Taste buds at the ready as expert judges line up for Great Taste

Almost 100 food judges are preparing to taste the very best food and drink produced in Ireland as Great Taste 2013 comes to a boil in Dublin.  Taking place at Bewley’s Hotel, Ballsbridge in Dublin, Great Taste 2013 involves a panel of judges which represents some of the most experienced and demanding palates from Ireland and the UK.

From nationally acclaimed restaurant critics to award-winning chefs, food writers, journalists and restaurateurs, food retailers and buyers – each judge will be responsible for blind tasting over 1000 products and giving constructive feedback.  The top foods will then be awarded Great Taste stars – the ultimate accolade in the world of speciality food – with those bestowed 3-stars judged again in July in London.

As part of the Great Taste event, and to enable the food trade to mingle and network, the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of Great Taste, is also holding a Reception, supported by IFSA and Pallas Foods, at the RDS Members Club on 24th April.

A record number of entries have been received from food and drink producers in Ireland by organisers of Great Taste 2013 – over 2400 in total from the whole Food Isle.  From Northern Ireland there are 627 entries (up by 29% on 2012) and in the Republic of Ireland a total of 1806 products have been entered (43% up on 2012).

“The Great Taste Supreme Champion, the overall winning product each year, has for the last two years been a product made in Northern Ireland and so our expectations are very high before we even start judging,” explains John Farrand, organiser of the Great Taste Award scheme. “McCartney’s of Moira triumphed in 2011 with its traditional corned beef, and Hannan Meats, also based in Moira, securing the trophy last year with an Italian inspired bacon called Moyallan Guanciale. In 2006, a smoked wild salmon from West Cork’s Woodcock Smokery was crowned Supreme Champion.”

Patrick Clement, Marketing & Development Manager at Pallas Foods said “Great Taste is the most trusted and recognised food and drink awards in Ireland and the UK. Pallas Foods is delighted to support the awards in Dublin this April. Being awarded a Great Taste star or more is a fantastic achievement and great acknowledgement for any business. In Ireland we have brilliant artisan food producers, I would encourage any of them to enter the award and get the stars they duly deserve giving their products great recognition.”

Since 1994, Great Taste has been organised by The Guild of Fine Food and over the last 19 years more than 70,000 products have been blind-tasted by judges including top restaurateurs, chefs, food critics, fine food retailers, buyers and cookery writers.   The announcement of the Supreme Champion 2013 sponsored by Harrods, will be made on the 9th September.

3-stars: Exquisite. Wow! Taste that.   2-stars: Outstanding   1-star: A virtually faultless food