West Cork’s reputation as a foodie and drinks capital was re-affirmed this week with several businesses picking up prestigious awards.
Clonakilty Distillery was celebrating after its Minke Gin was named the ‘Best International Botanical Gin’ by the American Distilling Institute, following a blind tasting by a panel of expert judges.
Helen Scully, who co-created the recipe for Minke Gin using rock samphire, said it was a great achievement to win the award so soon after opening the distillery. ‘We’re so delighted to have that recognition following a blind tasting – it just means the gin spoke for itself,’ said Helen.
Meanwhile, eight West Cork establishments picked up Cork County awards at the Munster Regional Final of the 2019 Irish Restaurant Awards. Chestnut in Ballydehob had a double reason to celebrate, as it picked ‘Best Newcomer’ award, while Elaine Fleming won the ‘Best Restaurant Manager’ award.
Nearby neighbours, Levi’s Corner House, won the ‘Pub of the Year, while The Black Pig in Kinsale won the ‘Best Wine Experience’ award.
At our other Michelin star restaurant, Mews in Baltimore, Admet Dede won the ‘Best Chef’ award. Pilgrims in Rosscarbery won the award for ‘Best Emerging Irish Cuisine’, while Eddie Attwell of the Garnish in the Eccles Glengarriff won the ‘Best Local Food Hero’ award. Dunmore House Hotel’s restaurant won the ‘Best Hotel and Guesthouse’ category.
The regional and all-Ireland titles take place on May 13th.