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5 Food Producers from Donegal shortlisted for Blas na hÉireann 2019 Finals

Blas na hÉireann, the Irish Food Awards, have reached the penultimate stage of this year’s awards, with the announcement of the finalists who will go through to the final round of judging in Dingle this October, with 350 producers from across Ireland reaching this coveted stage.


The Blas na hÉireann awards are the biggest blind tasting of produce in the country, and the criteria on which the product is judged as well as the judging system itself, which was developed by Blas with the Food Science Dept of UCC and the University of Copenhagen that is now recognised as an industry gold standard worldwide.


During the first round of judging which took place over the course of four weeks in June and July, over 2,500 entries were judged in UCC & TU Dublin, bringing the total number of finalists in each category down to just five.


Each of these producer finalists will have their products tasted, compared, savoured and judged at the final of Blas na Éireann 2019 in Dingle on Thursday 3rd October. This is the 12th year of the biggest competition for quality Irish produce on the island, and the Blas na Éireann 2019 final will produce worthy winners of awards that have become an important part of the commercial success of so many exceptional Irish products.

The Father and Daughter team behind the Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards, Fallon & Artie Clifford


Five finalists from Donegal have been shortlisted across a range of different categories and these producers are Donegal Rapeseed Company Ltd., Filligans, Green Pastures Donegal, Harnett's Oils, Island Seafoods Ltd. The Blas na hEireann Roadshow will be in Donegal on Wednesday 4th September at 10am in the Bank Of Ireland Workbench, Upper Main Street Letterkenny.


Returning to this year’s Blas na hÉireann in Dingle is the hugely successful Backyard at Blas, an innovative meeting space designed to bring fellow producers together in a relaxed and informal way to meet, mingle and share experience and insights into running a business, and to offer support to those starting out. First supported by Bank of Ireland in 2017 and again last year, the talks series has proved so popular with attendees that Bank of Ireland have just signed a new deal for Backyard at Blas 2019.

The Backyard at Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards supported by Bank of Ireland is very popular

This September, Blas na hÉireann are going on the road with a special roadshow to help finalists get ready for the weekend in Dingle. They have been kindly welcomed by their partner Bank of Ireland to host special events across the country in their Bank of Ireland Workbench venues. These events will help finalists with details on the weekend of final judging, tips on how best to prepare from a press and buyer point of view, local information for travel, help on timings and how best to prepare your product for delivery and judging.

These are exceptionally rigorously-judged food awards, as Blas na hÉireann use an innovative blind-tasting judging system developed by Blas with the Food Science Dept of UCC and the University of Copenhagen that is now recognised as an industry gold standard worldwide. Products entered are blind-tasted, meaning that all packaging and identifying features are removed from products before being presented for judging, creating a level playing field for products from both large and small producers.

Judges come from a range of food backgrounds from chefs to restaurateurs, academics, journalists, authors, food champions, caterers and enthusiastic home cooks.

Often dubbed the Oscars of Irish food, Blas na hÉireann, the Irish Food Awards, are the largest food awards on the island, open to all 32 counties, with judging taking place during June and July, finalists notified in August, and finalist judging in Dingle, the home of the awards, in October.

Over 2,500  products were entered into this year’s competition to win Gold, Silver or Bronze Blas na hÉireann awards in over 140 food and drink categories, as well as key awards like Supreme Champion and Best Artisan Producer, so there will be good food and drink guaranteed in Dingle this October.

Rooney Fish Millbay Oysters were the Supreme Champions at Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards 2018

With workshops and masterclasses in Dingle, final Blas na hÉireann 2019 awards will be presented alongside producer networking events on October 5th during the Dingle Food Festival, always an unmissable event for food lovers!

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