Two Irish Times columnists win Irish Food Writing Awards

Corinna Hardgrave and Lilly Higgins win Food Writing and Cookery Writing Awards

Irish Times restaurant critic Corinna Hardgrave has won the Food Writing Award at the inaugural Irish Food Writing Awards 2021. Lilly Higgins has won the Cookery Writing Award for her work in The Irish Times.

The Food Writing Award was judged by American food author Adrian Miller and British author and food writer Sophie Grigson. The judges of the Cookery Writing Award were Trish Deseine and French Elle Magazine writer Esterelle Payany.

In other prizes, Food & Wine magazine won the Magazine or Food Supplement Award, while Mei Chin won the Writing on International Cuisines in Ireland Award for her work in The Irish Times and The Times (UK) newspapers.

The prizegiving took place in Ireland in Fallon and Byrne on November 10th. There were over 200 entries from Irish food and drink journalists, writers, bloggers and photographers. Nine of the 27 international judges, who included Rene Redzepi from Noma in Copenhagen, food broadcaster Jay Rayner and Tom Parker Bowles, travelled to Ireland for the awards.


Founder of the awards, journalist Suzanne Campbell said: “This is the inaugural awards for journalists and food writers in Ireland ... to push for high standards in food writing and food media. We were overwhelmed with the amount of entries, the quality of the international writers who wanted to be involved as judges and our sponsor companies, without which the awards wouldn’t have happened.”

“Myself and a colleague Paul O’Connor set this up just this year; it’s a non-profit enterprise, and seeing the joy on people’s faces tonight at the awards was worth all the planning and changes we had to make because of the pandemic. It has been a tough 18 months for the food sector and for journalists so this is a lovely way to acknowledge the hard work of writers and food media.”

The remaining winners are:

Food Writing Award winner - Corinna Hardgrave

Magazine or Food Supplement Award winner: Food and Wine Magazine

Online Writing Award winner - Caroline Hennessy for

Cookery Writing Award winner: Lilly Higgins for work in the Irish Times

Writing on International Cuisines in Ireland winner Mei Chin for work in The Irish Times and The Times (UK) newspapers

Food Podcast Award: Spice Bags Podcast from Dee Laffan, Mei Chin and Blanca Valencia

Writing on Sustainability in Irish Food Award: Michelle Darmody for work in The Examiner

Restaurant Writing Award: Joe McNamee for work in The Examiner

Food Photography Professional Category: Al Higgins

Food Photography Amateur Category: Rosie Morgan

Online Writing Award: Caroline Hennessy for

Writing on Irish Food Producers Award: Katy McGuinness for work in the Irish Independent

Investigative Writing on Food Award: Niall Sargeant for work published in

Emerging Voice in Irish Food Writing Award: Maeve L'Estrange for work published in the Dublin Inquirer

Wine Writing Award: Aoife Carrigy

Spirits Writing Award: Oisin Davis for work published in Food and Wine Magazine

Beer Writing Award: Breandan Kearney for work published on Good Beer Hunting

Cookbook of The Year Award: "FX Buckley the Dublin Steakhouse" by Katy McGuinness and Stephen Buckley

November is Food Month in The Irish Times. A special food magazine is published on Friday November 12th, listing the 100 best restaurants in Ireland in 2021, and throughout November, you'll find a wide range of food news and features across all sections of the newspaper, and online at

You can join our writers in their home kitchens too. Lilly Higgins will welcome readers into her kitchen in Cork throughout the month. Every Monday evening at 6.30pm, she cooks the family-friendly dish that features in her column the previous Saturday, on her Instagram IGTV channel. See

On Sundays at 3pm Aoife Noonan hosts weekly Facebook Live interactive baking masterclasses on the theme of Comfort Food Classics. See

We have some great prizes to be won, including an opportunity to become part of the wine team at The K Club in 2022. The prize, with an estimated value of more than €10,000, includes accompanying K Club sommelier Lisa O'Doherty to wine tastings and events, a trip for two people to Bordeaux to visit Barton & Guestier's Château Magnol, and a food and wine masterclass afternoon in The K Club wine cellar for the winner and three friends, with an overnight stay. For more details and to enter, see

There is also a competition to win a four night, four dinner stay for two people at Cliff at Lyons in Co Kildare and the Cliff House hotel in Co Waterford, including reservations for dinner at Michelin two-star Aimsir and Michelin one-star House, as well as at The Mill restaurant at Cliff at Lyons and Bar restaurant at the Cliff House. For more details and to enter, see

To keep up to date with all of the Food Month activity and articles, see and follow the hashtag #ITFoodMonth