Tipperary Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Tom Hayes has congratulated Clonmel butcher Pat Whelan who was the winner of the supreme award for the best food product in the UK and Ireland at last Monday night’s Guild of Fine Food awards in London.
Whelan’s winning product, beef dripping made in Clonmel from suet from his grass-fed Irish Angus and Hereford beef, rose to the top from 10,000 entries in the annual awards,
The supreme champion was described by a member of the judging panel as “a pure distillation of bovine goodness”, and has been included in the top 50 products in the competition both this year and last year.
It is on sale at James Whelan Butchers shop in Clonmel, and in Avoca Food Markets in Monkstown, Avoca and Rathcoole.
Just 130 food products from 10,000 entries from Ireland and the UK were deemed to be worthy of three-stars, the highest accolade in the judging process for these awards and eight of them came from the Republic, with a further three from Northern Ireland.
The judging process, which involved more than 450 food critics, chefs, food writers and Women’s Institute members, further reduced the field to a Top 50 in advance of last night’s announcement
Minister Hayes said - “I am delighted for Pat Whelan and all at James Whelan’s butchers for this fantastic achievement. It is further proof of how Irish food is held in such high esteem globally. We must continue to build on this success and market our brilliant food products. I continue to support the growth of these artisan food producers and work closely with the Tipperary Food Producers to ensure that they are supported in Tipperary.”