30 August 2017
By Bryan Smyth
The Restaurants Association of Ireland is delighted to declare West Cork as the winners of Foodie Destinations 2017. The winner was announced at an event held in the Headfort Arms Hotel in the home of last year’s winners Boyne Valley earlier last evening.
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 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.
The top five finalists in this year’s Foodie Destinations competition are as follows;
- West Cork
- Boyne Valley
- West Waterford
Representatives from each of the final top ten destinations attended the all-Ireland final to hear the result. Last year’s winners Boyne Valley were announced in second place, proving themselves again to be one of the top foodie destinations in Ireland.
This year’s judges were Zach Gallagher and Wendy Kavanagh the 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 Zach. “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, and this was most evident in the ten regions that reached the Foodie Destinations of Ireland final.” Wendy added “What really stood out for me was the passion and pride displayed by the people involved at each destination.”
CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Adrian Cummins, presented the award to an elated bunch of West Cork representatives. He commented, “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 offering year on year. I would like to congratulate West Cork as winners of the 2017 Foodie Destinations award which is sure to further boost their profile as an outstanding food destination. “
Each Foodie Destinations finalist received a trophy while the top five destinations were presented with an additional token marking their place in the competition. West Cork and Boyne Valley also received an engraved silver plaque for their achievements as winner and runner up respectively.
The five remaining finalists, all of whom demonstrated spectacular efforts to their applications and finalist visit, in no particular order were as follows:
- Loop Head Peninsula
- Galway’s West End