BY SIOBHÁN CRONIN
GREAT Taste, a prestigious blind-tasting food awards, has announced that a Kinsale guesthouse has won a Great Taste Star for 2016.
Out of 10,000 products to be judged, the Old Bank House in the town centre was awarded a gold star at the awards for its Orange Marmalade.
‘We are thrilled to receive such a prestigious award from The Great Taste Awards. It’s a great honour for our chefs to be recognised for their fantastic work and creativity,’ said Ciaran Fitzgerald of the Old Bank House.
The luxury five-star Georgian townhouse, on Pearse Street in Kinsale, is popular with golfers and food lovers, and was originally the Munster & Leinster Bank. It was renovated earlier this year, and has been voted one of the Top 100 Places to Stay in Ireland by the Bridgestone Guide. It is part of Kinsale’s Blue Haven Collection, which includes the nearby Blue Haven Hotel.
Judged by over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs and producers, as well as a whole host of food writers and journalists, Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers.
As well as a badge of honour, the unmistakeable black and gold Great Taste label is a signpost to a wonderful tasting product, which has been discovered through hours and hours of blind-tasting by hundreds of judges.
There were 10,000 Great Taste entries this year and the panel of judges included TV chef and author, Valentine Warner; MasterChef judge and restaurant critic Charles Campion; fifth generation baker, Tom Herbert from Hobbs House Bakery, and Great British Bake-Off winner, Frances Quinn.
There were also food buyers from Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols and Waitrose, and chefs including James Golding of ‘The Pig’ hotels, and Kevin Gratton, chef director of HIX Restaurants.
These esteemed palates have together tasted and re-judged the three-star winners to finally agree on the 2016 Top 50 Foods, the Golden Fork Trophy winners and the 2016 Supreme Champion.
Established in 1994, the Great Taste awards encourage and mentor artisan food producers, offering a unique benchmarking and product evaluation service leading to an independent accreditation that enables small food and drink businesses to compete against supermarket premium own label brands.
Since 1994 over 110,000 products have been assessed.
The Great Taste symbol is their guarantee a product has been through a rigorous and independent judging process.