Irish Food Writing Awards winners announced

John and Sally McKenna received the Outstanding Achievement in Food Writing Award, sponsored by James Whelan Butchers, represented here by Pat Whelan

More than 90 award finalists attended from across the island of Ireland, competing for the 21 awards on offer



27 October 2023

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The third annual Irish Food Writing Awards were held last night at the RDS in Dublin 4, with a later reception hosted by The Merrion Hotel in their Cellar Bar.

An unprecedented number of submissions were received for an expanded list of categories, including the new Award on Writing on Irish Seafood.

Over 90 award finalists attended from throughout the island of Ireland, competing for the 21 awards on offer covering Irish food and drink journalism, cookbooks, feature writing, blogging, podcasting, photography and Instagram/TikTok.

The awards were attended by some of their international judges including BBC journalist Dan Saldino, ITV Drinks journalist Andy Clarke and Hello Magazine’s Charlotte Pike, former chair of the UK Guild of Food Writers. Other judges included Rene Redzepi, Tom Parker Bowles and Fiona Beckett.

Irish Food Writing Awards founder, journalist Suzanne Campbell, said: “We were overwhelmed with the amount of entries in this, our third year of the awards. It’s been a great experience again working with our international judges and Irish food and drink sponsor companies without which the awards couldn’t happened. Myself and colleague Paul O’Connor set this up in 2021 to recognise excellence and the hard work of writers and food media.”

Irish Food Writing Awards Winners


Irish Food or Drink Podcast: Spice Bags Podcast

Judged by Nigel Barden. Sponsored by Sharon Noonan


Cookery Writing Award: Beth O’Brien, Irish Times

Judged by Ed Smith. Sponsored by Ardkeen Grocery


Writing on Irish Food Producers: Marie Claire Digby, Irish Times

Judged by Charlotte Pike. Sponsored by Certified Irish Angus


Investigative Writing: Maria Delaney, Geela Garcia and Louise Lawless of

Judged by Dan Saladino. Sponsored by Drummond House Garlic


Writing on Seafood Award: Janine Kennedy, Irish Country Living

Sponsored by Glenmar Shellfish


Emerging Voice in Irish Food Writing: Shamin deBrun, Char Food Guide

Judged by Charlotte Pike. Sponsored by Clayton Hotels


Irish Food Magazine/Supplement Award: Irish Times Magazine

Judged by Mina Holland. Sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland


Food Photography (professional category): Ruth Calder-Potts

Judged by Joann Pai. Sponsored by Odaois Foods


Food Photography (amateur category) : Sapana Behl

Judged by Joann Pai . Sponsored by Odaois Foods


Irish Food Blog Award: ‘Botanical Cuisine Digest’ Technical University Dublin

Judged by Robb Walsh. Sponsored by Pestle+Mortar sauces


Restaurant Feature Writing: Marie Claire Digby, Irish Times

Judged by Felicity Cloake. Sponsored by Safco Fine Foods


Writing on Sustainability in Irish Food Award: Caroline Hennessy, The Examiner

Judged by Catherine Mack


Cookbook of The Year Award: ‘Paradiso: recipes and reflections’ by Denis Cotter

Judged by Colman Andrews. Sponsored by Gather&Gather


Wine Writing Award: Mick O’Connell, Food and Wine Magazine

Judged by Fiona Beckett. Sponsored by Whelehan’s Wines


Spirits Writing Award: Janine Kennedy, Irish Country Living

Judged by Rachel McCormack. Sponsored by Powerscourt Distillery.


Beer Writing Award: Gary Law, Belfast Telegraph

Judged by Richard Croasdale. Sponsored by Franciscan Well


Culinary Student Award: Gavin McDonagh, Technical University Dublin

Judged by Jess Murphy and Gareth Mullins. Sponsored by Kerrygold


Food Writing Award: Aoife Carrigy, Irish Independent

Judged by Deborah Reid. Sponsored by Bord Bia


Writing on International Cuisines: Vritti Bansal, Irish Times

Judged by Anjula Devi. Sponsored by Ruchii Blackrock


Irish Food on Instagram/Tiktok Award: Char Food Guide

Judged by Andy Clarke. Sponsored by Coole Swan


Restaurant Critic Award: Joe McNamee, Irish Examiner

Judged by Xanthe Clay and Tom Parker Bowles. Sponsored by Safco Fine Foods


Outstanding Achievement in Food Writing Award: John and Sally McKenna

Sponsored by James Whelan Butchers

The awards, established in 2021 by Suzanne Campbell with Paul O’Connor, are kindly sponsored by Sharon Noonan, Ardkeen Grocery, Certified Irish Angus, Drummond House Garlic, Glenmar Shellfish, Clayton Hotels, , Invest Northern Ireland, Odaois Foods, Pestle + Mortar, Safco Fine Foods, Gather+Gather, Whelehan’s Wines, Powerscourt Distillery, Franciscan Well, Kerrygold, Bord Bia, Ruchii Blackrock, Coole Swan and James Whelan Butcher.

The  Irish Food Writing Awards were established to recognise and celebrate the high quality of food and drink writing from throughout the island of Ireland, across print, broadcast and online. In all categories, entries were accepted from the nominees themselves, or by a third party and were open to writers, journalists, bloggers and photographers.

For more information, visit 

Twitter: @Irish_Writing #IFWA23 

Instagram: @IrishFoodWritingAwards




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