BY SIOBHÁN CRONIN
KINSALE Gourmet has won the most-coveted prize for innovation at this year’s Blas na hÉireann, the Irish Food Awards.
The Cork company’s recently launched ‘Meals Made Easy’ was chosen as the overall winner from 90 products that were carefully scrutinised and judged for innovation.
The award was sponsored by Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s Seafood Development Centre in Clonakilty, the country’s only purpose-built centre for seafood excellence and innovation.
In its 8th year, Blas na hÉireann, the Irish Food Awards, is the biggest competition for quality Irish produce on the island of Ireland.
Kinsale Gourmet launched its Meals Made Easy range in June and has since secured a sizeable contract with SuperValu.
The products are similar to scratch kits which are popular in the UK and consist of four pots of par-cooked ingredients such as prawn, hake, salmon, vegetables, rice and more, along with sauces, all of which are 100% free of preservatives, additives, artificial colours and flavours.
All the ingredients are gluten-free and cooked in one pan to create a nutritious and flavour-full meal in just six minutes.
Celebrating his win, Mark Muldoon of Kinsale Gourmet said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled to win Blas na hÉireann’s Innovation award which recognises and validates our dedication to developing a truly innovative product that caters for those who want convenience without having to sacrifice nutrition and flavour.’
The company was awarded a bursary of €4,000 for the expert services and supports in BIM’s Seafood Development Centre, which will help it to further develop and innovate new products.
‘We hope this will now be even more possible with this national award that will no doubt open new doors for us,’ added Mark.
West Cork companies fared very well in the awards, with the Rogha na Gaeltachta Award for Best Emerging Producer in Gaeltacht Area going to Macroom Buffalo Mozzarella, which is produced from a herd of over 150 buffaloes on a farm at Cill na Martra.
Best in County (sponsored by Cork South Local Enterprise Office) went to De Róiste Puddings in Ballyvourney and other local award winners included Skeaghanore Duck (silver & gold); Irish Yogurts (3 silver & 1 gold); Clona Dairy (gold); Carbery’s Ardagh Mature Irish cheddar cheese (gold); The Good Fish Company (2 silver & 1 gold); Folláin Relish (silver & gold); Clonakilty Sausages (silver); and Maggie’s Homemade Jam (silver).