Jess Murphy with Artie Clifford, chairman of Blas na hÉireann.

Jess Murphy with Artie Clifford, chairman of Blas na hÉireann.

Blas na hÉireann announced chef Jess Murphy Producers' Champion 2019 during a recent breakfast briefing at Urchin at Cliff Townhouse, St. Stephen's Green.

Blas na hÉireann are the largest food awards in Ireland. Open to all 32 counties, Blas na hÉireann announces its winners every October during the Dingle Food Festival. 

The Producers' Champion award is nominated by producers who think the individual represents and supports their food and the produce of other Irish makers and growers. Previous winners include Neven Maguire, Simon Coveney TD and Shane McArdle.

New Zealand-born Jess Murphy has been living and working in Ireland since 2003. She opened her award-winning restaurant Kai in Galway with her Irish-born husband David in 2011. Kai, which was awarded a Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide, focuses on locally sourced, seasonal produce to create inventive daily menus. 

Jess Murphy was named Producers' Champion.

Jess Murphy was named Producers' Champion.

Read more: Jess Murphy on Parabere 2019

Speaking about her win, Jess commented:

"Our suppliers have become our friends and our extended family. Kai reflects Galway’s Sea Road and the west community of locals, artists and hungry eaters, as well as being a showcase for amazing local farmers, cheese makers and suppliers and our extended family of Irish producers who grow and create mind-bogglingly brilliant and delicious ingredients. I am proud to have been voted Blas na hÉireann Producers’ Champion 2019 by people I have such respect and admiration for - it’s a pleasure to work with them and their fantastic produce.”

Jess was given this accolade at an exclusive breakfast briefing at Urchin in Cliff Townhouse, St Stephen's Green. Attendees were treated to a delicious Irish breakfast with some of Ireland's best produce, including Ballylisk of Armagh Triple Cream Cheese, free range ham from McCarthy's of Kanturk and St Tola ash log from Clare, on offer.

Early bird entries for Blas na hÉireann 2019 are now being accepted online. Any entries accepted before 30th of April will be charged the discounted early bird fee of €60 per entry (ex VAT). The full entry fee, applicable from 1st May to 15th June is €75 per entry (ex VAT). Head to http://www.irishfoodawards.com for more info.