Cork entries sweeps the boards at food writers’ awards

Lifetime achievement award for Myrtle Allen of Ballymaloe House on her 90th birthday

A lifetime achievement award has been  presented at the Irish Food Writers’ Guild Food Awards to Myrtle Allen of Cork’s Ballymaloe House, marking her 90th birthday, which falls today. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

A lifetime achievement award has been presented at the Irish Food Writers’ Guild Food Awards to Myrtle Allen of Cork’s Ballymaloe House, marking her 90th birthday, which falls today. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Wed, Mar 12, 2014, 13:40

Cork has dominated this year’s Irish Food Writers’ Guild Food Awards, with six of the seven awards going to Cork producers, organisations or individuals.

Cork’s Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms, Coolea Matured Farmhouse Cheese and Irish Atlantic Sea Salt all won food awards, while Stonewell Cider from Kinsale claimed the guild’s inaugural drink award.

An environmental award was presented to Responsible Irish Fish in Castletownbere for its commitment to the development of sustainable fishing practices.

Meanwhile, a lifetime achievement award was presented to Myrtle Allen of Cork’s Ballymaloe House, marking her 90th birthday, which falls today.

Non-Corkonians Dermot Carey and David Langford, who set up the Heritage Irish Potato Collection, were singled out for their contribution to Irish food.

This is the 20th year of the awards, which were set up to recognise and reward producers of the highest quality food and people who devote their lives to supporting and promoting Irish food.

The guild’s chairwoman, Lizzie Gore Grimes, said its members had discovered some wonderful products and innovative organisations in the south of the country that could not be ignored.

“But these awards are a national celebration of fine food and outstanding producers, all of whom have one thing in common - a commitment to innovation, which is proving integral to Ireland’s reputation at home and abroad.”

The awards were presented by the guild at L’Ecrivain Restaurant where chef Derry Clarke created a lunch incorporating all of the award-winning products.