The high quality of food writing in Ireland across print, broadcast and online will now be recognised and celebrated with the launch today of The Irish Food Writing Awards.
This inaugural year will see the awards being held exclusively online with a virtual Awards Event in September.
Once restrictions allow, the annual Irish Food Awards will adopt a traditional format of judging meetings and a Gala Awards Ceremony each autumn.
Food writing in Ireland is diverse, and this is reflected in the award categories which will include restaurant writing, cookery writing, features and drinks writing.
There will also be awards for online content, photography, podcasts and audio, writing on sustainability in Irish food, and investigative writing.
The judging panel features well-known international names from the world of journalism and food.
Already confirmed are René Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen, writer and broadcaster Jay Rayner, investigative journalist Joanna Blythman, author and food columnist Trish Deseine, chef and author Richard Corrigan, critic Tom Parker Bowles, founder of Saveur magazine Colman Andrews and The Guardian wine writer Fiona Beckett.
The Irish Food Writing Awards are the initiative of journalist and food author Suzanne Campbell.
She said: “I had always wanted to see an awards for food writers in Ireland as there are great journalism awards for other sectors. So I decided to take it on myself this year as something really positive both for writers and the food sector.”
“The aim is to reward excellence in food writing. It’s quite a diverse field; paid journalism is under threat but content is more popular than ever. So we wanted to highlight the best content out there; whether it be investigative journalism on Irish food systems, or cookery writing, or food photography”.
“The food community has really come behind us in an extraordinary way. Everyone we’ve asked to support the awards or to judge has just said yes immediately. It’s been incredible!”
On board with Suzanne is Paul O’Connor, a food publicist and former restaurateur.
He said: “It’s been a really tough year for restaurants and many have had to close or adapt very quickly to survive. Journalists have been so important getting that word out there and supporting chefs so much during this pandemic.
“Also as a former restaurateur and head judge of The Irish Curry Awards, we’ve found that awards really build community. They celebrate both food and the people behind it, so this time it is the writers that are being celebrated, I’m delighted to join up with Suzanne on this venture”
The Irish Food Writing Awards will recognise writing from throughout the island of Ireland. The awards are open for entries, via the website, from the beginning of April until the 31st of May.
For more information visit www.irishfoodwritingawards.ie