The Megabytes Award - Seagull Bakery
The queues out the door and down the street at the weekend in Tramore tell you all you need to know about the success of Sarah Richards’ Seagull Bakery. But, behind the scenes, even more has been happening at Seagull, as Ms Richards has begun to mill and bake with Irish heritage wheat from Wexford and with Irish spelt from Kilkenny. Just think of it: Irish wheat milled and baked into delicious sourdough loaves only miles from where the wheat is grown! This is the new wave of Irish baking, and Seagull Bakery is at the cutting edge. Join the queue in Tramore, and remember to ask for a Squarehead. Only brilliant.
Green Sustainable Award - Good Day Deli
In Cork’s Good Day Deli, they call it Mana Tiaki: “guardianship of the heritage and the environment for future generations.” Clare Condon and Kristin Makirere make this promise of sustainability to future generations a mainstay of their work practices in GDD – Ms Condon is an environmental economist – so you come to this beautiful glass box in the grounds of the Nano Nagle Centre to eat local foods prepared with a conscience, and with an expert culinary authority. There is nothing preachy about GDD: they simply do the good thing, in order that we can all keep on doing the good thing.
Communicator Award - Brian McDermott
Brian McDermott admits that he is driven by the 'desire to create food which would give others the same sense of belonging I felt at my mother’s kitchen table.' That’s a powerful and all-encompassing ambition, and it’s an ambition that creates McDermott’s modesty, and his utility as a teacher, demonstrator, broadcaster, commentator, author, and cook. With a new book and a new hotel – The Foyle Hotel in Moville, Co Donegal – both happening in 2018, Mr McDermott has had something of an annus mirabilis. He’s a hard working guy, who never goes off message, and that message is a simple one: good food makes us truly human.
Influencer - Ted Dinan
Professor Ted Dinan, author of The Psychobiotic Revolution, with his colleague John Cryan, is one of the finest public speakers we know. His ability to explain to an audience the most arcane aspects of the human microbiota is astonishing. He stands up on a stage and transfixes everyone with every word. When Ted spoke at Theatre of Food, we explained that he had 17 minutes for his slot. At the end of exactly 17 minutes, he wrapped up his talk, and he didn’t ever look at his watch. Now, that’s professionalism.
Event - The Wild Atlantic Way Bay Festival Fualacht Fia
Ronnie Counihan and Tim O’Sullivan of Renvyle House are the Connemara Champions. Nobody does hospitality better than these animated veterans, but Ronnie and Tim outdid even themselves when they organised a brilliant fualacht fia at 2018’s Wild Atlantic Way Bay Festival. It’s no small matter to create a Bronze Age cook-in, but it’s the sort of thing the team at Renvyle do, aided by fulacht fia expert Christy Lawless. Of course, you’re all wondering how did the lamb taste when it came out of the water bath. People, it was pure georgeous.
Festival - The September Food Festival at Airfield
The September Food Festival at Airfield estate is becoming one of the biggest food events in the country, and for a simple reason: Airfield is a magical oasis in the city, and the kitchen team in Overends, with chef Luke Matthews and pastry chef Shane Smith, are firing out sublime, sophisticated and earthy food. The food and the estate and the gardens and the ethos, under the assured orchestration of Grainne Kelleher – all coincide at the Airfield Festival to make the magic, and it’s an unmissable event.