Good Food Ireland Awards 2012

Press Release

19th November 2012                                                                            

Newest Star in the West wins the Supreme Award at this year’s

Good Food Ireland Awards Ceremony

Last night, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. presided over the 6th Annual Good Food Ireland Awards Ceremony in The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin. Over 300 guests including hoteliers, restaurateurs and artisan food producers were in attendance for the Awards which are now a firm fixture in the food and travel awards calendar. The Awards were hosted by RTE’s Mary Kennedy. Quote from An Taoiseach…

The Good Food Ireland Supreme Award sponsored by Kerrygold went to Aniar Restaurant Galway, the newest recipient of a Michelin Star and the only Star in the West. Other winners on the night included The Foods of Athenry for Producer of the Year, Restaurant FortyOne at Residence for Restaurant of the Year, The Food Store in Mayo for Local Food Shop of the Year, Kai Café and Restaurant won the Food Lover’s Choice Award, this award was voted on by the public. Renvyle House Hotel won Culinary Haven of the Year and Café Rua in Mayo won Café of the Year. The winner of this year’s ‘Come and See’ Producer of the Year is The Apple Farm in Tipperary, this award recognises the producer that encourages the visitor to experience, learn and understand their product in an engaging way. 

Speaking at the Awards, Margaret Jeffares Founder and MD of Good Food Ireland said: ‘This year’s winners showcase the growing innovation and  high standards in Irish ingredient-led cuisine. They reflect the culture of our island and can stand up to the best food experience anywhere in the world”.’

Ends –

For further information on the Good Food Ireland Conference and Awards please visit


Good Food Ireland Ambassador of the Year 2012/13

Sponsored by Foras na Gaeilge

This award highlights the enormous voluntary commitment and belief in the efforts of Good Food Ireland. The winner’s contribution has unselfishly benefited every business within the network.

WINNER: Ed Cooney, The Merrion Hotel, Dublin

Good Food Ireland Café of the Year 2012/13

Sponsored by NewsTalk

This award emphasises the use of quality local Irish food along with outstanding service and hospitality.

WINNER: Café Rua, Mayo

Good Food Ireland Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year 2012/13

Sponsored by

This award recognises quality Irish food in a relaxed environment with a focus on value for money.

WINNER: Farmgate, Midleton, Cork

Good Food Ireland Cookery School of the Year 2012/13

Sponsored by Kildare Village

This award recognises a cookery school that empowers, engages and entertains. One that brings local food alive and celebrates its context and relevance.

WINNER: Ballymaloe Cookery School

Good Food Ireland Culinary Haven 2012/13

Sponsored by Marine Harvest

This award recognises guest accommodation that prioritises a superior local food experience.

WINNER: Renvyle House Hotel, Galway

Good Food Ireland Culinary Hotel of the Year 2012/13

Sponsored by Shop with

This award recognises an unforgettable food experience with an approach that celebrates Ireland’s rich tradition of hospitality with a focus on seasonal Irish produce and top quality producers.

WINNER: BrookLodge, Wicklow

Good Food Ireland Food Pub of the Year 2012/13

Sponsored by Grant Thornton

This award recognises delivery of superior food while emphasising an Irish-ingredient led experience.

WINNER: Hargadons, Sligo

Good Food Ireland Newcomer of the Year East, South, West and North 2012/13

Sponsored by Tourism Ireland

This award recognises the business, which most clearly demonstrates the philosophy of Good Food Ireland.

JOINT WINNERS Newcomer of the Year South – Sage Restaurant, Cork and Mount Juliet, Kilkenny

Newcomer of the Year West – Aniar Restaurant, Galway

New Comer of the Year North – Balloo House

New Comer of the Year East – Harte’s Bar and Grill

Good Food Ireland NEWCOMER of the Year – Aniar Restaurant, Galway

Good Food Ireland Restaurant of the Year 2012/13

Sponsored by Classic Drinks

This award champion’s local produce, serving imaginative and unpretentious menus that celebrate both ingredients and producer.

WINNER: Restaurant FortyOne at Residence

Good Food Ireland Producer of the Year 2012/13

Sponsored by Bord Bia

This award celebrates authentic produce we all want to eat or drink. It assures consumers that they have found something exceptionally good. The winner of this award will be distinguished by exemplary flavor and taste.

WINNER: The Foods of Athenry, Galway

Good Food Ireland “Come and See” Producer of the Year 2012/13

Sponsored by Hertz

This award recognises the producer that encourages people to experience, learn and understand their product in an engaging way. 

WINNER: The Apple Farm, Tipperary

Good Food Ireland Supreme Award of the Year 2012/13

Sponsored by Kerrygold

The business that this year most strongly reflects the Good Food Ireland experience.

WINNER: Aniar Restaurant, Galway

Good Food Ireland would also like to thank Fáilte Ireland for their sponsorship and continued support.

Note to Editor:

Good Food Ireland – Background and Vision:

Good Food Ireland was established by Margaret Jeffares from her farm in Co Wexford in November 2006 to link the agri/food sector with the hospitality sector. Food is a central component of the tourism experience. However, despite being an internationally recognised producer of good food, Ireland had not yet established a reputation for interesting and consistently good cuisine and food service. It was Margaret’s belief that if she could create a market opportunity for trusted authentic food experiences driving business to the hospitality sector, that in turn they would purchase more Irish food from farmers, food producers and fishermen which would contribute greatly to the local Irish economy. Promotion of food tourism would also develop previously unexplored commercial opportunities for the agri-food sector through visitor experiences.

Margaret created an all island umbrella brand standard for this authentic food experience– Good Food Ireland. She travelled around the country in early 2007 and presented her vision to industry. Within six months Good Food Ireland had 70 founding approved providers and the organisation was launched by the then Minister for Tourism at a Showcase Ceremony in Dublin.

Good Food Ireland’s mission is to grow Ireland as a Food Tourism destination and be the Number 1 choice for all lovers of good food, driving business to its approved providers.

To assist Margaret in her efforts she created a voluntary Steering Group of key individuals who agreed to support and help her in her vision. She appointed Redmond O’ Donoghue, Ex Group Chief Executive of Waterford Wedgewood as the Steering Group Chairman and who has since become Chairman of Fáilte Ireland.

Steering Group – Bill Kelly, Kelly Hotel, Sean Boland, Hertz, Peter MacCann, The Merrion, Robert Ditty, Ditty’s Bakery, Co Derry, Howards Hastings, Hastings Hotel Group NI, Hugo Arnold, Food Consultant and Journalist, Derry Clarke, L’Ecrivain, Darina Allen, Ballymaloe Cookery School, Peter Ward, Country Choice Nenagh, Chris Kane, Ex Director Fáilte Ireland, Jay Bourke, Eden Restaurants, Dublin, Maurice Keller, Ex Arlington Lodge Country House Hotel, Waterford


Good Food Ireland set the standard through strict approval criteria based on a core commitment to using local Irish food and operating at a standard that is “best of type”. All providers are independently inspected prior to being approved and are checked on an on-going basis. The organisation markets its growing network of Approved Providers using the Good Food Ireland brand as the consumer endorsement for authentic Irish ingredient led experiences with consistently high quality and service to consumers.


Good Food Ireland is now in its 5th year of operation. Having built a brand from conception in a Celtic Tiger economy where local was not of primary importance; Good Food Ireland was indeed ahead of its time. Despite challenges the vision and strength of the organisation has soared and today Good Food Ireland has almost 600 Approved Providers throughout its island of Ireland network. In 2007 GFI employed 3 staff and now has 9 people on the payroll, 2 based in Dublin, 1 in Cork, 1 in Waterford and 5 in her office on the farm in Wexford.