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Boyne Valley Named As Ireland’s Premier Foodie Destination 2016

Restaurants Association Of Ireland Announces Foodie Destinations 2016 Winner

September 2016, Clare, Ireland.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland is delighted to announce that the winner of Foodie Destinations 2016 is Boyne Valley. The winner was revealed at an event held in Hotel Doolin, Co Clare earlier this evening. After a rigorous few weeks of applications, town visits and over 10,000 online votes, Boyne Valley have beaten the competition and proved themselves to be an excellent leader as a foodie destination. From Tapas Trails and Food Safaris to innovative strategies for growth and development, they set the benchmark for food tourism in Ireland.

The top five finalists in this year’s Foodie Destinations competition are as follows;

  1. Boyne Valley
  2. Derry
  3. The Burren
  4. Cong
  5. Sligo

 

Representatives from each of the final top ten destinations attended the all-Ireland final to hear the result. For a second year in a row, Derry was announced as the Foodie Destinations runner up, proving themselves again to be one of the top foodie destinations in Ireland. Last year, the city was narrowly beaten by The Burren, who claimed second runner up in this year’s competition. Fourth and fifth position in this year’s competition went to new entry Cong, Co Mayo and Sligo, Co. Sligo respectively.

CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Adrian Cummins, presented the award to an elated bunch of Boyne Valley representatives. He commented, “It was incredible to see the high calibre of applications for this year’s Foodie Destinations. As food tourism grows in popularity - it is great to see so many places putting local food at the forefront of the visitor experience and like Boyne Valley, enhancing their offering year on year. I would like to congratulate Boyne Valley as winners of this year’s Foodie Destinations award which is sure to further boost their profile as an outstanding food destination. 

Each Foodie Destinations finalist received a trophy while the top five destinations were presented with a certificate. Boyne Valley and Derry also received an engraved Newbridge Silverware plaque for their achievements.

Aoife Carrigy, chairperson, Irish Food Writers Guild and Foodie Destinations judge stated, “The Foodie Destinations Award is an important testament to just how far Ireland has come in developing an authentic, unique and sustainable food culture. It is also a timely recognition of the dedicated graft of so many far-sighted local communities in order to claim their place in that developing food culture, and make it their own for the generations to come.

 

She continued, “For many of those communities, such as the city of Derry who are this year’s runners-up, this emerging food culture is a vital opportunity to re-imagine the identity of their community, for visitors but also for themselves. What is striking about so many of these communities is the clear-sightedness of their ambition, exemplified by this year’s winners, the Boyne Valley Food Series. They represent an Ireland that is ready to reclaim our food culture of today, of yesterday and of tomorrow, and to bring that to a world stage.” 

 

Dee Laffan, a freelance food journalist, editor and Foodie Destinations judge added, "It was a privilege to be a Foodie Destinations judge again this year and to witness the amazing effort and excitement that each of the top ten finalists contributed to their visit. Of course, the visit simply acts as a showcase of the collaborative work that is happening on a daily basis in these locales, representing an ethos that has been embraced as part of their food culture, livelihoods and future. This year's winner - the Boyne Valley Food Series - is a glowing example. 

She also stated, “What is very apparent from our visits, and while reviewing all of this year's applications to the Foodie Destinations competition, is the overwhelming sense of community, grown through a passion for their local food and region and the pride that springs from this. This could be found in a city as large as Derry and a village as small as Cong; their enthusiasm and ambitions are inspiring and what has helped create the food island that Ireland has become." 

The five remaining finalists, in no particular order, that demonstrated substantial efforts to their applications and finalist visits were:

  • Dublin Coastal Villages
  • Kilkenny
  • Leitrim
  • Monaghan
  • Loop Head Peninsula

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