Chef Jess Murphy of Kai restaurant in Galway is Blas na hÉireann Producer’s Champion 2019.
The Producer’s Champion is selected from a survey of the Blas network of producers covering every county in Ireland.
Previous winners include Neven Maguire, TD Simon Coveney, John and Sally McKenna and Shane McArdle.
Jess accepted her award at a breakfast briefing at Urchin in Dublin this morning, over a menu she devised featuring producers from the Blas larder.
“Our suppliers have become our friends and our extended family,” Jess says. “Kai reflects Galway’s Sea Road and the west community of locals, artists and hungry eaters, as well as being a showcase for amazing local farmers, cheese makers and suppliers and our extended family of Irish producers who grow and create mind-bogglingly brilliant and delicious ingredients. I am proud to have been voted Blas na hÉireann Producers’ Champion 2019 by people I have such respect and admiration for - it’s a pleasure to work with them and their fantastic produce.”
New Zealand-born chef Jess has lived in Ireland since 2003 and in 2005 she opened her restaurant Kai with her husband Dave. The restaurant has an impeccable reputation in the Irish hospitality industry, with innovative menus featuring the best of Irish produce.
Entry for the Blas na hEireann Awards is open now and entries before 30 April can avail of an early bird fee of €60 per entry (ex VAT). The full fee of €75 per entry (ex VAT) is applicable from 1 May to 15 June.
Here are Jess’s picks for a Blas na hEireann breakfast of award-winning produce from all over the island of Ireland:
Attyflin Estate Blackcurrant Preserve & Fruit Infusions (Limerick)
Ballylisk of Armagh Triple Cream Cheese (Armagh)
Beeactiv Irish Blossom Honey (Limerick)
Bretzel Bakery Baguette d’Espard, Wholemeal San Francisco Sourdough, Croissants (Dublin)
Camo’s Spiced Apple Chutney (Kerry)
Clandeboye Estate Greek Style Irish Yogurt (Down)
Coffee House Lane Viking City Roast (Waterford)
Durrus Og (Cork)
Glenstal Irish Creamery Salted Butter (Limerick & Tipperary)
Green Pastures Creme Fraiche (Donegal)
Lotts & Co. Groovy Grains Granola (Dublin)
Muru Deli Fig Chutney (Antrim)
On the Pig’s Back Free Range Ham from McCarthy’s of Kanturk (Cork)
St. Tola Ash Log (Clare)
Sunshine Juice Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice (Carlow)
The Cupcake Bloke Earl Grey, Cranberry & Orange Tea Brack (Dublin)
The Lodge Barna Galway Hooker Pale Ale Mustard (Galway)
Union Hall Smoked Irish Mackerel (Cork)
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