It was a pleasure to host Deirdre McGlone & Anthony O’Toole two of Ireland’s most respected food critics who went on a journey to discover a ‘Picnic Worth a Picking’ across Mid and East Antrim. We are shortlisted in the finals and have the chance to be named as Ireland’s Top Foodie Destination 2019. That’s worth celebrating with Clearer Water Bubbles!
It’s one of only two regions in Northern Ireland competing for the prestigious accolade, what an honor!
The competition, organised by the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI), looks at what destinations lead the way with food festivals, gourmet trails, markets, menus as well as great dining experiences for locals and visitors alike. This year an additional section about how we are contributing to showcase food during Taste The Island.
As well as getting a chance to speak to local producers the judges sampled delights from The Dairy Glenoe, Clearer Water, Jubilee Farm, Mauds Ice Cream, Bellahill Cookery School, ann’s pantry and Slemish Market Supper Club chef Rob Curley. Picking up items for the picnic it was onwards to The Bank House Whitehead to hear from and taste items from the Old Tea House, Carmels, McMasters Butchers, The Scoop Shop & Kilcreggan Open Farm (Dancing Goat Cafe). The final stretch and stopping place for the Picnic was the Belvedere at Ballygally Castle where the judges sampled Hillstown Beers, Glenarm Salmon & Glenarm Beef prepared by executive head chef Kevin, as well as hearing about training initiatives from Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort, Hastings Hotels and Northern Regional College. Last by not least how Toast The Coast Food Tours was born out of collaboration and promotes the entire area with businesses working together to showcase the food and the story of its people.
It’s not just down to the judges, public votes are essential and open until Thursday 20 August vote for free online.
The 2019 Finalists are:
Mid and East Antrim Borough
The Food Coast Donegal
Monaghan and Glaslough
The winner of Foodie Destinations 2019 will be announced at the end of August. Members of the public can vote for free (and it takes 3 seconds) their favourite finalist at www.foodiedestinations.ie