Wexford -

MND Foods - Honey Bee Cakes

A unique sponge Honey Cake made with honey, caramel sauce, chocolate and hazelnuts
Ferbane, Co. Offaly - 

Shines's Seafood - Irish Caught Albacore Tuna

Tuna caught using traditional methods, hand-filleted and hand-packed in olive oil
Killybegs, Co. Donegal -

Rosscarbery Recipes - Gluten Free Black Pudding

A new Gluten-Free version of their multi award winning Black Pudding
Rosscarbery, Co. Cork -

The Cultured Food Co. - Fermented Kimchi & Sauerkraut 

Reviving the ancient tradition of natural food preservation through fermentation
Ballydehob, Co. Cork -

Kearns Foods - Grahams Horseradish & Mustards

Made using traditional recipes & methods to produce delicate and sophisticated flavours
Slane, Co. Meath -

Over the last two weeks, more people tweeted back that their Best Irish Food find of 2015
was Irish Biltong more than any other! Set up by John and Noreen Doyle of Haynestown Meats, as an extension to their existing meat business, this product has really captured the Irish imagination and palate!

And so, the Best Irish Food to Watch Out For in 2016 
as chosen by the Irish Public is...

Haynestown Meats - Irish Biltong

Not to be confused with American style beef jerky, Irish Biltong is based on a traditional South African gourmet beef snack made through a process of air drying and curing with natural seasoning and spices. The thick cured chunks of beef are then thinly sliced. Biltong is sugar free and completely natural with good nutritional value.

Irish Biltong can be eaten on its own or used in various dishes such as salads, soups, various beef dishes and even in bread. As a preserved meat, Biltong can be stored for a long time especially in the freezer. Haynestown Meats are drying, curing and seasoning 100% Irish premium beef on-site in their facility in Naas, County Kildare, resulting in their unique Irish style Biltong.

The product is available in Original or Chili Flavoured and can be purchased from shops around the south and east (See Here) and direct from the Irish Biltong website here.
Toughers Business Park, Naas, Co. Kildare -

Happy New Year and we look forward to lots of great new Irish Food products in 2016!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Venues around Ireland offering Failte Ireland Culinary Programme

Fáilte Ireland has launched a pilot Culinary Programme for up to 200 participants to allow them to successfully enter the tourism industry with the prospect of a culinary career. 

The successful participants will have the option at a later stage to progress on to a newly developed ‘Chef’s Apprenticeship Programme’. - See more on the Failte Ireland Website Here.

Below are the venues around the country that still may have positions available on their course:


Anthony Brady
Howth Castle
Howth Castle, Howth, Dublin 13
Interviews next week

Tim Greenwood
Cooks Academy
19 South William Street, Dublin
Applications via email ; Vanessa Greenwood


Ann Neary
Ryeland House Cookery School
Cuffesgrange, Kilkenny
Contact Anne 0567729073 / 0862767656

Róisín McQuillan
School of Food, Kilkenny
Ladyswell, Dublin Road, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny


Mark and Bernie Doe
Just Cooking
Killahane, Firies, Killarney, Co. Kerry
The course will commence week beginning the 14th December and will finish early March.
To apply please forward an up to date CV via email to or post to Just Cooking, Killahane, Firies, Killarney, Co. Kerry.
Any queries please call Bernie on 086 6095318. Closing date for applications is Tuesday 8th December


Sian Breslin
Donegal Cookery School
Clar Road, Donegal Town
Interviewing all interested parties early next week. Our start day 11th December - Induction Day. 14th December - 17th December Week 1. Restart January 4th January.
Contact numbers Sian 0831008115 0749725222 Anthony 0860619999 or email

Karl Sweeney
The Swilly Group
iTek Building, Business Park Road, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal


Ms. Vanessa Hogg
St. Angela's College
Lough Gill, Sligo
To register for the programme please complete form. Please return completed application forms by post to, St. Angela's College, Lough Gill, Sligo / by email to
If you have any queries please phone Vanessa at 071 9143580.


Bernadette Enright
ETB Limerick
Hospitality Education Training Centre, Roxboro, Limerick


Sarah Moloney
Hook and Ladder
2 Westgate Retail Park, Tramore Road, Waterford
Taking applications for the Pilot Culinary Programme Please see below link to our website with details on the programme:
The first Induction and Orientation day is scheduled for Monday 14th December. The course will then commence on Monday 11th January and will finish on March 18th
The contact information is 051-413778

Sunday, 6 December 2015

WIN an amazing Christmas Hamper from Hampers & Co.

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED - Winner: Val Robus @magnumlady on Twitter

Hampers & Co. is a Luxury online Hamper & Gift retailer set up by Emer Purcell. They ship their hampers all over the world. For over 21 years, they've sourced, designed, packaged and delivered beautifully presented hampers of exceptional quality for both individual orders & Corporate clients.

Read on to find out how you can Win a Christmas Hamper from Hampers & Co. that will be delivered in time for Christmas Day, anywhere in Ireland or the UK!

Emer and her team work very closely with their producers to create a wonderful selection of Irish Food Hampers & Gift Baskets. On their website you will also find great Irish cheeses, delicious Irish chocolates, superior Irish relishes & preserves & melt in the mouth Irish cakes & biscuits.

They source their wines directly from boutique vineyards so they won’t be found on any supermarket shelf.
They also take time and considerable care when combining foods & culinary gifts & only use products that they feel will be enjoyed by the recipients.

Hampers & Co. source all their products from exceptional, award-winning and high quality Irish Artisan food Producers and from small indigenous international food suppliers. They also use eco-friendly biodegradable packaging which can even be washed down the sink!

So whatever the reason for giving a gift – business, baby, birthday, anniversary or just because, they guarantee to provide a gift or hamper that will be remembered and very much appreciated. If you're ordering a hamper on behalf of your company, it is nice to know that when you “Create Your Own” bespoke Hamper or Gift to your unique requirements, there’s no danger of your clients or staff receiving the same gift from another source, or in the following year, or at the next conference event!

WIN this amazing Christmas Hamper from Hampers & Co.

Emer, at Hampers & Co. has given us a wonderful Christmas Hamper to give away here on the Irish Food Guide Blog and they will deliver it anywhere in Ireland and the UK.

To Enter the Draw Click the Hampers & Co. Facebook Like button and/or their Twitter Follow button below and tell Emer how much you'd like to Win the Christmas Hamper.

Like Hampers & Co. on Facebook

Follow Hampers & Co. on Twitter

This Draw is also being run on the Irish Food Guide Twitter - Enter by Re-Tweeting the Competition Tweet.

This Draw will take place on Sunday 13 December and the winner will receive the prize of the Christmas Hamper delivered by Hampers & Co. in time for Christmas Day!

For full details of the contents of this Hamper go to

Good Luck everyone!

The Irish Food Guide is...

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The Irish Food Guide Blog includes news, foodie chat, recipes, award results, links and other general information on the Food & Tourism Industry in Ireland.

It is written & curated by Zack Gallagher, Donegal Town, Co Donegal, Ireland.

“My Blog is a slice of the Irish Food ‘Network’. I’m a Chef with over 27 years experience and also have a background in media. I’m passionate about Irish Food Tourism and I believe that a rising tide really can lift all boats!”

Supporting Irish Food created by passionate producers and encouraging the Irish food & hospitality industry to use modern social media methods to increase their business.

Zack is building an all-Ireland Food Tourism network to assist Tour Operators bringing guests into Ireland to connect easily with artisan Irish food producers, so as they can experience the provenance and personality behind our Irish food Visit

The Wild Atlantic Way is the world's Longest Coastal Route

Irish Web Awards 2014

Irish Web Awards 2014