ABOVE: John and Sally McKenna are Blas na hEireann 2016 Producers' Champions pictured with inaugural Producers' Champion, Neven Maguire and Chairperson of the Irish Food Awards, Artie Clifford.
Food writers John and Sally McKenna have been named Producers Champions at this year’s Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards. The couple were nominated through a survey of all of the producers on the Blas database.
The award was created three years ago as a way for Blas na hEireann to acknowledge the work of people who help to spread the word about Irish produce.
“We asked producers to vote for whom they felt was doing the most for Irish food and drink both at home and abroad and if they wanted to build a dream team, who would they have on it? John and Sally McKenna came back as the resounding winners. I’m delighted because they have been supporting those producers and telling their stories for more than 30 years” said Awards chairperson Artie Clifford.
The winner of the first year’s Producers’ Champion Award, chef Neven Maguire was in Dingle to present the award to John and Sally McKenna.
“I can think of noone more deserving of this award” said Neven Maguire.
“What they have done for Irish food is phenomenal. There has never been a better time to be in Irish food and John and Sally McKenna stand for everything that is good about it with their continuous support for chefs, producers and restauranteurs.”
John McKenna said they were “truly honoured”. “It is really significant for us after 30 years of writing about the people who make our great Irish food and drink. To receive something that has been voted for by them is really special.
“Every day when we sit down with the family, they ask who reared, who grew or who cooked this? We always buy Irish food. Ireland’s food is produced by the people and we are delighted to get this award from those producers through Blas na hEireann,” said Sally McKenna.
Blas na hEireann are Ireland’s national food awards.