Butler House and Gardens
Butler House and Garden have scooped a Georgina Campbell Award for Outdoor Dining.
Representing the four corners of Ireland, the winners of the 2021 Georgina Campbell Irish Food & Hospitality Awards have been announced.
Celebrating 23 years in their current incarnation, the Georgina Campbell Awards recognise and honour Ireland’s standard-bearers in food and hospitality in Ireland with particular emphasis, this year, on the industry heroes who have maintained quality and put out the welcome mat with a smile whenever permitted during the pandemic.Describing this year’s awards as ‘a kind of love letter to Irish food and hospitality’ Georgina Campbell, one of Ireland’s foremost food and hospitality writers, says that despite everything that we have gone through in the last eighteen months, Ireland’s food, tourism and hospitality is a very exciting and ever-developing story. “I am lost in admiration for all of the brave and dedicated people in the sector who have stretched themselves to the limit to keep their businesses (many of them family owned) going, keep their staff together if at all possible, and provide incredibly creative alternative services to customers ,” said Georgina Campbell.
“Despite the early worries about mass closures, the most surprising thing about the last couple of years is the number of new openings, especially restaurants, cafés and, of course, food trucks – alongside some superb pivoting and diversification, notably the excellent retail operations that many restaurants have developed alongside, or sometimes to replace, the core business. And, although there’s been a lot of complaining about rising prices and falling standards, in the main, standards are holding up better than might be expected. So much so, in fact, that selecting the finalists for these awards was an even more demanding task than usual and it must be emphasised that the few selected for special praise today are just representative of many, many more who are equally deserving of recognition – and we are especially conscious of the challenges that many hotels face, as they may have less options for pivoting than smaller buisinesses On the question of pricing, if quality-led businesses are to be sustainable we must expect to get used to paying fair prices – the alternative is a race to the bottom. And this is a good time to mention that those who have been predicting the end of fine dining in recent years are being proved way off the mark. While there is undoubtedly a swing towards more casual styles, and the pandemic has emphasised that, you have only to look at our Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year - among others in this year’s awards selections – to see that the very finest of fine dining is very much alive and doing extremely well, thank you. And it’s providing a strong foundation for the food tourism which will undoubtedly blossom as the pandemic recedes.”
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