Westport & Clew Bay need your vote to become Ireland’s Top Foodie Town

foodie town

Destination Westport is a Top Ten Foodie Town Finalist in association with the Restaurant Association of Ireland
Voting Open until May 18th – Vote Now!!

Westport & Clew Bay Area has been announced as one of the top ten finalists in the search for the ‘Foodie Town of Ireland’. This competition is organised by The Restaurants Association of Ireland, in association with Admailer.ie from An Post. The competition, run in conjunction with the Irish Restaurant Awards, will see towns and communities from all over the country being faced by judges and battling it out to win the public vote to be named Ireland’s premier foodie destination.

“We’re absolutely delighted with this achievement”, said Stephanie Colombani of Westport Chamber of Commerce and member of Destination Westport and Clew Bay Area who co-ordinated the entry, “Now we need everyone’s help (and vote) to make sure Westport & Clew Bay Area wins the overall prize. Voting is online at www.foodietown.ie/westport-clew-bay/ , and through special postcards which will be mailed out”.

“Competition was intense to make a place in the top ten and now we need everyone who knows Westport, who knows how great our food is to go online and cast their vote for Westport and Clew Bay Area” said Stephanie.

Westport and Clew Bay Area has always had a very strong reputation for great quality food, now more so than ever with an eclectic mix of gastro pubs, bistros, fine dining restaurants with a range of styles, flavours and markets. A great selection of many of the wonderful restaurants can be found at Destination Westport.

The public voting is live at the moment and stays open until Sunday 18th May for the online voting. In the meantime, on Wednesday 14th May, Westport & Clew Bay Area will be visited by a judging panel which will meet the committee and tour the area. This visit accounts for 50% of the total score with the national public voting campaign taking place online at www.foodietown.ie/westport-clew-bay/ making up the other half.

The other members of the Westport and Clew Bay Foodie Towns committee were Sinead Lambert (Sol Rio), Eoin McDonnell (Wyatt Hotel), Kirstin MacDonagh (Quay Cottage Restaurant), Andrew Pelham-Burn (Carrowholly Cheese, Tanya Stanaway, Food Officer, Mayo County Council and Lesley Emerson (PR West).

The winning town will be crowned ‘Foodie Town of Ireland 2014’ at the final of the Irish Restaurant Awards on June 9th, and will receive a prize package worth €5,000 combining an Admailer.ie postcard marketing package and mentorship from senior An Post marketing executives to help raise the profile of their town.

The ‘Foodie Town of Ireland’ award recognises a destination that actively promotes itself through joint promotional activities such as food festivals, gourmet trails or farmers’ markets as well as great dining experiences. The winning Irish town will have established a local producer/supplier network which is utilised and promoted by local businesses. Plans for future growth and investment into the food and hospitality industry at a local level will also be taken into consideration by judges. Education, training, development and employment will be key components of the ultimate foodie destination.

The top ten ‘Foodie Towns’ of Ireland are Westport & Clew Bay Area, Cork City, Dingle, Galway City, Howth, Kilkenny, Kinsale, Lisdoonvarna – Gateway to the Burren, Loop Head Peninsula and Sligo Town.

Pádraic Óg Gallagher, President of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, says that the rich landscape of the Irish culinary scene will provide an exciting battleground for the competition. “This is an exciting time to be involved with the food and tourism industry in Ireland, and for local businesses to show the nation the pride they have in their communities. Winning the title of ‘Foodie Town of Ireland 2014’ will provide a competitive edge to towns wishing to promote their areas to incoming tourists.

The quality of submissions for the first year of this competition was astounding, and all ten of the ‘Foodie Town’ finalists have something to be proud of for reaching the penultimate stage of the competition.”

Amie Peters, Head of Direct Mail & SME at An Post, says that the company were delighted with the response of local towns and communities all across Ireland. “We were thrilled to see such an incredible level of response to the inaugural Foodie Town of Ireland award. The quality of submissions was excellent, and a special congratulations to the finalists. An Post is delighted to support local business in towns right across Ireland through the Foodie Towns of Ireland and Admailer.ie.”

For all the information on the judging process and the All-Ireland event; please see www.foodietowns.ie .