This week saw the announcement of the winners of the Great Taste Awards 2021- one of the world’s largest and most prestigious food and drink awards. Each year they put lots of food or drink to the test with a panel of over 500 experts
This year the annual awards scheme, administered by the Guild of Fine Food in the UK and judged blind by a panel of 355 judges, attracted more than 14,000 entries.
We are delighted to share that many of our members were successful in this years awards and we would like to wish them and all winners a huge congratulations. It is fantastic to see these passionate and talented producers continuing to put the Boyne Valley region on the map for food & drinks production.
Winners from the Boyne Valley
Carlingford Oyster Company
Carlingford Oysters was established in 1974, by Peter Louet Feisser. It is currently owned and managed by his son Kian and daughter in law Mary.
They grow their oysters in the pristine class A waters of Carlingford Lough. They feed from the naturally occurring plankton and the unique mix of local minerals, which wash down from the mountain streams, produce our oyster’s distinctive taste, texture and colour. The oysters are grown in mesh bags fixed to steel trestles, which stand on the sea bed, the water flows through the mesh bags and carries the plankton and nutrients to the oysters. When the oysters are ready for sale, they are graded, purified and packed ready for sale to wholesalers and restaurants worldwide.
Carlingford Oyster company won three-star awards for its own label oysters and its Louet Feisser Select Carlingford Oysters.
Roll It Pastry
In 2013 Mairead Finnegan set about creating a range of pastry made using only Irish butter in her home kitchen in Kells Co Meath. Mairead wanted to create delicious all butter pastry that tasted as good as home made pastry but that was a convenient and ready to use.
She experimented with many pastry recipes including those she grew up with at home and from there she created the first two products in the range, sweet shortcrust and plain shortcrust. To avoid using preservatives and in order to retain the home made quality of the pastry products Mairead decided to sell them frozen.
Roll It won one star for their All Butter Gluten Free Shortcrust Pastry
The Studio Coffee Roasters
A lifelong passion for food, wine and coffee eventually led Alan Phillips to roast speciality coffee by the sea in County Meath. Alan is a certified member of the European Speciality Coffee Association, he learnt his craft from one of the best in the business, training under Kees Kraakmann of Amsterdam's Keppler Coffee. And when he launched The Studio it was very much in line with Kees' ethos of quality and consistency. Alan explains as roast volume grows, quality tends to decline, so they manage this problem by only roasting in small batches. Their green beans are all highly rated speciality grade, ethically sourced from farms in Africa, Central America & South America and roasted as single origin lots on their 15kg Giesen. The Studio's sustainable approach to coffee sourcing is mirrored at their roastery which is largely powered by renewal energy.
The Studio Coffee Roasters won one start for their New Harvest Burundi Mpanga.
McEntee's Fine Teas
“Irish Blends of loose leaf tea is what we at McEntee’s Tea are passionate about. The perfect blend to make the perfect moment.” McEntee’s Fine Teas is a family business, run by married couple, Donal and Helen McEntee, carefully blending their tea in Co. Loutha and they were delighted to hear that their Master Blend Loose Tea is through to the finals.
Their tea is unmistakably Irish, rich in tradition, with a strength and flavour consistent with our commitment to sourcing our teas from only the world’s finest tea gardens. Very aware of the growing desire for a better quality cup of tea, and the increasing trend back to loose tea, their Great Taste Award winning Gold Blend, Irish Breakfast Blend, Irish Afternoon Blend, Organic Sencha Green Tea and Irish Mint and Nettle, offer better quality blends for those with a passion for Irish Tea. McEntee’s Tea wants to ensure that we continue to enjoy quality Irish blends of loose tea, so important to previous generations. In a fast-paced modern world, it bring us back into the moment and offer us a rich, unrivalled refreshing taste of home.
McEntee's Fine Teas won one star for their Irish Afternoon Blend Tea
Newgrange Gold Rapeseed Oil is grown and produced in the heart of the Boyne Valley, Co. Meath. Their rapeseed is grown using the best tillage techniques, even their Bees assist in the pollination of our crop. When they cold press their rapeseed they create the finest oil, high in essential fatty acids - omega 3, 6 and 9 and low in saturated fat. Their oil is 100% traceable because their seed is grown, pressed and bottled entirely in the Boyne Valley. The oil is a fantastic culinary oil with an amazing fruity taste, which is great as an incredibly healthy cooking oil, salad dressing, for frying and other culinary uses such as making homemade mayonnaise and baking.
Newgrange Gold won2 stars for their Wild Flax Oil and for their Irish Rapeseed Oil and their Chilli Garlic Rapeseed Oil.
Coole Swan is made with heart. It is made with character, warmth, authenticity and resilience. It is an exquisite mix of full single-malt Irish whiskey, real white Belgian chocolate and fresh dairy cream. It hails from the rich pasture land of Co. Meath, where Mary Sadlier and Philip Brady’s family business is run from a converted barn on their fourth-generation family farm. For Coole Swan, heart means meticulously sourcing and testing the very finest whiskey and delectable chocolate, and mixing it with fresh dairy cream from the family farm. The name Coole Swan was inspired by The Wild Swans at Coole, a poem written by one of Ireland’s great romantic poets; W.B. Yeats.
Coole Swan was awarded one star.
Hugh Maguire Butchers
Known throughout Ireland as a leading member of the craft butcher fraternity, Hugh has won numerous awards for his sausages, dry cured rashers and black & white puddings over the years. Put simply, Hugh has a love and passion for really good food. Hugh has a unique talent for balancing old traditions with new, innovative and exciting trends. Hugh's innovative smoked black pudding creation led to his ultimate victory and success in this 2017's Great Taste Awards. Out of 12,500 products, between the UK and Ireland, Hugh was crowned Supreme Champion, as well as being presented with a Golden Fork Award for his "genius” smoked black pudding product.
This year Hugh was successful with 1 star for his 28 Day Dry Aged Steak, Cured Beef Short Ribs, Breakfast Sausage and Cured Beef Cheek.
Cooley Oysters is a family-owned business based in Greenore, Co. Louth on the East Coast of Ireland. Established in 1984 by the Ferguson Family, Cooley Oysters has been proudly farming premium quality oysters from the crystal clear Class A waters of Carlingford Lough for over 35 years. Located in the heart of the Cooley Peninsula, with its mountains and stunning seascape, Cooley Oysters are grown in the crystal clear Class A waters of Carlingford Lough, the highest grade available and classified by the European Union.
They won 2 stars for their Cooley Oysters.