Ireland’s top ‘Foodie Destination’ has been announced and Kilkenny is the triumphant winner.
This initiative, run by the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI), sponsored by FBD, is aimed at driving food tourism and irish food enterprise across the country.
The ten shortlisted entrants were announced in June and included: Armagh, Boyne Valley
Cavan, Derry City & Strabane District Council, Galway Gastronomy, Kilkenny, Kinsale, Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Monaghan and Glaslough, and Sligo Food Trail.
Competitors striving for the top spot were focused on organising taste-based activities and events such as food festivals, farmers markets, food trails and tours. It was also key that the competing area showed foresight to enhance their food and hospitality sectors, and to impress judges during the second phase of the competition – the unique visitor experience.
Kilkenny’s key stakeholders, Taste Kilkenny, Kilkenny Tourism, Kilkenny LEO, Kilkenny County Council, Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce, and array of local businesses and organisations across the country got behind the initiative, to celebrate and showcase ‘the vibrant culinary culture of Kilkenny City and County’.
A vintage car whisked judges around the city for an assortment of tasty treats – a lesson in cake decorating, a visit to a chocolatier and some award-winning restaurants. All washed down with a splash of vintage tea, tastings of whiskey, gin and Driver’s cider from Highbank Organic family farm.
A portfolio of ‘the rest of the best’ was presented to judges, and the diverse display of all Kilkenny has to offer convinced the Judges that the taste of Kilkenny was an experience to be savoured. Judges Wendy Kavanagh and Zack Gallagher presented the award at a reception in Lisnavagh House Rathvilly.
Naoise Nunn of Kilkenny Tourism voiced the County’s elation on the ultimate success of what was such a collaborative project.
‘We are very proud of what the food scene in Kilkenny has to offer and remain committed to further investing in and promoting this to visitors nationwide and worldwide.’