Euro-Toques Ireland Food Awards are back: 2023 winners announced – Recognising chef’s favourite producers in Ireland
Some of Ireland’s most exciting producers were recognised at the 2023 Euro-Toques Food Awards at Dunbrody Country House Hotel on 24 July. Established in 1996 based on an original idea by the legendary Myrtle Allen, the Euro-Toques Food Awards are held annually to recognise and celebrate the very best food being produced in Ireland. The event is a unique opportunity for chefs to acknowledge the work of small artisan producers.
Introduced by renowned Irish chef Kevin Dundon and food writer & author Caroline Hennessy, six awards were presented by Euro-Toques Ireland under the categories Water, Land, Farm, Dairy and Artisan Produce and Craft.
This year’s award winners are:
WATER: Kelly Mussels
for their outstanding Blue Rope Mussels and their contribution to regenerative aquaculture in Ireland.
LAND: Sliabh Aughty Honey
for their outstanding Raw Honeys and their contribution to the protection of Irish heritage and biodiversity.
for their outstanding Pekin Duck and their contribution to preserving the traditional and ethical way of rearing animals in Ireland
DAIRY: Velvet Cloud
for their outstanding Sheep Milk Yogurt and their contribution to championing Ireland’s rich and flavoursome dairy bounty
ARTISAN PRODUCE: Killahora Orchards
for their outstanding Rare Apple Ice Wine and their contribution to championing the artisan production of Irish craft drinks using apples.
CRAFT: Wildwood Balsamics
for their outstanding Wild Aged Vinegars and their contribution to protecting the tradition and skill of vinegar making in Ireland.
The ceremony was followed by a wonderful garden feast that brought together 100 chefs and producers, a real celebration of Irish produce featuring this year’s winners, nominees, and Euro-Toques members. Produce from over 30 producers was showcased on a beautifully laid-out communal Harvest Table, created by the Euro-Toques Food Council to draw attention to some of the best produce Ireland has to offer.
The common denominator running through the six categories this year is the theme of social responsibility with a focus on increasing biodiversity and the conservation of traditions and heritage. For 2023, Euro-Toques particularly highlighted: mussel farms and regenerative aquaculture; honey producers and beekeepers; producers of forgotten meats; our rich bounty of yogurts and ice-creams; makers of craft drinks based on apples such as cider, brandy and wines; and last – but not least – our innovative vinegar makers.
“The Food Council’s mission extends far beyond this event. Together, we represent a diverse tapestry of culinary knowledge, experiences, and insights that have shaped our approach to recognizing excellence within the industry. We are committed to fostering a sustainable, inclusive, and thriving culinary landscape,” said chef Conor Halpenny, newly elected as Head of the Euro-Toques Ireland Food Council. “Our responsibility is not only to acknowledge the talents and achievements of our nominees and winners but also to inspire and empower the entire community. Today, we honour the unsung heroes—the producers, farmers, and artisans—who work diligently behind the scenes to craft the flavours that delight our senses. We pay tribute to the artisans—the masters of their craft—who tirelessly strive to preserve traditions, revive forgotten flavours, and push the boundaries of what is possible in the culinary realm.”
Euro-Toques Ireland’s long-term strategy is to create a platform where chefs and producers can meet, network and exchange knowledge. Membership to the Community is open to all chefs and producers who are aligned with the ethos of Euro-Toques Ireland, based on local, seasonal produce that has been grown, farmed, or produced in a way that prioritises short supply chains. Manuela Spinelli, Head of Community, People & Culture said: “When chefs and producers ask me ‘What do I gain in becoming a member of Euro-Toques?’ I always answer, ‘You get to be part of it!’ Developing a community with shared values is our objective at Euro-Toques Ireland and engage, engage, engage, is our message.”