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Connect with the new 2016 Failte Ireland Food Champions

Fáilte Ireland today announced the names of 16 new emerging food champions who will represent the importance of food to tourism and visitors to Ireland. They will join six existing food champions as part of the Food Tourism Network Development programme. The group will work together with their local community to help build Ireland’s food tourism reputation, sourcing and activating ideas to encourage visitors to stop more, spend more and stay longer.

These new food champions were chosen from over 400 nominations following a detailed selection process. The tourism authority had sought nominations for emerging food champions with a resounding passion and belief in Irish food who actively influence and shape the future of Irish cuisine and food tourism in their region.

All those selected come from a wide variety of backgrounds and they all have different roles in the championing of Irish food. But they are united by their immense pride and their absolute conviction in Ireland’s food tourism potential. They want to shout from the rooftops that Ireland has a unique food experience; one that is honest and authentic, one that is as much about the people as it is about the product and the recipes. But they also want to educate, develop, connect the dots, to ensure that what we promise is what we deliver.

Fáilte Ireland’s new 2016 Food Champions
(front row, l to r) Jacinta Dalton, Gabriel Faherty, Olivia Duff, Ketty Elisabeth, Garrett Fitzgerald, Chris Molloy, Ruth Healy and Brid Torrades. (Back row, l to r) Kevin Ahern, Seáneen Sullivan, Claire Dalton, Tom Flavin, Judith Boyle, Ivan Varian, Aine Maguire, Pádraic Óg Gallagher, Patrick Ryan, John Relihan, Anthony O’Toole and Niall Sabongi. Photograph: Pat Moore

Each of these people has intimate knowledge of their own region and the food and food producers operating in their area. They are an essential local connection to what is happening on the ground - they are mediators, they are disseminators and they are all excellent communicators.

Failte Ireland's Food Champions are helping to tell Ireland’s Food Story.

I have listed the new Food Champions here with a Follow button to all their Twitter accounts so that you can connect with them and listen and learn about the food activities in the different regions of Ireland's Ancient East, Dublin City and County and The Wild Atlantic Way.

The 2016 Failte Ireland Food Champions on Ireland's Ancient East are:

Anthony O'Toole Anthony O’Toole (New) Culinarian Press, Ferns, WEXFORD

Claire Dalton Claire Dalton (New) Dungarvan Brewing, WATERFORD

Gearoid Lynch Gearóid Lynch (New) The Olde Post Inn, Cloverhill, CAVAN

Judith Boyle Judith Boyle (New) Beer Sommelier, Publican, KILDARE

Patrick Ryan Patrick Ryan (New) Firehouse Bakery, Delgany, WICKLOW

John Relihan John Relihan (New) Holy Smoke, CORK

Kevin Ahern Kevin Ahern (New) Sage Midleton, CORK

Olivia Duff Olivia Duff (Existing) The Headfort Arms Hotel, MEATH

The 2016 Failte Ireland Food Champions in Dublin:

Garrett Fitzgerald Garrett Fitzgerald (New) Brother Hubbard, Capel Street, DUBLIN

  Ivan Varian (New) Dalkey Food Company, Dalkey, DUBLIN

Niall Sabongi Niall Sabongi (New) Klaw Restaurant, Temple Bar, DUBLIN

Ketty Elisabeth Ketty Elisabeth (New) French Foodie in Dublin Ltd, DUBLIN

 Seáneen Sullivan (New) L. Mulligan Grocer, Stoneybatter, DUBLIN

Portrait of Padraig Og Gallagher Pádraic Óg Gallagher (Existing) The Boxty House, Temple Bar, DUBLIN

The 2016 Failte Ireland Food Champions on the Wild Atlantic Way:

Aine Maguire Áine Maguire (New) The Idle Wall, Westport, MAYO

Gabriel Flaherty Gabriel Faherty (New) Aran Islands Goats Cheese, Aran Islands,  GALWAY

Christopher Molloy Chris Molloy (New) The Lemon Tree, Letterkenny, DONEGAL

Portrait of Tom Flavin Tom Flavin (New) The Strand Hotel, LIMERICK

Mark Murphy Mark Murphy (Existing) Dingle Cookery School, Dingle, KERRY

Jacinta Dalton - Food Champion of Ireland Jacinta Dalton (Existing) Dept of Culinary Arts, GMIT, GALWAY

Portrait of Ruth Healy Ruth Healy (Existing) Urru Culinary Store, CORK

Brid Torrades - Food Champion of Ireland Brid Torrades (Existing) Osta Cafe, SLIGO

The Food Ambassadors continue to help to spread the vision and values of Irish food tourism among visitors, media, food tourism businesses, and other stakeholders. They are leaders in the food scene in Ireland and internationally. All are widely known and well regarded in Ireland’s food community and use their reputation and profile to help further develop food tourism in Ireland.

You can Follow Failte Ireland on Twitter here:  

For more details on each of the new 2016 Failte Ireland Food Champions (and details of the existing Failte Ireland Food Ambassadors) click here:

All these people are united by a strong belief in Ireland’s immense food tourism potential and their desire to help spread the word that Food Tourism is a vital part of the Future of Irish Tourism.

You can Follow me (Irish Food Guide) on Twitter here:   

I'm proud to know many of the new Food Champions and I'm looking forward to meeting up with the people that I haven't met yet, over the next year. Congrats to all selected. Having been part of the Food Champion program myself,  I know you'll definitely have an wonderful and interesting year ahead!


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