Local restaurants award winners
Sligo restaurants and chefs were honoured at the Connacht finals of the Irish Restaurant Awards recently.
The gala ceremony took place in Kilronan Castle on Tuesday night where 76 awards were presented to the country's leading chefs, restaurants and pubs.
More than 400 people were at the event where the top establishments in each county were named.
The Sligo winners were as follows: Best Casual Dining Gilroy's Bar & Ait Eile Restaurant; Best Emerging Irish Cuisine Hargadon Bros; Best Kids Size Me Shells Seaside Bakery & Café; Best 'Free From' Sweet Beat Café; Best World Cuisine Miso Sligo; Best Restaurant Manager Declan Harrison of Harrison's Restaurant & Bar; Best Wine Experience Coach Lane at Donaghy's; Pub of the Year The Pilot Bar; Best Café Pudding Row; Best Customer Service Langs Bar and Restaurant; Best Gastro Pub Austies Bar and Restaurant; Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant Hazelwood Restaurant at Sligo Park Hotel; Best Newcomer Hooked; Best Chef Ethna Reynolds of The Nook Cafe; Best Restaurant Eala Bhán and Best Local Food Hero Liam & Justina Gavin of Drumanilra Farm Kitchen.
The awards covered a wide range of venues and the winners from each of Connacht's five counties were selected from the following categories: Best Casual Dining, Best Emerging Irish Cuisine, Best Kids Size Me, Best 'Free From', Best World Cuisine, Best Restaurant Manager, Best Wine Experience, Pub of the Year, Best Café, Best Customer Service, Best Gastro Pub, Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant, Best Newcomer, Best Chef and Best Restaurant. There was also a special Regional award for Connaught's Local Food Hero.
Speaking at the awards, Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) said: "Now in their tenth year, the Irish Restaurant Awards continue to showcase the exquisite and admirable calibre of food available in our restaurants and pubs nationwide. Online nominations have increased from 9,000 in 2013 to over 80,000 this year and with the increase in interest comes an increase in standards, making the judging process more difficult than ever. Our small island boasts everything from fine dining to high quality gastropubs, from the exotic taste explosions of world cuisine to the comfort of traditional dishes. We have an appreciation for what we eat, for the journey of our food from farm to fork, and for the dedication of those working in the food industry to serve up Ireland's finest food," Adrian added.