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Fourth time’s a charm: Kilkenny is Ireland’s Foodie Destination for 2018

Kilkenny have seen off the likes of Cavan, Kinsale and Monaghan to take the title of Foodie Destination for 2018.

Foodie Destinations 2018: Kilkenny are this year's winners.
Judges, backers, makers and producers during the Foodie Destinations Kilkenny visit in early August 2018. Photo: Foodie Destinations/Facebook.

Kilkenny is Ireland’s Foodie Destination for 2018.

The overall #FoodieDestinations winner was announced on Wednesday evening with Kilkenny claiming the top crown.

In a new addition this year, the title of Foodie Town for 2018 was bestowed on Kinsale.

“And last but not least, the winner of Foodie Destinations 2018 who has shown incredible community spirit and real collaboration, we are delighted to announce that Kilkenny has won the overall”, read the Tweet announcing the winners.

Foodie Destinations: The criteria

So how did Kilkenny get to this year’s award? Well, according to the official website

“The winner will be a destination that actively promotes itself through joint promotional activities such as food festivals, gourmet trails or farmers’ markets as well as great dining experiences for locals and visitors alike.”

“They will have established a local producer/supplier network which is utilised and promoted by local businesses.”

“Plans for future growth and investment into the food and hospitality industry at a local level will also be taken into consideration by the judges. Education, training, development and employment will be key components of the ultimate food Foodie Destination.”

There’s so much to savour in Kilkenny

Being from Kilkenny (me, that is), I couldn’t be happier for all behind the project.

There’s so much that goes on in Kilkenny to push local food and produce, from the makers and growers, to shops, cafes, bars and restaurants that continue to push boundaries.

The continued growth of the Savour Kilkenny Food Festival, the development of the #tastekilkenny initiative and more in recent years have drawn more visitors to the Marble City (and county) on food grounds.

Of course, having the likes of the Michelin-starred Campagne and The Lady Helen at Mount Juliet certainly help, along with the likes of city-based Zuni, Rinuccini, Anocht and more constantly raising the bar for restaurants and diners alike.

Formerly known as Foodie Towns, the initiative was formed as part of the Irish Restaurant Awards 2014 but proved to be so popular it became its own entity in 2015. The overall aim is to celebrate Ireland’s unique and wonderful food offerings and to encourage local food tourism initiatives across the country.

As winners, Kilkenny saw off stiff competition from Armagh Heartland of Food, Boyne Valley, Cavan, Derry City & Strabane District Council, Galway Gastronomy, Kinsale, Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Monaghan and Glaslough and the Sligo Food Trail.

Now that you know what the 2018 Foodie Destination is, you may get yourself to Kilkenny!

If you do decide to make the trip, don’t be afraid to shout – if you’re curious about anything on the food scene, from people to talk to to places to eat, I’ll help where I can.

Digital media head now mixing it up in the world of broadcast media. Formerly Any Given Food (2010-2015), calling the food haven that is Kilkenny home. Award-winning podcaster turned broadcaster, find me on air weekdays 3-5.30pm on KCLR Drive.

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