All roads finally led to Dingle in Country Kerry at the weekend (30 th September-1 st October 2022) for the Blas na hÉireann finals; the largest food awards on the island of Ireland. Food NI members took home dozens of crystal trophies.
The bronze, silver and gold winners from Co. Antrim across a range of different categories are Dale Farm, Glenballyeamon eggs, Glens of Antrim Potatoes, Lacada Brewery, Suki Tea Makers and Tempted Cider Company.
The bronze, silver and gold winners from Co. Armagh are Karri Kitchen, Armagh Cider, Avondale Foods, CRAIC Foods, Daily Bake, Hannan Meats, Holmes Bakery, Kestrel Foods, L’Artisan Foods, Long Meadow Cider, White Oats and Burren Balsamics, who were also awarded Best in County.
The bronze, silver and gold winners from Co. Derry-Londonderry are Carol’s Stock Market, Corndale Farm, Taste Joy Company and Broighter Gold, who were also awarded Best in County. The bronze, silver and gold winners from Co. Down are, Bró Coffee, Deli Lites Ireland, Lick Gelato, Longbridge Drinks, Papas Mineral Company and Rooney Fish. The bronze, silver and gold winners from Co. Tyrone across a range of different categories are En Place Foods, Ispini Charcuterie and Karro.
This year’s finalists and winners got to experience the Blas Village for the first time. Located in the heart of Dingle, this pop-up village was built for producers across the country to come together and celebrate the very best of Irish food and drink for Blas’s first in-person event in three years. As well as the awards being held there, finalists and winners have had the opportunity to showcase their products, engage with customers and meet key industry buyers. Finalists and winners showcased their produce in a new tented market—each tent highlighting a province in Ireland—also a new addition to the festival. Suitably named Eat Ireland in a Day, visitors were able to enjoy the high calibre quality of food & drinks that reached the finalist stage.
Speaking after the announcement Artie Clifford, Chairperson and founder of Blas na hÉireann said, “After a three-year hiatus from an in-person event, having a three-day event with the addition of the Blas Village and Eat Ireland in a Day has been worth the wait. I am really proud of what we hosted online but one thing that was repeated over and over was that people missed being in Dingle. As well as the excitement of the awards, it has been an intense and fantastic few days of focused networking, catch-ups and creating new connections and I am delighted that we have been able to showcase this exceptional produce to both regular visitors and industry experts in such an approachable and enjoyable way. What a great few days to welcome our Blas family back to Dingle.”
Now in their 15th year, Blas na hÉireann saw a huge increase in entries with almost 3000 products and many new producers entering the awards for the first time.