The MUNSTER Regional Final of the Santa Rita/ LIFE Magazine Irish Restaurant Awards 2013 took place in The Imperial Hotel, Cork City last night and the chosen top restaurants in the region were named.
Over 350 restaurant owners and staff celebrated their hard work and achievements at the Awards, which saw many well-known restaurateurs of Munster turn out to see if they had won one of the prestigious awards.
In their fifth year now, the Irish Restaurant Awards continue to go from strength to strength. Each year, the awards cast a spotlight on the brightest and best players on the Irish restaurant scene. The Irish Restaurant Awards are the awards everyone wants to win.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Adrian Cummins, CEO Restaurant Association of Ireland, said: “We celebrate the award winning cuisines and the great restaurateurs and chefs who are constantly bringing international recognition and accolades to the Irish restaurant scene.”
He continued, “Restaurateurs are entrepreneurs, and that is reflected in the fact that the restaurant sector is the biggest employer within the hospitality industry. We provide employment to 64,000 people and the industry has annual sales in excess of €2 billion – tonight, everyone is a winner.”
Food outlets were nominated under the categories of Best Customer Service, Best Gastro Pub, Best Casual Dining, Best Hotel Restaurant, Best Chef, Best Restaurant, Best Wine Experience, Best Kids Size Me, sponsored by Heinz, Engaging With The Gathering, sponsored by Tourism Ireland and Best Just Ask! Menu, sponsored by Bord Bia.
All County winners now compete for the Regional and All Ireland Title which will be announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin on Wednesday 10th June, 2013.
There are 3 components to phase two of the process and each element is independently assessed by KPMG. They are:
1. Mystery Guest Visit (55%) This component of the awards is conducted by Prism Consulting headed by Hugo Arnold, independent food writer and consultant. All County Winners receive a mystery guest visit throughout the month of April and May.
2. National Awards Academy (35%) Our National Awards Academy is made up representatives from each of the regional judging panels and will meet in May to Judge the County Winners.
3. Menu Judging (10%) All County winners and the Dublin Shortlist in each category are asked to submit a copy of their food menu and wine list for judging.
Voting in the Industry categories commenced on April 4th. Voting in these categories is exclusive to Restaurants Association of Ireland members only, with members competing for: Best Club Restaurant, Best Seafood Experience, Best World Cuisine, Best Newcomer, Best Café, Most Innovative Restaurant, Best Restaurant Design, Best Cocktail Experience, Best Restaurant Manager, Best Cookery School, Best Supplier & Best Digital Marketing.
The winners of the Industry Categories will be announced at the All-Ireland event on 10th June, 2013. Tickets are priced at €130 for the All-Ireland Event and can be bought directly from Sinead at the Restaurants Association of Ireland on (01) 677 9901 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
And the MUNSTER Regional Awards went to:
Best Hotel Restaurant – Sponsored by Pallas Foods
Clare- Earl of Thomond Restaurant, Drumoland Castle
Cork – Ballymaloe House
Kerry – The Malton Hotel
Limerick – The Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge
Waterford – The Munster Room, Waterford Castle
Tipperary – The Old Convent
Best Chef – Sponsored by Tipperary Water
Clare- David McCann, Drumoland Castle
Cork – Denis Cotter, Cafe Paradiso
Kerry – Simon Regan, Hotel Europe
Limerick – Tom Flavin, Limerick Strand Hotel
Waterford – Paul Flynn, The Tannery
Tipperary – Dermot Gannon, The Old Convent
Best Wine Experience – Sponsored by Thomas Barton
Hayfield Manor, Cork
Best Kids Size Me – Sponsored by Heinz
Cornstore Restaurant, Cork