Irish Restaurant Awards
The much-anticipated Irish Restaurant Awards were officially launched yesterday at the Marker Hotel, kicking off the 15th year of the prestigious awards.
Last year’s Irish Restaurant Awards were the most popular yet, with the public making over 130,000 nominations for Ireland’s best food-led hospitality businesses and the people behind them.
As in previous years, the Irish Restaurant Awards process begins with an online public vote hosted by The Irish Times that can be accessed here. The nomination window runs from 12pm noon on Wednesday, January 17th to 12pm noon on Wednesday, January 31st.
This year, the public can nominate candidates across 23 categories, including 17 Main Award categories and 6 National Award categories. New categories introduced this year include Employee Excellence, Food Truck of the Year and Outstanding Achievement awards.
Speaking about the launch of the Irish Restaurant Awards, Paul Lenehan, President of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, said:
“Despite some extremely challenging times for our industry, year after year, the Irish Restaurant Awards serve as an excellent reminder of the passion and innovation that exist within the island of Ireland’s food-led hospitality industry.
“Above all, the Irish Restaurant Awards provide us with an opportunity to reflect on all that makes our food and hospitality offering great – in particular, the wonderful teams that make everything tick and leave locals and tourists with a smile on their faces time and time again.
“There is great excitement brewing once again about what is truly the good news story of our industry’s year. We look forward to highlighting and celebrating the best our island has to offer in terms of food and hospitality.
“We especially look forward to the public having its voice heard as to which restaurants, cafés and other food-led businesses have transformed their local community. We expect to exceed the monumental 130,000 public nominations that were made last year.”
The public nomination process will be followed by a judging process of national experts, culminating in regional events in the four provinces at which county winners will be announced, followed then by a Dublin shortlist. Finally, in May, the Irish Restaurant Awards’ All Ireland Final at which regional and national winners will be announced will take place.
Judging Process – County Winners
The judging process this year consists of two stages:
Stage 1: Choosing county/provincial winners – After the online nominations are closed and independently audited by BDO, regional judging panels will review the nominees. The county and provincial winners will then be announced at the Regional Awards.
Stage 2: National Academy Judging – Selected judges from the regional panels will form the National Academy, reviewing each finalist and deciding the overall winners. Mystery guest inspections precede this stage for certain categories.
County winners will be announced at Regional Awards Events throughout March and April. Full details will be released following the close of nominations, along with ticketing information.
Regional Awards Events & All Ireland Awards Gala
Regional and All Ireland Winners – including in categories such as Best Restaurant and Best Chef – will be revealed at the All Ireland Awards Gala Dinner which will take place at the Clayton Hotel on Burlington Road, Dublin 4 in May. Ticket and event information will be released in April following Regional Events.
Read more from the Hotel & Restaurant Times HERE