There were plenty of Wicklow winners announced at the Leinster Regional Final of Irish Restaurant Awards 2023, which took place in the Killashee Hotel in Kildare.
More than 1,000 restaurant and hospitality business owners and staff celebrated their hard work and achievements at the evetn, which saw many well-known restaurateurs of Leinster turn out to see if they had won one of the prestigious awards.
Grain Store Restaurant at Killruddery House and Gardens in Bray won two award categories, the first for Best Sustainable Practices and a second award for Best Emerging Irish Cuisine.
Chakra by Jaipur in Bray also won in two categories, Best Restaurant and Best World Cuisine.
Grangecon Kitchen in the west Wicklow village from which it takes its name won the Best Casual Dining experience, while the restaurant’s Angela Papakonstantinou won the Best Chef award. The award for Best Restaurant Manager was presented to Jay Johance of Pink Salt in Bray.
Maggie Roche from The Little Acorn Café in Baltinglass won the Local Food Hero award, while the Innovator of the Year went to The Big Boys in Glen of the Downs.
Vital Health Cafe in Wicklow town won the Free From award for offering meals free from the main list of allergens and whose presentation highlights the unique qualities of the ingredients.
The Best Wine Experience award went to Ripasso Restaurant and Winebar, while the Hollywood Café won Best Café. The Best Pub award was presented to O’Keeffe’s of Knockananna.
Hunter’s Hotel, Ashford won Best Hotel and Guesthouse, while Daata won for Best Customer Service.
The award for Best Gastro Pub was awarded to the Hollywood Inn.
All of the Wicklow winners now compete for the Regional and All Ireland Titles, which will be announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards All Ireland Final on Monday, May 15, in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin 4.
Speaking at the Leinster Regional Awards President of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Paul Lenehan, said; “Now in their 14th year, the Irish Restaurant Awards returns with a record breaking number of public nominations (over 130,000). This sheer number of votes highlights the support and appreciation by the general public for our hospitality sector and all who contribute to it.
“The Awards are an opportunity to celebrate the existing, and up and coming talent, in the sector and are a reminder that hospitality is nothing without their dedicated and passionate staff. The Awards continue to showcase the incredible food that is on offer in the cafes, hotels, pubs and restaurants of Ireland.”