Where is Ireland’s top spot for food lovers?

There are 10 destinations in contention for the title and you can vote for your favourite

The Boyne Valley is Ireland’s reigning Top Foodie Destination, and a finalist in this year’s competition

The Boyne Valley is Ireland’s reigning Top Foodie Destination, and a finalist in this year’s competition

 

Remember when Kinsale was known as the gourmet capital of Ireland, largely due to the work of its Good Food Circle and the Gourmet Festival, which this year celebrates its 41st year?

The Co Cork town was way ahead of the curve when it came to using food as a promotional tool. Other towns, cities and regions got in on the act and soon there were several other contenders for the title.

But Kinsale is fighting back and this week joins nine other food-centric Irish destinations in the final of the Restaurants Association of Ireland’s Top 10 Foodie Destinations for 2017.

An independent panel of judges chose the 10 finalists from entry submissions. In the next stage of the competition each will receive a visit from two impartial assessors, and voting will also be open to the public. Both will carry equal weight in deciding Ireland’s top foodie destination 2017. The winner will be announced on August 29th.

Finalists

The finalists are Boyne Valley (last year’s winner); Cong; Galway’s Westend; Kilkenny; Kinsale; Loop Head; Monaghan, Sligo, West Cork, and West Waterford. Kinsale, Galway’s Westend, West Cork and West Waterford are finalists for the first time in the competition.

Voting opens tomorrow, Tuesday, July 25th at noon and will continue until Thursday, August 10th at noon. You can vote for your favourite at foodiedestinations.ie.

According to the criteria for entry, “The Foodie Destination 2017 winner will be a destination that actively promotes itself through joint promotional activities such as food festivals, gourmet trails or farmers’ markets as well as great dining experiences”.

Education, training, development and employment are further key components that the independent assessors will be looking for when they visit. Plans for future growth and investment in the local food and hospitality industry will also be a factor.

Rich landscape

“Winning the title of Foodie Destination of Ireland 2017 will provide a competitive edge to towns and regions wishing to promote their areas to incoming tourists. The rich landscape of the Irish culinary scene has provided us with an interesting battleground for the competition,” said Adrian Cummins, chief executive of the RAI.

“The quality of submissions this year was once again excellent, all 10 of the finalists have something to be proud of for reaching the penultimate stage of the competition.”

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