Etto Named Restaurant Of The Year At Irish Restaurant Awards

Jess Murphy takes home the Best Chef accolade as The Irish Restaurant Awards celebrate their most successful ceremony to-date

The Restaurants Association of Ireland is pleased to announce that the All-Ireland Finals of the Irish Restaurant Awards took place in the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, last night where the premier restaurant and hospitality establishments in Ireland for 2018 were named. Over 1,000 restaurateurs and staff attended the sold out, black tie event which celebrated the achievements and perseverance within the industry over the last 12 months.

Etto Named Restaurant Of The Year At Irish Restaurant Awards

Etto Named Restaurant of the Year at Irish Restaurant Awards

Now in its tenth year, the Awards have continued the trend of growing in both attendee numbers and industry esteem. Over 90,000 online nominations were received for Irish restaurants and hospitality businesses this year. Awards were received from 21 categories that included all areas of the sector and keeping with recent movements, the awards introduced their newest category this year, Best ‘Free From’, which received an impressive response from nominees and the general public.

On the night, Liam Edwards, President of the Restaurants Association of Ireland spoke about the resilience of the industry saying, “As an industry, the restaurateurs, pub-owners and entrepreneurs of Ireland, continue to defy the odds. You strive to create jobs, expand upon Ireland’s understanding of food standards and world cuisine, all while maintaining exemplary customer service. Your support of Irish produce has never been greater and for this you should be wholeheartedly applauded.”

Attendees were treated to a six-course gala dinner, prepared by a line-up of Ireland’s most high-profiled chefs. The team included Shamzuri Hanifa of Cottage Restaurant, TV Chef, Gary O’Hanlon, Danni Barry of Clenaghans Restaurant, Keith Boyle of the Bay Tree Bistro in Waterford City and Elena Martinez of Crover House Hotel. Several of the chefs are previous winners of the Best Chef title for the Irish Restaurant Awards.

The All-Ireland Best Chef winner was announced as Jess Murphy from Kai Restaurant in Galway. Her philosophy at her establishment is very simple, Murphy sources fresh, organic produce from local suppliers to create daily menus bursting with flavour, texture and colour. The judges were wholeheartedly impressed with Murphy’s commitment to high-quality, local produce.

Etto Restaurant took home the coveted All-Ireland Best Restaurant Award 2018! Based in Dublin, Etto are previous winners in the Irish Restaurant Awards Best Casual Dining and Best Wine Experience awards. They offer a daily changing, seasonal menu, served in a relaxed and informal environment and describe their dishes as honest and simple, using ingredients from local producers and suppliers where possible.

Speaking at the awards, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland Adrian Cummins commented: “On our tenth anniversary of the Irish Restaurant Awards, I’m delighted to report that this has been our most successful year to-date. These Awards are the accolades of the Irish restaurant industry and they celebrate only the very best that this country has to offer. From over 90,000 online nominations cast earlier this year to 3,000 guests attending our regional events, it is clear that the stature, calibre and reputation of the awards is expanding at a considerable rate and it is all in aid of highlighting the talent within our sector. All winners and finalists here tonight are utterly deserving of the recognition they have received.”

The full list of winners are listed below.

Best Gastro Pub winners are as follows:
Dublin – The Legal Eagle
Connaught – Cronin’s Sheebeen
Leinster – Lennons Gastro Pub
Munster – Moorings
Ulster – The Brewer’s House

All-Ireland – The Legal Eagle

Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant winners are as follows:
Dublin – The Marker Hotel
Connaught – Wilde’s at The Lodge
Leinster – Ballyfin Demesne
Munster – Park Hotel Kenmare
Ulster – Newforge House

All-Ireland – Park Hotel Kenmare

Best Newcomer winners are as follows:
Dublin – Michael’s Mount Merrion
Connaught – Hooked
Leinster – Barrows Keep
Munster – Dooks Fine Foods Fethard
Ulster – Clenaghans

All-Ireland – Clenaghans

Best Cafe winners are as follows:
Dublin – Honey Truffle
Connaught – Pudding Row
Leinster – Strandfield Café
Munster – Maison Gourmet
Ulster – The Jolly Sandwich Bar

All-Ireland – Pudding Row

Best Wine Experience winners are as follows:
Dublin – Piglet Wine Bar
Connaught – Aniar Restaurant and Boutique Cookery School
Leinster – La Touche Wines 4 U
Munster – The Black Pig
Ulster – Ox Cave

All-Ireland – Piglet Wine Bar

Best World Cuisine winners are as follows:
Dublin – Nightmarket
Connaught – MoMA Restaurant
Leinster – Pink Salt Indian Restaurant
Munster – Palmento
Ulster – Tuk Tuk Asian Bistro

All-Ireland – Nightmarket

Best Kids Size Me winners are as follows:
Dublin – Michael’s Mount Merrion
Connaught – Gather Restaurant
Leinster – Platform Pizza Bar
Munster – GROW HQ Café and Food Education Centre
Ulster – Amici

All-Ireland – Michaels Mount Merrion

Best Local Food Hero winners are as follows:
Dublin – Jenny & Patrick McNally of McNally Family Farm
All-Ireland – Mark Murphy & Mark Doe of The Apprentice Chef Programme

Best Casual Dining winners are as follows:
Dublin – Hey Donna
Connaught – Gather Restaurant
Leinster – Truffles Restaurant & Wine Bar
Munster – PILGRIM’S
Ulster – Shu Restaurant Belfast

All-Ireland – PILGRIM’S

Best Emerging Irish Cuisine winners are as follows:
Dublin – Craft Restaurant
Connaught – Tartare Café + Wine Bar
Leinster – Kernel Bar & Kitchen
Munster – SAGE Restaurant
Ulster – 28 Darling St

All-Ireland – Craft Restaurant

Best Restaurant Manager winners are as follows:
Dublin – Talha Pasha of Michael’s Mount Merrion
Connaught – Lee Hanifa of The Cottage Restaurant
Leinster – Joanne Harding of the Aldridge Lodge
Munster – Sally O’Brien of Farmgate Restaurant and Country Store
Ulster – Saul McConnell  of NOBLE. Holywood

All-Ireland – Sally O’Brien of Farmgate Restaurant and Country Store

Best ‘Free From’ winners are as follows:
Dublin – I Monelli
Connaught – Sweet Beat Café
Leinster – Zucchini’s Restaurant
Munster – Nutrilicious Food Co
Ulster – The Dirty Duck

All-Ireland – Sweet Beat Café

Best Customer Service winners are as follows:
Dublin – Etto
Connaught – House of Plates
Leinster – Roundwood House
Munster – The Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge
Ulster – Harvey’s Point

All-Ireland – Harvey’s Point

Pub of the Year winners are as follows:
Dublin – Walshs Stoneybatter
Connaught – Flynns Bar
Leinster – Morrisseys
Munster – Murphy’s Bar Brandon
Ulster – Tomneys Bar

All-Ireland – Walshs Stoneybatter

Best Chef winners are as follows:
Dublin – Barry Sun Jian of Etto
Connaught – Jess Murphy of Kai Restaurant
Leinster – Sam Moody at Ballyfin Demesne
Munster – Aidan McGrath of Wild Honey Inn
Ulster – Chris McGowan of Wine & Brine

All-Ireland – Jess Murphy of Kai Restaurant

Best Restaurant winners are as follows:
Dublin – Etto
Connaught – Cian’s on Bridge Street
Leinster – TwoCooks Restaurant & Wine Bar
Munster – Mews Restaurant
Ulster – The Muddlers Club

All-Ireland – Etto

National winners are as follows:
Best Private Dining & Club Restaurant – Locks Windsor Terrace
Best Cocktail Experience – The Sidecar at The Westbury
Best Cookery School – MacNean House & Restaurant
Best Seafood Experience – Klaw Seafood Restaurant
Best Digital Marketing – Kai Restaurant

Phase One Judging Process

Public Nomination – During the initial stage of the Awards members of the public voted to nominate their favourite restaurants, hotels and hospitality personal. These nominations were independently assessed by BDO.

Judging Panel – Our judging panel, made up of industry experts, food writers, culinary academics and critics, then narrowed down the list of nominations to our final regional winners.

Phase Two Judging Process

Mystery Guest Visit (40%) This component of the awards is conducted by Customer Perceptions Ltd, specialists in mystery shopping, consumer insights and customer satisfaction surveys. All county winners and Dublin shortlists will receive a mystery guest visit throughout the month of March, April or May.

National Judging Academy (60%) Our National Judging Academy is made up representatives from each of the regional judging panels and will meet in early May to judge the county winners. The Academy members include food writers, journalists, bloggers, culinary academics and hospitality magazine editors.

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