Galway’s cheesemakers triumphant at IFWG Food Awards

Galway's cheesemakers triumphant at IFWG Food Awards

Galway’s cheesemakers are the cream of the crop at this year’s Irish Food Writers Guild Food Awards, taking home two major prizes.

Sheridans Cheesemongers and Aran Islands Goats’ Cheese were both crowned victors at the 2023 Food Awards announced this week.

Brothers Kevin and Seamus Sheridan won the Lifetime Achievement Awards, while Outstanding Contribution to Irish Food went to Gabriel Faherty of Aran Islands Goats’ Cheese.

Kevin and Seamus started their journey back in 1995, selling their farmhouse cheese at the weekend market, but quickly moved to permanent piquant store on Churchyard street, where they remain today.

Making artisan cheese popular long before Ireland really got into food, cheese lovers have been flocking to their premises in Dublin’s South Anne Street since 1997, the same year they opened their first Galway store.

What started with just two men has since spread across Ireland, with multiple locations around Dublin, a converted railway station at Kells, Co. Meath, Ardkeen in Waterford, and Sheridan’s counters in many supermarkets.

Aran Islands Goats’ Cheese is a true farm to table success story, from the herd of Inis Mór farmer Gabriel Faherty, a born and bred islander, straight to your mouth.

Today you can find Aran Islands Goats’ Cheese on the shelves at Sheridan’s, as well as another staple of Galway City, McCambridges, and many other outlets around the country.

Aran Islands Goats’ Cheese has also become a staple of tourism on the Wild Atlantic Way, forming part of the authentic experience of the islands since Gabriel set up Aran Food Tours in 2021.

Caroline Hennessy, chair of the IFWG said, “Since the Food Awards’ inception, each winner has been chosen independently and anonymously by IFWG members, recognising the best in Irish food by shining a light on smaller producers who might otherwise slip under the radar.”

“From traditional products of the highest quality to new innovations, this year’s winners exemplify what is so exciting about Ireland’s food and drink industry right now.”

The winners of the 2023 Irish Food Writers’ Guild Food Awards are:

  • Food Award: Smoked Lough Neagh Eel, Co Antrim
  • Food Award: Velvet Cloud Sheep’s Milk Yogurt, Co Mayo
  • Food Award: Ballylisk of Armagh, Co Armagh
  • Irish Drink Award: Beoir Chorcha Dhuibhne for Béal Bán, Co Kerry
  • Outstanding Contribution to Irish Food: Gabriel Faherty, Aran Island Goats’ Cheese, Co Galway
  • Environmental Award: The Wooded Pig, Co Meath
  • Community Food Award: Field of Dreams – Down Syndrome Cork, Co Cork
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Kevin and Seamus Sheridan, Co Galway

Una Fitzgibbon of Bord Bia, which sponsors the IFWG Food Awards, said that they highlight the “outstanding quality, craftsmanship and innovation” in Ireland’s artisan food industry.

“Now in their 30th year these awards have honoured those in the sector that take ingenuity and entrepreneurship to the next level.”

“Congratulations to all those involved in these prestigious food awards and, of course, to the very deserving winners.”