With a 9 September deadline and judges arriving in Kilkenny on Tuesday, campaigners for Kilkenny as Ireland’s Foodie Destination for 2016 are urging the public to get out and vote for the county.
The food tourism competition, initially run as part of the Restaurant Association of Ireland’s awards in 2014 before moving out on its own in 2015, has seen Kilkenny shortlisted for the last three years inclusive of 2016.
The Burren region was voted as 2015’s winner.
To find out more about the competition as a whole, I spoke to Róisín McQuillan, Development Manager for the Thomastown-based Kilkenny School of Food.
While we chat about the looming deadline for this year’s competition, we also catch up on the latest happenings of the School Of Food including ongoing chef training in Kilkenny to address a national shortage, their new market garden and a look at day courses being held in the school.
Kilkenny goes to the polls against Boyne Valley, Cong, Derry, Dublin Coastal Villages, Leitrim, Loop Head, Monaghan, Sligo and last year’s winners The Burren.
In a bit like X-Factor meets Eurovision, the public vote counts for 50% of the process, something organisers of the local campaign think they fell down on in 2015.
Votes for Kilkenny (my home county), or otherwise, can be made here until 9 September.