Newmarket Kitchen members have had great success at the Blas na hEireann Food Awards over the years, with several of our members being nominated for awards and others going on to be awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze. If you have not yet entered, it is not too late as the final closing date for entry is June 15th. 
Blas na hEireann celebrated their tenth anniversary last year. With ten years of continuous success and with over 40 categories for 2018, Blas nah hEireann is Ireland’s biggest competition for quality Irish produce. The criteria on which the products are judged is now recognised as an international industry standard. Blas was established with the aim to improve standards and food quality. 
The awards event will provide advantage for all attendants as it will give all contestants a greater insight in to the industry and allow for the growth of new relationships with other Irish producers and with buyers. 
If you have never heard of the Blas na hEireann Food awards, I have no doubt that you are familiar with their awards logo that can be found on many Irish food products.  Research has shown that the Blas accreditation has the highest recognition amongst Irish consumers. Being awarded with a Blas award encourages consumers to buy your products, as it promises a top quality Irish product. The competition produces Gold, Silver and Bronze awards for each category. 
The competition sees that the products entered are blind tasted, this creates a fair playing field for all involved. The identifying features on the products are removed before being presented to the judges. The competition is tough as only five finalist place for each category.  The awards are a celebration of the best tasting food that Ireland has to offer and the driven producers that make it. 
In the last number of years Blas na hEireann has seen an increasing number of Artisan food producers entering and receiving awards in the competition. Blas benefits small-food-producers as it provides an even division of entries. Blas works to help producers of all sizes to grow and develop in to well-known names, making their products recognisable and strengthening brand awareness. 
Take a look at the Blas na hEireann key dates for 2018 and for more information on the terms and conditions for entry check out the Blas na hEireann’s website. 
17th March– Online entry open 
30th April- Early-bird closes 
15th June – Final date for entry 
June/July- Initial judging 
August- finalists notified 
4th October- Finalist judging 
5th October- workshops and master classes 
6th October- Blas nah Eireann awards presented and producer networking events