At a Yeats-inspired afternoon tea in Dublin’s Merrion Hotel, Griffins Garden Centre was crowned home of Ireland’s Best Scone, receiving a cash prize and more importantly, the prestige of baking the best scones in Ireland, as voted for by the public and judged by some of Ireland’s top foodies.
Ireland’s Best Scone, run by Goodall’s and Odlums, two mainstays in Irish baking, has been running for four years and year-on-year the competition has increased in terms of both nominations and votes.
In late April, nominations were received from hundreds of people via twitter and facebook, and over the past two weeks, over two thousand votes were cast by the public for their favourite scone from the list of ten finalists.
This year, the public votes accounted for 50% of the judging. The other 50% of the score was awarded by the expert panel which included Catherine Leyden, Odlums’ brand ambassador; Paul Kelly, Executive Pastry Chef at the Merrion Hotel; author of ‘Food from an Irish Garden’, Fiona Dillon; and winner of Goodall’s Best Scone 2014, Graham Herterich aka The Cupcake Bloke.
Opened in 1995, Griffins Garden Centre & café is situated in the heart of Dripsey. It’s owned by Margaret Griffin and marks 30 years in business this year. Griffins is nestled in the heart of the Lee Valley, and its garden restaurant and café are renowned for their quality produce, with regular customers travelling from across Co. Cork, and from further afield to visit Griffins.
On winning the top accolade and now being home to Ireland’s Best Scone, Margaret Griffin said: “Being named as a finalist in Ireland’s Best Scone in early May was incredible. We received huge support from our customers and the local community throughout the voting stages but to be named as the overall winner of Ireland’s Best Scone in unbelievable!
“We’re very particular about the ingredients that we use and our recipe has been passed down through the generations from Granny Griffin. Our head baker, Mary O’Mahony, aka our very own Granny Griffin bakes each batch of scones with spoonfuls of love and care. We're now home to Ireland’s Best Scone and it’ll be scones all round when we take the winning plaque back to our hometown of Dripsey," she added.
Commenting on why the winning scones from Griffins are so good, TV chef and Odlums’ Brand Ambassador, Catherine Leyden, said: “Light and delicious, the fruit scones from Griffins were just a joy to taste, leaving the judges and myself wanting to sample more!
“I would like to congratulate Margaret and her team, and all of the finalists, for the quality of their baking. All of the finalists represent the unsung heroes of the Irish baking scene and are helping to further Ireland’s reputation as a foodie nation.”
The list of all ten finalists for Ireland’s Best Scone were: