Roscommon has just missed out on a place in the Top Ten Foodie Destinations which were announced by Restaurants Association of Ireland.
The Foodie Destinations initiative was formed as part of the Irish Restaurant Awards 2014 but proved to be so popular it became its own entity in 2015. Its aim is to celebrate Ireland’s unique and wonderful food offerings and to encourage local food tourism initiatives across the country.
Applications for this year’s competition were received from all corners of the country and on both sides of the border. For the first stage of judging, applications are thoroughly assessed by an independent panel of judges.
Though there was tough competition, the top ten ‘Foodie Destinations’ of Ireland in 2016 have been selected and are as follows:
– Boyne Valley
– Dublin Coastal Village (Howth, Malahide and Skerries)
– The Burren
– The Loop Head Peninsula
Each of these ten finalists will now receive a pre-arranged visit by a pair of independent assessors in the coming weeks. This assessment will be combined with a national public voting campaign where the public can choose their winning foodie destination out of the ten finalists – this can be done through www.foodiedestinations.ie. Both components will carry equal weight in the overall score. The winning town/destination will be crowned ‘Foodie Destination of Ireland 2016’ in September.
The ‘Foodie Destination of Ireland’ award recognises 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. The winning Irish destination will have established a local producer/supplier network which is utilised and promoted by local businesses. Plans for future growth and investment into the food and hospitality industry at a local level will also be taken into consideration by judges. Education, training, development and employment will be key components of the ultimate foodie destination.
A number of 2015 finalists, including last year’s winner The Burren, have made the top ten list for Foodie Destinations 2016 again. New entries to this year’s finalist list include Cong, Dublin Coastal Village, Leitrim and Monaghan.
Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, noted that the rich landscape of the Irish culinary scene will provide an exciting battleground for the competition, “This is an exciting time to be involved with the food and tourism industry in Ireland, and for local businesses to show the nation the pride they have in their communities. Winning the title of ‘Foodie Destination of Ireland 2016’ will provide a competitive edge to towns and regions wishing to promote their areas to incoming tourists.
“The quality of submissions this year was astounding, and all ten of the ‘Foodie Destination’ finalists have something to be proud of for reaching the penultimate stage of the competition.”
The Public Voting Process
A national public voting campaign begins today with each of the ten finalists canvassing the country to vote for them.
Online voting will take place via www.foodiedestinations.ie from now (Thursday 18th August) until 12 noon on Friday 9th of September.
The final decision will be made by combining the judges’ votes with the public vote that carry equal weight – each of these components account for 50% of the overall mark a destination receives.
The ultimate ‘Foodie Destination of Ireland 2016’ will be announced in September (date TBC).