Ireland to host Great Taste awards judging

After a series of triumphant performances by foods from the island of Ireland in the annual Great Taste awards scheme, its British-based organiser is to stage part of 2013’s judging in Dublin.

The Guild of Fine Food, the trade body for speciality food & drink retailers and producers, is looking for chefs, deli owners and other food experts to take part in a week of tastings in late April at Bewley’s Hotel. They will join teams of judges working in London and the south-west of England to help independently assess around 10,000 food and drink products, to see if they are worthy to carry the influential black and gold Great Taste logo.

Northern Ireland has provided the Great Taste Supreme Champion for the past two years. McCartney’s of Moira triumphed in 2011 with its traditional corned beef, and Hannan Meats, also based in Moira, securing the trophy last year with an Italian inspired bacon called Moyallan Guanciale. In 2006, a smoked wild salmon from West Cork’s Woodcock Smokery was crowned Supreme Champion.

“Our panel of experts is continually impressed with the products entered into Great Taste from the Republic and Northern Ireland and we felt the right thing to do was take Great Taste to Dublin,” explained John Farrand, organiser of Great Taste. “In order to maintain our robust judging process, we need to bring together a balanced team of judges and we are asking chefs, food producers, food buyers and fine food retailers to step forward if they feel they would like to be part of the judging team.

“This involves blind-tasting a wide variety of food and drink, which is a wonderful experience for people with an interest in supporting the fine food sector,”

“Judging Great Taste involves simply tasting products and giving honest feedback – it is important that producers get constructive, accurate feedback from our judges and this is part of the value of Great Taste. This is an opportunity for buyers, chefs and anyone working in food to be part of finding what could be the best Irish product for 2013 so there is a lot at stake.”

The week’s judging, supported by distributor Pallas Foods, also means that the majority of producers from Ireland will not have to send their products to London or Dorset – ensuring their foods are judged in peak condition.

“Great Taste is the most trusted and recognised food and drink awards in Ireland and the UK. Pallas Foods is delighted to support the awards in Dublin this April. Being awarded a Great Taste star or more is a fantastic achievement and great acknowledgement for any business. In Ireland we have brilliant artisan food producers, I would encourage any of them to enter the award and get the stars they duly deserve giving their products great recognition,” said Patrick Clement, Marketing & Development Manager at Pallas Foods.

Judging will be held at Bewley’s Hotel at Ballsbridge in Dublin during the week commencing 22 April 2013.

The Guild of Fine Food is recruiting judges in Ireland. If you feel your palate is qualified, contact for an application form.

Since 1994, Great Taste has been organised by The Guild of Fine Food and over the last 19 years more than 70,000 products have been blind-tasted by judges including top restaurateurs, chefs, food critics, fine food retailers, buyers and cookery writers.

The announcement of the Supreme Champion 2013 sponsored by Harrods, will be made on the 9th September.

For further information please contact any of the following:

Joanne Myram at Positive PR on: 01935 389497

Or / 01963 824464

Guild of Fine Food, Guild House, Station Road, Wincanton, Somerset BA9 9FE