Updated: 12/03/18 : 14:21:48
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Sligo wins big at Irish Food Writers' Guild Food Awards

“Unprocessed, naturally sourced ingredients are the foundation upon which Ireland’s reputation for culinary excellence is built,” said Aoife Carrigy, chairperson of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild (IFWG), who was speaking at the 2018 IFWG Food Awards where a prestigious Community Award went to a fantastic organisation in Sligo.

The IFWG Food Awards celebrate indigenous food producers and organisations who create, make and share great Irish produce and products while helping to maintain Ireland’s outstanding international reputation in food and drink. The Sligo winner is:

Community Food Award: Sligo Global Kitchen, Co. Sligo

Sligo Global Kitchen began in 2014 as a simple idea conceived by the team at The Model in Sligo: that people living locally in direct provision might appreciate the use of the arts centre’s industrial kitchen to cook and eat together, given that residents cannot cook their own food in direct provision.

Artist Anna Spearman approached Cameroonian Mabel Chah to liaise with other residents in direct provision. With funding from the Community Foundation of Ireland and Communities Integration Fund, they reached out to other groups of refugees, collaborating with the Syrian community in Ballaghaderreen for a meal celebrating Syrian, Zimbabwean and Nigerian cuisine. Over 400 people of at least 18 different nationalities attended that meal, 75 of them Syrian, including five Syrian cooks.

Buffet style

Sligo Global Kitchen now runs communal meals at least once a month, at which three courses are served buffet style with dishes from at least two different culinary cultures. Donations collected from the previous meals will support future events after the funding period finishes in the summer of 2018. The Irish Food Writers’ Guild commends the initiative as a proactive way of building links between cultures by facilitating people in coming together to cook, eat and celebrate each other’s food culture.

The IFWG Food Awards are unique, as no one can enter themselves or their product into the awards and no company knows it has been nominated or shortlisted for an award. The Guild is the sole nominating and decision-making body.

Aoife Carrigy thanked Bord Bia on behalf of the Guild for its support of the awards and its tireless work on the home and export markets to promote and develop the Irish food industry.