Entries for the 14th Blas na hÉireann Irish food awards, which celebrates the finest local food and drink offerings were declared open on St Patrick’s Day, 17 March this year and will close on 28 May.
The entries from producers across the country will be judged using an innovative blind-tasting system developed by Blas in conjunction with the Food Science Department of UCC and the University of Copenhagen, which is now recognised as a gold standard for the industry worldwide.
In a statement released about this year’s event, Blas na hÉireann chairman Artie Clifford said: “The last 12 months have been like no other. We could never have imagined what lay ahead when we launched last year’s awards. [But] we were able to announce our 2020 winners in a virtual celebration last October. It is with this experience under our belt that we can confidently launch Blas 2021 – knowing that no matter what, we will celebrate the very finest Irish food and drink in the best way possible”.
Following the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 event was successfully moved from the campus of UCC to Dingle to enable the organisers to work within lockdown constraints and travel restrictions.
“2020 was an incredibly difficult year,” said Clifford. “With businesses pushed to the brink, the closure of the hospitality sector left many producers without some of their key accounts. However, many producers pivoted their business quickly as the general public [became] far more interested in the quality of the food in their basket and on their plate.’’
For more information or to enter visit Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards – Food Producers Ireland