Entries for Blas na hÉireann 2022 Now Open

Entries for Blas na hÉireann 2022 are now open and all roads will certainly lead to Dingle in the autumn as the awards weekend returns to the pretty seaside town for their first in-person event in two years.

Donegal Food Coast

Now in its 15th year, Blas na hÉireann, The Irish Food Awards is regarded by many as a key event in the Irish food industry’s calendar and has celebrated their finalists and winners online for the past two years leaving a significant gap in the food and drink calendar. 2022 will see the welcome return of this important weekend of celebrations, when the great and good of the Irish food and drinks scene will descend on Dingle once more.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be planning our awards in Dingle this year,” says Blas na hÉireann Chairman, Artie Clifford. “We were lucky to have been able to move quickly in 2020 and while we were in a position to run our judging throughout the summer months in the last two years, we weren’t able to welcome everyone together for the networking awards. We are proud of the celebrations that we hosted online, and the awards were a huge success, managing to highlight the best of Irish food and drink during a really difficult time. The one thing that was said over and over to us though was that people missed being in Dingle, so we can’t wait to welcome our Blas family home this year and celebrate our 2022 finalists in person.”

Donegal Food Coast

Susan McLoughlin who won bronze with Love a Little Sauces at Blas na hÉireann 2021.

The competition opened for entries on Thursday, 17th March and the final date for entry is Friday, 20th May. Entrants can avail of an ‘early bird’ entry rate by submitting an application on or before Friday, 8th April. Judging will take place throughout June, July and August with the awards being announced in Autumn. Entry fees cost €80 per entry and the ‘early bird’ rate is €65 per entry. Last year saw a huge increase in entries and many new producers entering the awards for the first time.

Donegal was strongly represented at the awards last year with eight winners. Donegal Rapeseed Oil won gold and silver, Natural Dairies won gold, silver and bronze, Filligans Handmade Preserves won silver, Green Pastures won silver and bronze, while Errigal Bay, Love a Little Sauces and The Shack also won bronze. Killybegs based Atlantic Treasures won gold and was named winner of the Best in County category.

Donegal Food Coast

Austin Duignan from Donegal Rapeseed Oil which won gold and silver at the 2021 awards.

The Blas na hÉireann awards are the biggest blind tasting of produce in the country and the criteria on which the product is judged as well as the judging system itself, which was developed by Blas na hÉireann with the Food Science Department of University College Cork, is now recognised as an international industry standard.

Research has shown that the Blas accreditation has the highest recognition amongst Irish consumer and the award logo on packaging encourages shoppers to buy these products. It is a guarantee of a top-quality Irish product.