Now in their 8th year, the Blas na hEireann (which means Taste of Ireland) Irish Food Awards is the biggest competition for quality Irish produce on the island of Ireland. Over 2500 products have been entered into this year’s competition to win Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards in over 90 food and drink categories as well as key awards such as Supreme Champion and Best Artisan Producer.
A Blas na hEireann accreditation has been researched to show the highest recognition amongst Irish consumers and using the award logo on product packs really does encourage shoppers to buy these great products. It is a guarantee of a top quality Irish product.
Blas na hEireann takes place annually on the first weekend in October, 1st – 4th October 2015. Set against the backdrop of the Dingle Peninsula Food Festival the awards and events throughout the weekend are a fantastic opportunity to meet with producers, trade and press.
The Blas Awards and the Dingle Peninsula Food Festival is an event which has grown to be one of the most recognised and well attended food events in Ireland. In the past few years the first weekend in October has become a critical date in the food industry’s calendar. in 2014 this Irish Food Networking event was attended by over 200 producers with buyers and press from all over Ireland, the UK & US!
Most importantly, the Blas na hEireann awards and the Dingle Food Festival have retained a sense of informality while becoming a key business event.
There is a real sense of the pressure that the food producers are under when you attend the awards ceremony. Everyone in the room knows that winning a Blas na hEireann Award, whether it is Gold, Silver or Bronze, can help launch a new product and boost sales of an existing line. And that is what awards the Blas are all about - helping passionate people with wonderful food products to reach new customers.
I'm delighted to have been asked to be one of the Finalists Judges again this year and I write this as I sit in the Dingle Benner Hotel. If you're coming down to Dingle for the Blas na hEireann Awards and/or the Dingle Peninsula Food Festival, do try to get around as much of it as you can, if you can!
Food Festivals all over Ireland have come to understand the power of social media in helping to get the word out about their event and so you can:
Follow the Blas na hEireann Awards on Twitter at @BlasNahEireann
Follow the Dingle Peninsula Food Festival on Twitter at @DingleFoodFest
And of course you can Follow me on Twitter at @IrishFoodGuide
For more details on the Blas na hEireann Awards see www.IrishFoodAwards.com
For more details on the Dingle Food Festival see www.DingleFood.com
“I’ve used Kelly’s puddings not only in my restaurant but all over the world from Dubai to the USA", said Neven Maguire, speaking in the very appropriately black and white themed marquee, “I love their consistency and their quality – you can taste the passion the Kellys put into their food. Through that they’ve put Newport, Mayo and Ireland on the map and I’m delighted to be here today to celebrate with them."
“This is a very proud day for the Kelly family”, said Seán Kelly, “It’s the culmination of our family’s work since my father opened the first butchers shop here back in the 1930s. His name, Dominic Kelly, is still over the door.”
The ribbon on the new manufacturing facility was cut by Seán’s mother-in-law, 95 year old Mamie Marley, ably assisted by Neven Maguire.
The new facility will be used to manufacture Kelly’s award winning puddings and sausages. It will hugely increase the manufacturing capacity and will allow Kelly’s to supply customers all over the island of Ireland as well as the UK market. Kelly’s are already supplying customers in major UK cities, and are now able to respond to the increasing demand.
Kelly’s Butchers are a phenomenal success story in the West of Ireland; their turnover has increased steadily year on year and this is expected to continue into the future. Several jobs have already been created by Kelly’s Butchers and they expect to take on more staff over the next year. This will bring their employee numbers to 22.
“We would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported Kelly’s Butchers”, said Seán Kelly, “Every person who chooses Kelly’s Black Pudding or sausages for their breakfast is doing their bit towards creating and sustaining jobs in Ireland.”
|Stuffed Saddle of Rabbit with Serrano Ham and Kelly's Black Pudding|
from Sage Restaurant, Westport
Gerry O’Neill, CEO of South West Mayo Development Company said, “This is another step in the evolution of the Kelly brand which is such a hallmark of success. We are delighted to have supported this project, particularly as it supports rural employment and uses local skills. We wish the Kellys well in their future.”
Michael Holmes, Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, recalled bygone days on the football field with Seán Kelly, saying, “Seán always played at the front, he was always moving forward and he still is. He and the family have always been very progressive and have always been more than generous in helping their community as well. It’s a fantastic day for them and for Newport.”
Tanya Whyte, Business Advisor with Mayo LEO who has special responsibility for food, noted that ‘The Kellys are significant employers in Newport and important to the community. I see three reasons for their success: hard work, innovation and excellence in marketing.”
A special presentation was made to the Kelly family by Peter Hynes, Mayo County Manager of a commemorative scroll for Mayo Day created by artist Fionntan Gogarty. Mr Hynes said, “Kelly’s Black Pudding is being consumed everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires and everywhere in between. I wish them every success with their new venture and into what looks like a very bright future.”
|Sean Kelly presents the cheque to Caroline Leneghan Mc Manamon|
Kelly’s Butchers produce and sell award winning black and white puddings and six varieties of speciality sausages. Awards include Blás na hÉireann, Great Taste Awards, Business Achievers Award and many butchers’ awards. Kellys also manufacture the ‘Putóg’, a traditional farmhouse black pudding. Kelly’s products are available through their shop and in hundreds of outlets around Ireland and the UK.
International Bake Bread for Peace Day was born out of a passion for humanity, in 2014, by a Baker and Storyteller from Glenties, Co. Donegal, named Breezy Kelly.
"We are all at a loss for words to describe our sadness about the dis-ease in the world at present and things seem to be going from bad to worse", said Breezy. "We hear talks of ceasefire, talks, talks and more talks but the madness goes on. The world wide chaos is so terrible that we try to ignore it, bury our heads in the sand and hope that it will go away, we feel helpless that there seems to be nothing we can do and yet we want to do something."
Join in on October 24th for "International Bake Bread for Peace Day", get your thinking hats on, create an event in your area, in your kitchen, in your local school, it's up to you. Share your ideas, send photos, advertise your events, spread the word far and wide that we want Peace!
Breezy comes from a background where traditions were very important and it was her realisation that these traditions are fast disappearing that prompted her to launch “Sillybucks”, a project whose aim is to collect and record stories, songs, recipes and cooking methods of days gone by.
In 2006 she published a collection of traditional recipes – “Bread, Scones, Stories & Songs” – which is now in the process of its 3rd print. In 2013 she was involved in organizing and facilitating ‘Born and Bread’ project, as part of the ‘One Donegal Cultural Diversity Month’.
|Breezy Kelly, with her dog Sheila, Baking Bread for Peace around the world|
During 2015 Breezy, along with her wee dog Sheila, a bag of bread soda and a tub of Bextartar has taken to the roads of Ireland, north and south, to share the idea of Bake Bread for Peace. During her journey she was hosted by various individuals and families and wherever she stayed she organized an evening of baking, songs and stories, encouraging her hosts to invite family and friends and to turn the evening into a celebration of Peace, unity and neighbourliness.
Breezy believes that although Bake Bread for Peace Day is now becoming an established date in many individual calendars, it is in fact an ongoing, year-long event. "It is a philosophy, a universal wish, an urge to make a positive change in the world that we are all invited and welcome to take part in."
and you can also contact Breezy at firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about Irish Bread and National Bread Week visit www.nationalbreadweek.ie. There you will find a host of information all about bread as well as details of participating bakeries around the country. Make sure you join in and Love Your Loaf this autumn!
Rockwell was world renowned for training and turned out some of Ireland’s best chefs and waiters, many of whom work in top restaurants around the world today. The Catering College began in 1958 under the auspices of Bord Failte Eireann and was run by Mr. Jimmy Kelly.
Well-known past pupils include Martin Shanahan, TV chef and proprietor of Fishy Fishy in Kinsale Cork, Eugene McSweeney, a well-known industry consultant who resides in Kilkenny, Ed Cooney, Executive Chef at The 5 in the Merrion Hotel, Steven McNally, Deputy CEO at the Dalata Hotel Group and President of the Irish Hotels Federation, Noel Cunningham, Media personality and General Manager at Harvey’s Point, Paul Carty, MD at Diageo and Chair of Irish Tourism Confederation (ITIC).
|Jimmy Kelly and Pat Cronin|
|Some famous Rockwell Hotel School students include:|
Steven McNally, Ed Cooney, Martin Shanahan, Noel Cunningham and Paul Carty.
The organisers also looking for old photos or memorabilia of Rockwell and another of their famous past students, Rory Morahan, The Druid Chef, is putting together a collection for all to see on the night.
|Past pupil from Rockwell Catering College, Rory Morahan, The Druid Chef|
The Reunion will be held in the 4-star Landmark Hotel, located in the heart of the beautiful riverside town of Carrick-On-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. The hotel is owned by Ciaran Kelly, a past student of the Rockwell Catering School.
The Landmark Hotel is situated on the main Dublin to Sligo (N4) road overlooking the beautiful river Shannon, with access to stunning lakes, is offering special overnight rates for past students. Book your room and dinner on www.thelandmarkhotel.com at 071 9622222 or email@example.com
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The Irish Food Guide Blog www.IrishFoodGuide.ie 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 www.