West Cork was recently announced as the winner of Restaurant Associations of Ireland (RAI) Foodie Destinations 2017 competition, sponsored by FBD Insurance. The winner was announced at an event held in the Headfort Arms Hotel, Kells, in the home of last year’s winners, Boyne Valley Food Series, on 29th August.
|Nora Rice and Nora Collins from West Cork, Foodie Destinations of Ireland Winner 2017|
After a rigorous few weeks of applications, regional judging visits and over 10,000 online votes, West Cork was declared the winner after beating out some of the best finalists that the competition has seen to date.
From events and programmes like the annual Taste of West Cork Food Festival and Cork Character Cafes, to the pride and passion that West Cork food producers and retailers have about their locally made products, they have set the benchmark for food tourism in Ireland.
|Liam Edwards, President of the Restaurant Association of Ireland, presents West Cork with the Winners Trophy|
This year’s judges were Zack Gallagher and Wendy Kavanagh, the co-founders of Irish Food Tours.
“The excellent collaboration between food provider, chef and food producer with the tourism industry is generating amazing potentials for the future development of Ireland as a world class food destination” said Zack Gallagher. “The food and tourism offerings all over the island of Ireland and the use of modern media is changing the perception of Irish food as seen from abroad. This was most evident in the ten regions that reached the Foodie Destinations of Ireland 2017 final.”
Wendy Kavanagh added “What really stood out for me was the passion and pride displayed by the people involved at each destination.”
The top five finalists in this year’s Foodie Destinations 2017 competition are as follows:
1st. West Cork, 2nd. Boyne Valley, 3rd. Kilkenny, 4th. Kinsale and 5th. West Waterford.
The five remaining finalists, all of whom demonstrated spectacular efforts in their applications and finalist’s visits were: Sligo, Monaghan, Cong, Loop Head Peninsula and Galways West End.
|The West Cork Foodie Destinations team during their Finalists Visit with judge Wendy Kavanagh|
Adrian Cummins, CEO of the RAI, presented the award to representatives of West Cork’s Foodie Destinations application saying, “It was incredible to see the high calibre of applications for this year’s Foodie Destinations. As food tourism grows in popularity – it is great to see so many places putting local food at the forefront of the visitor experience and like West Cork, enhancing their food tourism offering year on year.”
Congratulations to West Cork as Winners of the Foodie Destinations 2017 award which is sure to boost the region’s profile as an outstanding food destination in Ireland.