The first Irish Food Writing Awards took place on Wednesday evening in a ceremony held at the Fallon & Byrne restaurant in Dublin, followed by a post-ceremony event at the Merrion Hotel.
Leaders in the world of Irish culinary writing were joined by international chefs and writers, including chef and host Mark Hix, wine critic Fiona Beckett, American culinary author Adrian Miller and author of Award-winning cookbooks, cooking teacher and chef Charlotte Pike in a ceremony that was positively bubbling with excitement.
Founded by Suzanne Campbell and Paul O’Connor, the awards recognize excellence in writing and producing content on Irish cuisine. Categories were open to writers, journalists, chefs, bloggers, broadcasters, photographers and those promoting Irish cuisine on social media, and Irish Examiner’s writers were recognized across the board.
The awards received more than 200 entries in 15 categories, judged by a jury including some of the world’s biggest names in food and drink, such as Rene Redzepi of Restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, broadcaster Jay Rayner and food critic Tom Parker Bowles.
Weekend Magazine food columnist and food critic Joe McNamee won the Restaurant Editor’s Award, judged by Tom Parker Bowles and Xanthe Clay. Columnist Michelle Darmody took home an award for her extensive writing on the importance of sustainability in food and Jess Murphy from Kai Restaurant in Galway was the first to congratulate her, tweeting “Big win. Delighted for Michelle. Weekend drink writer Leslie Williams was honored to be a finalist for the Wine Writing Award, having sifted through 104 columns for her entry.
A regular contributor to Feelgood and Weekend Magazine, Caroline Hennessey was thrilled to win the online culinary writing award. Irish Examiner columnist Colm O’Gorman was shortlisted for the Irish Cookery Writing Award, missing the award-winning Lilly Higgins. “I’m absolutely thrilled for her,” O’Gorman said.