With Wexford recently becoming “the face” of Fáilte Ireland’s new “Taste the Island” campaign, it was no wonder that Wexford was the destination of choice for the winners of the National Dairy Council’s “2019 Dairy Chef” Competition. With our rich culinary heritage and farming innovation, the model county proved the idea base to showcase some of Europe’s finest food producers and food experiences to the prize winners!
Under the expert guidance of Lorraine O’Dwyer of Gallivanting Tours and Taste Wexford, the three winners who hail from Ireland, the UK and France, were introduced to several of the county’s key food producers. Lorraine was able to introduce the prize winners to several of the leading food producers in Co. Wexford and give a behind the scenes experience of some of the most innovative farms. Lorraine introduced the winners to key members of the food industry that are rapidly growing Wexford’s reputation both in terms of production and gastro experiences.
The weekend activities began on Friday evening in Gorey’s Table 41 where owner and head chef Andrew Duncan had created a sample tasting menu using local produce from members of Taste Wexford food producers! Andrew took time with the winners to discuss his menu choices and inspiration and happily answered the many questions from the group who were in awe of the delivery, presentation and standard of this offering from his new restaurant.
The next day their tour of Wexford food producers included a trip to Liam Byrne’s Macamore Buffalo Farm, outside Gorey, where Liam was on site to welcome the winners and lead the group on a tour on his farm, with his herd happy to meet and greet! The group then moved on to Wheelock’s Fruit farm where they picked fresh strawberries, then on to Regan’s Free Range and Organic Farm!
The tour finished on a high note with a beef masterclass given by the award winning Ashdown Park Hotel Head Chef Val Murphy, who spear headed his team to win a silver award for the rib-eye steak and bronze for the sirloin steak for its grass fed beef in the World Steak Challenge earlier this year.
The beef used at the demonstration was from Redmond Farm located outside Craanford again, highlighting the standard and quality of local produce available from our region.
A final toast with Wexford’s award winning Jackford Irish Potato Gin was a fitting end to the winner’s weekend of adventure and food discoveries, leaving 3 of the most exciting chefs entering the culinary world, aware of where to source their ingredients and the quality behind the produce.
With thanks to all the food producers who gave such a warm welcome to the prize winners and to the Ashdown Park for their hospitality.
If you are interested in visiting any of the farms mentioned in this article please visit the Taste Wexford website for contact details and arrangements.