Three Galway winners at Irish Food Writers’ Guild Awards!

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Stefan Griesbach of The Gannet Fishmongers, Galway who took home an award at the Irish Food Writers’ Guild Awards. Photo: Paul Sherwood

There were three Galway winners at the 2022 Irish Food Writers’ Guild Awards, with the county taking more than a third of the awards announced this morning.

Coolfin Kylemore Farmhouse Cheese won the Food Award, All About Kombucha took home the Irish Drink Award, and Stefan Griesbach of Gannet Fishmongers was awarded the Notable Contribution to Irish Food award.

Announcing the winners today, Caroline Hennessy, Chair of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild (IFWG), said that the pandemic changed the very nature of consumer behaviour.

This, she said, forced Ireland’s food producers to change the way in which they operated.

“24 months since we first heard the term COVID-19we are today celebrating the artisan producers and food businesses that stepped up to the plate, continued to serve communities and dug deep during the pandemic, despite all obstacles.”

“We are recognising those who kept moving, got creative, started new ventures and found new ways of reaching their customers.”

The Galway winners

Coolfin cheese, which took home one of the three Food Awards, is an Alpine-style hard cheese made in the foothills of the Slieve Aughty mountains in East Galway by Teresa Roche.

The cheese is handmade on the family farm using only summer milk, is fully traceable and has a low carbon footprint.

It takes up to ten months to mature and has a deliciously smooth texture with distinctively sweet, creamy and nutty flavours and a lingering aftertaste.

Teresa Roche of Kylemore Farmhouse Cheese. Photo: Paul Sherwood

The Irish Drink Award was presented to All About Kombucha which was established in 2017 by two young entrepreneurs from Galway, Emmett Kerrigan and Keith Loftus.

All About Kombucha brews freshly fermented sparkling tea from organic ingredients.

Each bottle is hand-brewed from the organic ingredients of tea, sugar and water. The drink is currently available in three core flavours: raspberry, ginger & lemon and carrot & turmeric, which can be found in over 250 stockists across the country and also purchased online.  

All About Kombucha, Claregalway. Photo: Paul Sherwood

Stefan Griesbach of Gannet Fishmongers came to Ireland in 1997, having worked in fish shops in Paris, and started his business with a single stall outside Sheridan’s in Galway.

Since then, this stall has evolved into Gannet Fishmongers, known for sourcing the very best quality of locally caught fish.

Through its online store, Gannet Fishmongers deliver the freshest of Irish fish nationwide; shoppers see what came in from the boats, place their order and receive it soon after, cold-packed and spanking fresh.

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Stefan Griesbach of The Gannet Fishmongers, Galway who took home an award at the Irish Food Writers’ Guild Awards. Photo: Paul Sherwood

Since 1993, the IFWG Food Awards have celebrated local producers and food heroes who have nourished and brought pleasure to the lives and tables of so many.

“Many of our 2022 winners are traditional products, but with a twist.  From fishmonger to baker, cheese maker to the Galway duo who have played with the traditional Irish love of tea, innovative producers are putting their own stamp on things, creating something unique and something quite delicious,” said Caroline Hennessy.

Full list of winners of the 2022 Irish Food Writers’ Guild Food Awards:

  1. Food Award: Bread 41, Dublin
  2. Food Award: Calvey’s Achill Mountain Lamb, Mayo
  3. Food Award: Coolfin cheese, Galway
  4. Irish Drink Award: All About Kombucha, Galway
  5. Notable contribution to Irish Food Award: Stefan Griesbach of Gannet Fishmongers, Galway
  6. Environmental Award: Rock Farm Slane, Meath
  7. Community Food Award: Our Table, Dublin
  8. Lifetime Achievement Award: Sally Ferns Barnes, Cork