Irish Cheese Awards 2017

Our biennial awards ceremony took place in Ballymaloe Grainstore on Thursday, 2nd November 2017. The gala dinner was was a sold out affair and the atmosphere in the room was relaxed and amused as our MC, Ross Golden-Bannon, announced the winners (with a few hiccups)of this year’s Irish Cheese Awards. 160 cheeses were entered with 17 new cheeses – proof that the Irish artisan cheese industry is thriving. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to Jane & Louis Grubb of Cashel Blue Farmhouse Cheese – a worthy winner of a family business that has grown naturally and includes now the second generation (and hopefully soon, the third generation. Louis Grubb is also acting chairman of CAIS and has contributed not only his expertise but also his passion and love for the industry. When Jane & Louis received their award on stage, they were greeted by standing ovations – a true sign of the love and respect they both have in the industry.

We extend a warm thank you and gratitude to our sponsors – we would not have been able to celebrate the awards if not for the support of Bord Bia, Pallas Foods, Horgan’s Delicatessen, Traditional Cheese, Sheridan’s Cheesemongers and Gleneely Foods. Over the years, these companies have supported and promoted Irish cheesemakers here at home and abroad.

Congratulations to all winners of the 2017 Irish Cheese Awards:

Supreme Champion
Mount Leinster Clothbound’ Coolattin Cheddar made by Tom Burgess

Reserve Champions
Best Cow’s Milk Cheese
‘Mount Leinster Clothbound’ Coolattin Cheddar made by Tom Burgess

Best Goat’s Milk Cheese
St. Tola Ash Log made by Inagh Farmhouse Cheese

Best Other Milk Cheese
Cashel Crozier Blue made by Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers

Best in Retailer Class
Aldi Specially Selected Tipperary Blue entered by Aldi Stores Ireland Ltd

Class Winners
No winners in Class 1 & Class 2

Class 3 – Soft, Fresh Cheese, All Milks
No Gold & Silver
Bronze & Best in Class – Bluebell Falls Original

Class 4 – Soft, Fresh Cheese, Flavour Added, All Milks
Best in Class – Ardsallagh Cranberry Roulade

Class 5 – White Rind Cheese, All Milks
Gold & Best in Class – St Tola Ash Log
Silver – St Tola Aged Log

Class 6 – Wahsed Rind Cheese, All Milks
Gold & Best in Class – Gubbeen
Gold – Durrus
Bronze – Milleens Dote

Class 7 – Blue Cheese, All Milks
Gold & Best in Class – Crozier Blue
Silver – Cashel Blue
Silver – Boyne Valley Blue

Class 8 – Pressed Cheese, Up to 3 Months, All Milks
Gold & Best in Class – Boyne Valley Bán
Silver – Killeen Goat
Bronze – Cáis na Tíre Gouda Young

Class 9 – Pressed Cheese, Aged 3 Months +, All Milks
Gold & Best in Class – Coolatting Mount Leinster Clothbound
Silver – Derg Cheddar
Silver – Sheridans Cheesemongers 15 Fields
Bronze – Mature Coolattin
Bronze – Coolea Matured

Class 10 – Pressed Cheese, Flavour Added, All Milks
Silver & Best in Class – Burren Gold Piri Piri
Bronze – Coolea Cumin

Class 11 – Smoked Cheese, All Milks
Silver & Best in Class – Smoked Durrus
Silver – Burren Gold Smoked
Silver – Milleens Smoked Céad
Bronze – Extra Mature Smoked Gubbeen

Class 12 – Best New Cheese in last 24 months, All Milks
Gold & Best in Class – Ardsallagh Corabbey-Romano
Gold – Organic Cashel Blue
Silver – Boyne Valley Bán
Bronze – Bó Rua Farm Cheddar

Class 13 – Retailer’s Class Creamery
Bronze & Best in Class – Horgan’s 1921 Vintage Cheddar

Class 14 – Retailer’s Class Fresh Washed Rind, White Rind & Blue Cheeses
Gold & Best in Class – Dunnes Stores Basil Pesto Irish Cream Cheese
Gold – Aldi Specially Selected Tipperary Blue
Silver – Dunnes Stores Milleens
Silver – Tesco St Tola Original
Silver – SuperValu Cashel Blue
Bronze – Dunnes Stores Wicklow Blue
Bronze – SuperValu Colleeney
Bronze – SuperValu Gubbeen

Class 15 – Retailer’s Class Pressed & Smoked Cheeses
Bronze & Best in Class – Tesco Cheddar with Walnut

Irish Organic Awards 2016

The closing date for the National Organic Awards 2016 is this Friday, 9th September 2016.

The awards are free to enter and include seven categories:

1. Best Fresh Product
2. Best Prepared Product
3. Best New Product
4. Export Award
5. Innovation Award
6. Direct Selling Award
7. Chefs’ Choice Award – New for 2016!

Entries will be accepted until 5pm on Friday 9th September 2016 For more information and to access the application form, please go to


  • Tailored branding project worth €30,000 for award winners (in late 2016/early 2017)
  • All shortlisted companies in each category will be promoted by Bord Bia in print, broadcast and online media
  • Awards helpful in securing new trade listings and ongoing media attention
  • On-pack promotion opportunity for award-winners


Download the National Organic Awards application form. 

FACEnetwork’s VIDEO CONTEST 2016

Have you recently started farmhouse cheesemaking? Are you a passionate dairy start-up? Would you like to win a 3-day professional cheesemaking course at the School of Artisan Food near Nottingham?  Well then this is for you!

This competition, run by FACE Network, aims to highlight the current reality and diversity of the traditional dairy sector of Europe, through the eyes of people who are recent entrants to the sector.  It is open to any cheese and dairy producer/worker in the first 5 years of activity aged 18 years or older.

Full details are available on

The competition began on May 15th and will end on September 15th, 2016.

Videos must be submitted by September 15th at the latest and only one video may be accepted per person.  Best of luck to all!!

New Postgraduate Certificate in Dairy Technology & Innovation

University College Cork (UCC), in association with Teagasc, has developed a part-time, blended-learning Postgraduate Certificate in Dairy Technology and Innovation.  This level 9 qualification is part-time and is tailored to dairy industry needs and delivered online and by block-release to suit the seasonal nature of the dairy industry. The programme runs from September – December and January-March.


Further details on 

Invitation -Taste Council of Ireland Food Summer School, 22 August 2016

image001The TASTE Council of Ireland is a voluntary representative group of the smaller food business sector made up largely of local, artisan and speciality food producers. Its remit is solely focused on Irish Artisan and Speciality Food Producers.

The sixth annual TASTE Council Food Summer School will take place on Monday the 22nd of August (09.30-18.00) at BrookLodge in Co. Wicklow. We are now accepting registrations for this event via this link.

Organised in association with Bord Bia, the Food Summer School 2016 will explore the Speciality & Artisan food sector’s role in the protection and development of rural Irish communities. We will look at how this sector, in partnership with the tourism sector and our farming community, can play a vital role in sustainable and flourishing rural economies and communities.

The day will begin with a look at the Achill Island Food and Tourism community. With the help of key members of this community, we will explore the successes and challenges to creating a sustainable food community. We will then bring together key stakeholders in the Irish food, agriculture and tourism sectors along with experts in rural development. Together these will examine the current status within Irish rural communities and the interplay between food production, tourism and the sustainable development of these communities. Pathways to best create a more vibrant and mutually beneficial environment for rural development and growth will be articulated as a result of this session.

After lunch we will facilitate round table discussions between all delegates in order to prioritise actions together and key areas to focus our influence.

It is hoped that the day will point to a new direction where food production, including the farming and fishing communities, can be at the centre of rural development policy.

The Summer School also provides an excellent forum for small food businesses to network with fellow producers and stakeholders in the sector. The Brook Lodge will present both lunch and dinner reflecting the ethos and quality of the best of Irish artisan and farmhouse food in an atmosphere of conviviality. (Note: The Harvest Dinner is optional, with drinks from 18.30 and dinner served from 19.30)

We look forward to welcoming you to what is sure to be an informative and productive day.

Yours sincerely,


Kevin Sheridan
Chair, TASTE Council,
(Sheridans Cheesemongers, An Cais, SlowFood Ireland)



Evan Doyle
Vice-Chair, TASTE Council,
(The BrookLodge Hotel, SlowFood Ireland, Eurotoques, The Organic Trust)
The TASTE Council of Ireland


World Cheese Awards 2016

In 2016, the Guild of Fine Food are taking the World Cheese Awards to San Sebastián – the European Capital of Culture 2016 – in the Basque region of Spain, where it will form a key part of the International Cheese Festival, organised by Artzai Gatza and supported by the Basque Country Government.

World Cheese Awards – Important dates:

  • 17th Aug – World Cheese Awards 2016 Open for entries
  • 11th Oct – World Cheese Awards 2016 Closed for entry
  • 16th Nov – World Cheese Awards 2016 judging, Kursaal, San Sebastián

The entry details are available on the World Cheese Awards website.

International Cheese Awards 2016


The International Cheese Awards take place in Nantwich on 26th and 27th July 2016.

The on-line entry forms are now live and to enter just follow these simple instructions and complete your entries by the closing date of 14th May.

Before entering please read the help page which explains how to enter. Then when you are ready, please visit to enter.


The Future is Food – Transition Year Unit

‘The Future is Food’ was developed by the Taste Council in collaboration with Bord Bia, designed by educators and is recognised by the NCCA (National Council for Curriculum & Assessment).

It was initially designed as a Mini Company Unit for Transition Year, however, many teachers also feel that it works for other year groups as it develops skills such as team work, communication, decision making and leadership (the potential to evolve outside of this target will be examined for the academic year 2016- 17).

A core element of the programme is that schools will be matched with a local food producer or food professional, who will act as a mentor for the students, and this is why we are seeking regional mentors.

A school visit will be arranged where you will share your experiences and give advice to students on their food project. A visit to your premises may also be organised as part of the programme if this suits both the school and your business.

Read more and register your interest on–transition-year-unit.html