Good Food Ireland
Best Of Decade Awards

View 2016 Winners Here

Good Food Ireland
Best Of The Decade Awards

These will recognise the unique individuality of Good Food Ireland Members over the last decade. They are the ultimate food heroes, who have collaborated, volunteered and pushed the boundaries forward into the future, joining a pioneering food movement that would become a significant instigator and pathway for the development of Ireland’s food tourism scene.

View 2016 Winners Here

The Best of the Decade Awards are about looking back and acknowledging those who have gone the extra mile and whose efforts have impacted change, but they are also about looking forward and taking a glimpse into the future.

Founding Members
Aqua Restaurant,Dublin
Ballycross Apple Farm, Co Wexford
Ballymaloe Cookery School, Co Cork
Ballymaloe Country Relish, Co Cork
Ballymaloe House, Co Cork
Ballyvolane House & Blackwater Salmon Fishery, Co Cork
Burren Smokehouse & Visitor Centre, Co Clare
Carrygerry Country House, Co Clare
Caviston’s Food Emporium & Seafood Restaurant, Co Dublin
Chapter One, Dublin
Connemara Smokehouse, Co Galway
Country Choice, Co Tipperary
Ditty’s Home Bakery & Coffee Shop, Co Derry
Donnybrook Fair, Dublin
Dunne and Crescenzi, Dublin
ely Wine Bar, Dublin
Farmgate Café, Cork
Farmgate Restaurant & Country Store, Co Cork
Fishy Fishy Café, Co Cork
Ghan House, Co Louth
Gleeson’s Restaurant & Rooms, Co Roscommon
Gorman’s Clifftop House & Restaurant, Co Kerry
G’s Gourmet Jams, Co Laois
Hayfield Manor Hotel, Cork
Jack McCarthy Meats, Co Cork
Jane Russell’s Original Irish Sausages, Co Kildare
Kelly’s Butchers, Co Mayo
Kelly’s Resort Hotel & Spa, Co Wexford
Larkins Bar & Restaurant, Co Tipperary
L’Ecrivain, Dublin
Lorge Chocolatier, Co Kerry
Merrion Hotel, Dublin
Mossfield Organic Farm, Co Offaly
Newforge House, Co Armagh
O’Connells in Ballsbridge, Dublin
O’Neills Pub, Dublin
QC’s Seafood Bar, Restaurant & Rooms, Co Kerry
Rathmullan House, Co Donegal
Ryan’s Arbutus Breads, Co Cork
The Apple Farm, Co Tipperary
The Chocolate Garden of Ireland, Co Carlow
Ummera Smoked Products, Co Cork
URRU Culinary Store, Co Cork
White Gables Restaurant, Co Galway
Whitehorses Restaurant, Co Waterford

Meet the

Judging Panel

The awards are judged by an esteemed panel of industry leaders and specialists across the food, travel, tourism and agricultural industries. They bring a wealth of experience to the judging panel and their enthusiasm will ensure that winners are truly outstanding and worthy of a Best of the Decade Award.
Margaret Jeffares Chairperson of touRRoir



In 2006 Margaret founded Good Food Ireland to link the agri-food and tourism hospitality sector together and crafted
Read More…
Aoife Carrigy Chairperson of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild



Aoife Carrigy is Chairperson of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild and a freelance editor and food, wine and travel writer.


O’Mara Walsh

Chief Executive of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC) since September 2015.

Meet the

Judging Panel

The awards are judged by an esteemed panel of industry leaders and specialists across the food, travel, tourism and agricultural industries. They bring a wealth of experience to the judging panel and their enthusiasm will ensure that winners are truly outstanding and worthy of a Best of the Decade Award.



Mairead is a former winner of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists National Journalist of the Year Award and winner of the National Print category on two occasions. She also won the John Healy Award for Regional Journalism.
Read More…



Dianne is a freelance food writer, food stylist and consultant who has written for a range of publications, including FOOD&WINE Magazine. She worked in the hospitality industry in London for several years before becoming
Read More…
Fionn Davenport



Fionn is a broadcaster is on RTE Radio 1, author on Lonely Planet and Travel Consultant, Columnist and Presenter on ‘The Travel Show’ and Newstalk’s ‘Right Hook’ travel slot.

Meet the

Judging Panel

The awards are judged by an esteemed panel of industry leaders and specialists across the food, travel, tourism and agricultural industries. They bring a wealth of experience to the judging panel and their enthusiasm will ensure that winners are truly outstanding and worthy of a Best of the Decade Award.

Dr. Detta


Dr. Detta Melia is a lecturer in Hospitality Management with DIT in the School of Hospitality Management and Tourism. She has a wide range of industrial experience in hospitality and tourism, predominately in senior management positions in hotels, conference and tourism.
Read More…
Susan Operations Manager of Good Food Ireland



Susan Kerr is Operations Manager at Good Food Ireland and has been flying the flag for Irish food tourism for over ten years. She has been involved in the Best of the Decade Awards and the Hall of Fame since their inception and plays a key role in the development of Irish Food Brands.



Suzanne Campbell is a food and farming author and journalist whose education to good food began as a teenage au pair in the Auvergne where meals were lavish, and reading Elizabeth David’s experiences in France kept her sane.
Read More…

Award Categories

View 2016 Winners Here

FOOD CHAMPION – Sponsored by Úduarás na Gealtachta

Winner Birgitta Hedin-Curtin, Burren Smokehouse, Co Clare

This award honours a person who has worked to drive and influence the Irish food scene within the last ten years.  A passionate and committed individual,  who through their work in growing, farming, producing or cooking with Irish food, has also made an outstanding contribution to  raising the profile of Ireland as a  top quality destination for discerning food lovers.


  • Evan Doyle, BrookLodge & Wells Spa
  • JP McMahon, Aniar
  • Birgitta Hedin-Curtin, Burren Smokehouse
  • Howard Hastings, OBE, Hastings Hotels
  • Dermot Walsh,Walsh’s Bakehouse


The Ambassador of the Decade Award highlights an individual or group who has  joined Good Food Ireland in volunteering to promote Irish food at home and abroad. This award highlights efforts which have gone beyond the call of duty, to help gain recognition for Ireland as a first class culinary destination.

Group Honourees honoured on the night:

  • Sean Kelly, Kelly’s of Newport
  • Darina Allen and Rory O’Connell, Ballymaloe Cookery School
  • Eamonn and Mary Gleeson, Gleeson’s Restaurant and Rooms
  • Peter Ward, Country Choice
  • Robert Ditty, Ditty’s Bakery
  • Kay Harte, Farmgate Café
  • Nora Egan, Inch House & Restaurant
  • Anthony Creswell, Ummera Smokehouse
  • Declan Ryan, Ryan’s Arbutus Breads
  • Ed Cooney, The Merrion Hotel
  • Martin Shanahan, Fishy Fishy Café
  • Jack McCarthy, McCarthy’s of Kanturk
  • Birgitta Hedin-Curtin, Burren Smokehouse
  • Maurice Keller, Waterford
  • Tom O’Connell, O’Connell’s in Donnybrook

RISING STAR – Sponsored by Shannon Heritage

Winner – Highbank Organic Orchards, Kilkenny

The Rising Star of the Decade highlights an individual, business or team which has adapted and added value over the last ten years, to bring a new dynamism to business, which in turn has had a direct result in increasing business and raising awareness of Ireland through its food.


  • Ballyvolane House
  • Poacher’s Inn
  • Urru Culinary Store
  • Highbank Organic Orchards

SAVVY SOCIAL – Sponsored by House of Waterford Crystal 

Winner: Lemon Tree Restaurant, Letterkenny, Co Donegal

The Savvy Social business must think in terms of their specific business on this level playing field where size doesn’t matter, rather a combination of time, quality content and engagement does. The Savvy Social award will go to a member who has not only grasped the concept of using modern social media platforms in the professional arena, but who fully understands the power of technology to get the word out about their business and connect with people, integration of channels, use of different formats such as video, podcast, blog posts etc., and most importantly offers constant and consistent delivery of different types of content to their audience. A savvy social would also ensure they have integrated their social platforms to their website and instore/inhouse and printed materials.


  • The Butler’s Pantry
  • Lemon Tree Restaurant
  • ely Wine Bar
  • Dublin Cookery School
  • Faithlegg House Hotel


Mrs Veronica Steele – Milleens Cheese, Co Cork

The Good Food Ireland Hall of Fame honours individuals for their consistent, sometimes behind the scenes, beyond the call contribution and dedication to good Irish food and tourism at home and abroad. It also recognises the next generation, those who have influenced, inspired or effected change amongst Ireland’s youth, and those who will take forward with diligence a unanimous love of Irish food and hospitality. Past Honourees include Myrtle Allen of Ballymaloe House, Good Food Ireland  Chairman Redmond O’Donoghue and Paddy Cosgrave of Web Summit.

Honouree being Awarded 

Mrs Veronica Steele, Milleen’s Cheese

“an iconic cheesemaker who created Ireland’s first farmhouse cheese, and has also spent years educating many young cheesemakers in the art, as well as travelling abroad to help  women in impoverished areas learn how to make cheese so they can  make a living and support their families. Veronica is a world class educator, a woman with a huge sense of humour and enormous sense of responsibility to her profession. She has enriched the lives of the many people who have crossed her path, always ready with advice or helpful tips for anyone in the food industry, cheese maker or not. A worthy Good Food Ireland Hall of Fame honouree, Veronica has made over forty years of contribution to Irish food production and to raising the profile of Irish farmhouse cheeses at home and abroad”


Best Of The Decade

Award Sponsors

spaceShannon HeritageHouse of Waterford CrystalTrekksoftEPIC Irelandudarus-na-gaeilge