It was a great night for Midlands Food and Drink at the Irish Restaurant Awards, with the Leinster awards seeing the best in food and drink from our region celebrated at a big annual event for the industry in association with The Irish Times.
The quality of food and drink in the Midlands region continues to go from strength to strength, and the list of winners is a stunning snapshot of just how many fantastic restaurants, cafes, chefs and food heroes are right here on our door step.
Big ones on the night started with Best Restaurant, and it was great to see Thyme in Athlone, the Blue Apron in Tullamore, Batoni’s in Emo, and Aubergine Nua in Longford all take awards.
Best Chef awards went to John Coffey of Thyme, Siobhan MacDonagh of Viewmount House, Kenan Pehlavin of the Blue Apron and Tom Comerford of the Heritage Killenard.
Awards for Best Café went to the Bastion Kitchen Athlone, The Loft Café in Birr, Torc Cafe & Foodhall in Longford, and to Bowe’s Foodhall & Cafe, Durrow.
A popular award is that of the Local Food Hero, and well done to Midlands Food Heroes Fiona Egan of Cloughan Farm & Cookery School, Abbeyshrule, Mary Bulfin of Wild Food Mary in Offaly, Tom Comerford of The Heritage, Killenard and Joe Brady of Lough Owel Organic Farm.
It’s also so important to recognise the new entrants into the region, and for Best Newcomer Awards, it was The Wandering Elk in Portlaoise, Praline Chocolatier in Athlone, Indian Sizzler in Longford, and Browne’s Bistro in Tullamore who took home awards on the night.
Well done to all the other winners on the night in other categories, and best of luck to all the Midlands winners in the National Finals, taking place at the Gala Awards in the The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) on 19th September.