CÁIS Irish Cheese Awards welcome over 200 entries
Catherine Fulvio among team of expert judges, with the winners due to be announced on Thursday, 7 November at The Metropole Hotel in Cork
15 October 2019
The biennial Irish Cheese Awards has once again become the talk of the town among the Irish food lovers’ community. With the prestigious ceremony coming up next month, a group of expert judges came together last week to select a worthy list of winners and decide upon the best in class for 2019.
Now in its eighth year, the Irish Cheese Awards is organised by CÁIS (Association of Irish Farmhouse Cheesemakers) in association with sponsors Ornua, Pallas Foods and Bord Bia, the latter of whom has supported the initiative since its inception.
The only competition dedicated entirely to Irish cheese, the event highlights the talents present in this country in the field of cheesemaking, with entries open to both artisan and large-scale cheese producers within the island’s 32 counties.
The comprehensive judging process took place at Bord Bia’s Dublin headquarters, where famed TV chef Catherine Fulvio was joined by 13 of her fellow judges, including Ross Lewis, head chef and co-owner of Chapter One restaurant in Dublin; John McKenna, editor of McKennas’ Guides; Aoife Carrigy, food, wine and travel writer; Enda Howley of Ornua; and Russell James Alford and Patrick Hanlon of GastroGays.
A total of 18 Irish cheeses have now been selected as Gold winners in their relevant categories, with the results to be announced during the Irish Cheese Awards ceremony and gala dinner, which will take place on Thursday, 7 November at The Metropole Hotel in Cork.
Guests will enjoy a gourmet five-course dining experience while the awards are announced. The bespoke menu will showcase a selection of 2017’s winning cheeses, with a range of dishes carefully curated by The Metropole’s head chef Stuart Dardis. MC for the evening will be journalist and broadcaster Helen Carroll from RTÉ’s Ear to the Ground.
For the first time in almost 10 years, CÁIS has appealed to the general public to share their views, inviting cheese lovers to cast their vote for their favourite Irish farmhouse cheese. Nominations will be accepted until Monday, 21 October and members of the public can cast their vote by visiting www.irishcheese.ie/publicvote.
Expert cheese grader and judge Enda Howley of event sponsor Ornua praised the awards for demonstrating “the incredible talent” that exists among cheesemakers in Ireland. “At Ornua, we work collaboratively with Ireland’s cheesemakers to select and grade the finest cheddar to export all around the world,” he said.
“Ireland’s reputation as a quality food producer is greatly enhanced by our cheddar-making expertise coupled with the quality milk from grass-fed cows, our farmers’ produce,” Howley added.
Tickets for the 2019 Irish Cheese Awards cost €69 per person and can be purchased on Eventbrite or through the website, www.irishcheese.ie/irish-cheese-awards. For more information on CÁIS and the Irish Cheese Awards 2019, visit www.irishcheese.ie. For social media updates, follow CAISIreland on Facebook and @caisireland on Twitter or follow the conversation using #IrishCheeseAwards