Remember, a simple message in these unusual times….
eat well, support local producers and buy Irish food
Entries are now open to producers all across the country for Blas na hÉireann 2021, with the very best in Irish food and drink being judged in the largest blind-tasted food awards on the island. We are delighted to be working with Louth LEO to support this year’s Best in Louth.
The awards seek to reward the very best, not just in their category but to highlight the best of local as well, including an award for Best in Louth which is supported by LEO Louth.
“The Local Enterprise Office is committed to working closely with local food & drink producers in the region. The Blas na hEireann awards is just one of the many ways we support and actively work with the food industry in county Louth and we always encourage the local producers to participate in these prestigious Irish Awards.” Grainne McKeown Food Development Officer, Local Enterprise Office Louth.
As always, every entry will be eligible for the Best in County award, which is awarded to the highest scoring product from that county.
The winner of Best in Louth in 2020 was Carlingford Oysters.
Louth winners and finalists in 2020 included Drummond House, East Cost Bakehouse, Kookee, McEntee’s Teas, Natures Best & Oriel Sea Salt. You can find more details on finalists & winners here
You can also take a look on our interactive map of Irish producer’s here
“The last 12 months have been like no other in the history of Blas na hÉireann,” says Chairman Artie Clifford. “We could never have imagined what lay ahead when we launched last year’s awards. It is testament to our team, our partners in UCC, IT Tralee and TU Dublin, our sponsors, the resilience and innovation of our amazing producers and our wider Blas community that we were able to announce our 2020 winners in a virtual celebration last October. It is with this experience under our belt that we can confidently launch Blas 2021 – knowing that no matter what, we will celebrate the very finest Irish food and drink in the best way possible.”
These are exceptionally rigorously-judged awards, as Blas na hÉireann use an innovative blind-tasting judging system developed by Blas with the Food Science Dept of UCC and the University of Copenhagen that is now recognised as an industry gold standard worldwide. Last year, these systems were successfully moved from the campus in UCC to Dingle to work within constraints of lockdown and travel restrictions.
“2020 was an incredibly difficult year,” says Blas na hÉireann Chairman Artie Clifford. “With businesses pushed to the brink, the closure of the hospitality sector left many producers without some of their key accounts. However, with many producers pivoting their business quickly and the general public getting far more interested in the quality of the food in their basket and on their plate, there were deep ties made between communities and their local producers. Our goal is to build on this and ensure that when restaurants reopen, the ties made between the public and these products remains.
So whether a new business has flourished over the past 12 months or an existing product is being used in a brand new way, a Blas na hÉireann gold stamp of approval could see it reach new heights and, most importantly, new customers.
You can watch a video of our 2020 judging here
2020 – Response to challenges & restrictions, how we judged
Find out more about the awards & enter online