The prestigious Irish Food Writing Awards 2023 were held last night at the RDS. Founders Paul O’Connor and Suzanne Campbell note that the number of submissions this year was unprecedented, with a number of new categories added, including a new Award for Writing on Irish Seafood.
With over 90 finalists attending the awards at the RDS, there were 21 awards up for grabs, covering Irish food and drink journalism, as well as awards for blogging, photography and podcasting.
The awards were attended by some of their international judges including BBC journalist Dan Saldino, ITV Drinks Journalist Andy Clarke and Hello Magazine’s Charlotte Pike, former Chair of the UK Guild of Food Writers. Other judges included Rene Redzepi, Tom Parker Bowles and Fiona Beckett.
Irish Food Writing Awards founder, journalist Suzanne Campbell, said:
“We were overwhelmed with the amount of entries in this, our third year of the awards. It’s been a great experience again working with our international judges and Irish food and drink sponsor companies without which the awards couldn’t happened. Myself and colleague Paul O’Connor set this up in 2021 to recognise excellence and the hard work of writers and food media.”
A reception following the awards was held at the Cellar Bar in The Merrion Hotel, for finalists and winners alike celebrating the closing of another year of the Irish Food Writing Awards.
Notably, TheTaste.ie’s very own Sara Abdulmagid, a first time entrant, was nominated for the Writing on International Cuisines award, for her interview with the owners of Cafe Izz, and for her Taste of the Middle East article.
The final award of the night was the Outstanding Achievement Award, which was deservedly given to John and Sally McKenna, for their decades-long to the Irish food industry.
Winners of the Irish Food Writing Awards 2023
Irish Food or Drink Podcast: Spice Bags Podcast
Judged by Nigel Barden. Sponsored by Sharon Noonan
Cookery Writing Award: Beth O’Brien, Irish Times
Judged by Ed Smith. Sponsored by Ardkeen Grocery
Writing on Irish Food Producers: Marie Claire Digby, Irish Times
Judged by Charlotte Pike. Sponsored by Certified Irish Angus
Investigative Writing: Maria Delaney, Geela Garcia and Louise Lawless of Noteworthy.ie
Judged by Dan Saladino. Sponsored by Drummond House Garlic
Writing on Seafood Award: Janine Kennedy, Irish Country Living
Sponsored by Glenmar Shellfish
Emerging Voice in Irish Food Writing: Shamin deBrun, Char Food Guide
Judged by Charlotte Pike. Sponsored by Clayton Hotels
Irish Food Magazine/Supplement Award: Irish Times Magazine
Judged by Mina Holland. Sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland
Food Photography (professional category): Ruth Calder-Potts
Judged by Joann Pai. Sponsored by Odaois Foods
Food Photography (amateur category) : Sapana Behl
Judged by Joann Pai . Sponsored by Odaois Foods
Irish Food Blog Award: ‘Botanical Cuisine Digest’ Technical University Dublin
Judged by Robb Walsh. Sponsored by Pestle+Mortar sauces
Restaurant Feature Writing: Marie Claire Digby, Irish Times
Judged by Felicity Cloake. Sponsored by Safco Fine Foods
Writing on Sustainability in Irish Food Award: Caroline Hennessy, The Examiner
Judged by Catherine Mack
Cookbook of The Year Award: ‘Paradiso: recipes and reflections’ by Denis Cotter
Judged by Colman Andrews. Sponsored by Gather&Gather
Wine Writing Award: Mick O’Connell, Food and Wine Magazine
Judged by Fiona Beckett. Sponsored by Whelehan’s Wines
Spirits Writing Award: Janine Kennedy, Irish Country Living
Judged by Rachel McCormack. Sponsored by Powerscourt Distillery.
Beer Writing Award: Gary Law, Belfast Telegraph
Judged by Richard Croasdale. Sponsored by Franciscan Well
Culinary Student Award: Gavin McDonagh, Technical University Dublin
Judged by Jess Murphy and Gareth Mullins. Sponsored by Kerrygold
Food Writing Award: Aoife Carrigy, Irish Independent
Judged by Deborah Reid. Sponsored by Bord Bia
Writing on International Cuisines: Vritti Bansal, Irish Times
Judged by Anjula Devi. Sponsored by Ruchii Blackrock
Irish Food on Instagram/Tiktok Award: Char Food Guide
Judged by Andy Clarke. Sponsored by Coole Swan
Restaurant Critic Award: Joe McNamee, Irish Examiner
Judged by Xanthe Clay and Tom Parker Bowles. Sponsored by Safco Fine Foods
Outstanding Achievement in Food Writing Award: John and Sally McKenna
Sponsored by James Whelan Butchers
The awards, established in 2021 by Suzanne Campbell with Paul O’Connor, are kindly sponsored by Sharon Noonan, Ardkeen Grocery, Certified Irish Angus, Drummond House Garlic, Glenmar Shellfish, Clayton Hotels, , Invest Northern Ireland, Odaois Foods, Pestle + Mortar, Safco Fine Foods, Gather+Gather, Whelehan’s Wines, Powerscourt Distillery, Franciscan Well, Kerrygold, Bord Bia, Ruchii Blackrock, Coole Swan and James Whelan Butcher.
The Irish Food Writing Awards were established to recognise and celebrate the high quality of food and drink writing from throughout the island of Ireland, across print, broadcast and online. In all categories, entries were accepted from the nominees themselves, or by a third party and were open to writers, journalists, bloggers and photographers.
Twitter: @Irish_Writing #IFWA23