Publicans/hoteliers as new Food Champs

Fáilte Ireland has announced the names of 16 new emerging food champions who’ll represent the importance of food to tourism and visitors to Ireland.

Publicans, hoteliers, brewers and beer sommeliers number among Fáilte Ireland’s 16 new emerging food champions including Gearóid Lynch of Cloverhill’s The Olde Post Inn in Cavan, Seáneen Sullivan of L Mulligan Grocer in Dublin’s Stoneybatter, Claire Dalton of Dungarvan Brewing Company in Waterford, Beer Sommelier and publican Judith Boyle from Kildare and Tom Falvin of The Strand Hotel in Limerick.

Chosen from over 400 nominations following a detailed selection process by Fáilte Ireland, they join six existing food champions (including Olivia Duff of the Headfort Arms Hotel in Meath) as part of the Food Tourism Network Development programme.

The group will work together with their local community to help build Ireland’s food tourism reputation, sourcing and activating ideas to encourage visitors to stop more, spend more and stay longer.

The tourism authority had sought nominations for emerging food champions with a resounding passion and belief in Irish food who actively influence and shape the future of Irish cuisine and food tourism in their region.

The focus for the initiative in 2016 is on food champions from Fáilte Ireland’s two newest brands – Ireland’s Ancient East and Dublin – A Breath of Fresh Airwith an addition of four new food champions to those already located along The Wild Atlantic Way.

“There was a phenomenal response in our quest to find Ireland’s food champions,” said John Mulcahy, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Hospitalitiy, Food & Standards, “In fact we received over 400 nominations from a diverse group who’re members of wider food tourism communities, committed to playing a role in the continuing development of Ireland’s food tourism proposition and reputation from across Ireland.

“The ‘emerging’ food champions have already been working hard in their regions and can now become a part of our network which we will support and guide as they continue to develop food tourism experiences.”



Irelands Ancient East
Anthony O’Toole (New) Culinarean Press WEXFORD (Ferns)
Claire Dalton (New) Dungarvan Brewing Co. WATERFORD (Dungarvan)
Gearóid Lynch (New) The Olde Post Inn CAVAN (Cloverhill)
Judith Boyle (New) Beer Sommelier, Publican KILDARE
Patrick Ryan (New) Firehouse Bakery WICKLOW (Delgany)
John Relihan (New) Holy smoke CORK
Kevin Ahern (New) Sage CORK (Midleton)
Olivia Duff (Existing) The Headfort Arms Hotel MEATH


Garrett Fitzgerald (New) Brother Hubbard DUBLIN, Capel Street
Ivan Varian (New) Dalkey Food Company DUBLIN, Dalkey
Niall Sabongi (New) Klaw Restaurant DUBLIN, Temple Bar
Ketty Elisabeth (New) French Foodie in Dublin Ltd DUBLIN
Seáneen Sullivan (New) •   Mulligan Grocer Stoneybatter, DUBLIN
Pádraic Óg Gallagher (Existing) The Boxty House DUBLIN (Temple Bar)


Wild Atlantic Way    
Áine Maguire (New) The Idle Wall MAYO (Westport)
Gabriel Faherty (New) Aran Islands Goats Cheese GALWAY (Aran Islands)
Chris Molloy (New) The Lemon Tree DONEGAL (Letterkenny)
Tom Flavin (New) The Strand Hotel LIMERICK
Mark Murphy (Existing) Dingle Cookery School KERRY (Dingle)
Jacinta Dalton (Existing) Dept of Culinary Arts, GMIT GALWAY
Ruth Healy (Existing) Urru Culinary Store CORK
Brid Torrades (Existing) Osta Cafe SLIGO


As they embark on their role as Fáilte Ireland food champions the candidates will be offered a unique opportunity to attend an international benchmarking trip later this year to learn how food is promoted in competing destinations and to assist in the development of new food experiences in their area. 

A recent report from the Skift Travel Megatrend for 2016 stated, “Food is now the leading hook of travel in a time in which almost every experience can be digitized, food stands alone as stubbornly analogue. Perhaps that’s why culinary travel experiences are now the most popular method for driving tourism business. Food has an unmatched ability to communicate a unique sense of place. Local cuisine provides a direct connection to the history of a region, the soul of its people and the rhythm of daily life.”

Follow us on Twitter @Fáilte_Ireland




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