CELEBRITY chef Neven Maguire has been listed as the man most food producers would have on their 'dream team'.
The Cavan-based foodie said he was thrilled to be selected for recognition and an award from Irish food producers at the Blas na hEireann national food awards.
Neven won the first 'Producers' Champion Award' at the awards.
Maguire was one of 80 judges that tasted over 2,000 food products in 93 different categories at the Skellig Hotel in Dingle.
The awards run in conjunction with the Dingle Peninsula Food Festival this weekend.
He said he was "humbled" by the award and it was a privilege to have been chosen by the people whose produce he loves to promote both at his MacNean House restaurant in Blacklion, Co Cavan, and through his Home Chef television cookery show.
"I love my job and I love to promote the great people who are involved in producing food in Ireland.
"I want people recognising us in Ireland for the great food we produce."
The award for Neven came about following a survey carried out by the Blas na hEireann organisers in March. They asked over 2,000 people involved in the food industry to name the person who had most inspired them and who they would include on their food 'dream team'.
Blas na hEireann chairman Artie Clifford said three out of every four had come up with the name Neven Maguire.
And Mr Clifford said that it was no surprise.
Over 20,000 food lovers are expected to descend on Dingle this weekend to take part in the food trails, cookery demonstrations or just browse through the country's biggest food market.
The overall 'Supreme Blas na hEireann Champion' - the food producer that has contributed the most to Irish society - will be announced over the weekend.