Congratulations to The Burren who have just become the top Foodie Town destination for food lovers 2015. The competition was stiff for this annual award, but the folks in Clare just pipped it with their superlative offering of food products, restaurants and regional specialities. Judges travelled to all the top ten finalists in turn, assessing what each one had to offer, before making a final decision. The public also had a chance to vote for their favourite.
It’s no wonder the Burren wowed the judges. This is an area of natural beauty, with the limestone Burren landscape dominating the region. Judges were impressed by the coming together of the food community of the region in showcasing their food offering, and by the busy farmer’s markets, festivals, gourmet trail, diverse dining experiences and special food story in this area. The winners were presented with their award in Dublin yesterday evening.
Our own Birgitta Curtin of Burren Smokehouse was one of the campaigners in the lead up to winning the award. Alongside her role as a busy artisan food producer, Birgitta has taken an active role in Slow Food Clare for many years, spearheading the annual Slow Food Clare Festival weekend each May, which brings together producers, chefs and speakers in the tiny village of Lisdoonvarna and other destinations in the region. She is a stalwart representive of Good Food Ireland at many events and tastings with her delicious Burren Irish Smoked Salmon and other smokehouse products.
Ten towns made it to the final shortlist. Derry were runners up, narrowly beaten by Clare for the top award. Other finalists included Sligo, West Cork, Boyne Valley, Dungarvan, Kilkenny, Kinsale, Howth in Dublin and the Loop Head Peninsula. All very worthy destinations and with superb food attractions to offer the gourmet traveller. The judges had a difficult job to choose. We recommend you try them all and see if you could pick a winner! What a brilliant list of places to show Ireland’s local food offering to the world stage – we offer our congratulations to all involved and especially to the winners! We must now watch out for the contenders for next year!