GEORGINA CAMPBELL AWARDS
According to Georgina Campbell, one of Ireland’s foremost food and hospitality writers, Ireland’s success in food, tourism and hospitality is a very exciting and ever-developing story. “I have been thinking a lot about the legacy of the wonderful Myrtle Allen - to whom the industry owes an enormous debt of gratitude and who we remember fondly at today’s event - and those of her generation who have laid down the unshakable foundations of quality. Many of these great people are still active and working alongside their children and often their grandchildren, and they are the pioneers of the genuine hospitality, sustainable food sourcing and innovation that Ireland is gaining a reputation for today,” said Georgina Campbell.
Georgina added, “This year, in tune with our special recognition of the pioneers in Irish food and hospitality, we have also been looking particularly at sustainable development, and especially when it takes place within a family business. The ability to recognise the need for change and act creatively and sustainably so that they can not just survive, but thrive, is what marks out many of our most successful multi-generational businesses - some of which have re-invented themselves several times in recent decades.”
Whilst the awards are a celebration of our best hospitality and finest producers, Georgina Campbell did express a note of caution. “When carrying out our independent and anonymous assessments around the country, we have encountered disappointments once again, and particularly with some 4- and 5-star hotels, where there really should be no excuses. There is a worrying lack of a sense of hospitality in some cases and poor training - or indeed no apparent training at all - and it is baffling that there are still issues with standards at ‘top’ establishments every year. Hotel prices are continuing to rise too, especially in the major cities and without any corresponding rise in standards, and it is disappointing to see us losing the competitive edge that was so hard won during the recession,” said Georgina.
Speaking at the awards, Georgina Campbell had praise for the improvements in sourcing policies, crediting Bord Bia’s Just Ask programme for the work it has done in this area. “Provenance is so important to consumers and establishments owe it to themselves, their suppliers and their customers to highlight the origin of the produce on the menu, thereby supporting Irish suppliers,” said Georgina.