The winners of Blas na hÉireann, the Irish Food Awards, have been announced and Green Pastures Donegal has taken the Supreme Champion award for 2019.
The family-run Green Pastures Donegal is based Convoy, Co. Donegal, and combines the tradition of cheese making with technology to create a range of dairy products. The company champions a natural by nature sustainability programme and works closely with its milk supply farms to support sustainable farming practices.
Speaking about the win, John Molloy from Green Pastures Donegal said, “This is a huge accolade for us, it’s great to know that our knowledge of cheese making mixed with a modern approach is producing an award-winning cheese. We must thank the farmers we work with also who ensure we get the best possible quality milk to work with.”
Now in their 12th year, the Blas na hÉireann awards are the largest food awards on the island of Ireland, open to all 32 counties. The judging process is the biggest blind tasting of produce in the country. It’s based on criteria which were developed by Blas na hÉireann with the Food Science Dept of UCC and the University of Copenhagen and are now recognised as an industry gold standard worldwide. The judging panel features people from all sorts of backgrounds and includes chefs, restaurateurs, academics, journalists, caterers and home cooks.
This year, over 2,500 entries were judged in UCC, with finalists in each of the 140 categories whittled down to just five. Judging day took place in Dingle, Co Kerry where all 350 producer finalists had their products tasted and judged at the Blas na hÉireann final.
Other winners this year included:
The Truffle Fairy, Co. Kilkenny, Best New Product
Morgans, Co. Louth, Seafood Innovation sponsored by Bord Iascaigh Mhara
A Bit On The Side, Co. Meath, Best Start Up sponsored by Bank Of Ireland
Jerry Kennedys Butchers, Co. Kerry, Rogha na Gaeltachta sponsored by Udaras na Gaeltachta
The Truffle Fairy, Co. Kilkenny, Best in Leinster
Cooleeney, Co. Tipperary, Best in Munster
Wildwood Balsamics,Co. Mayo, Best in Connaught
Green Pastures Donegal, Co. Donegal, Best in Ulster
For more information on the awards go to the Irish Food Awards website.