An Port Mór in Westport has been named the best restaurant in Connacht at the Irish Restaurant Awards, while The Restaurant at Belleek Castle in Ballina has been announced as the best hotel restaurant in the province.
Frankie Mallon, head chef at An Port Mór, was also named best chef in Connacht at the awards on Monday night.
Nationally, Campagne in Kilkenny was named the best restaurant in Ireland while Neven Maguire at MacNean House and Restaurant in Blacklion, Cavan, was crowned Ireland’s best chef.
The awards, organised by the Restaurants Association of Ireland in association with Sunday Independent Life Magazine, are the largest and most coveted prizes in the Irish restaurant industry.
The awards ceremony, in The DoubleTree by Hilton in Dublin, was attended by more than 900 restauranteurs and industry players.
Pádraic Óg Gallagher, president of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, said the awards were the ones “everyone wants to be associated with, and everyone wants to win”.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in nominations and votes since last year with over 19,000 nominations for Ireland’s favourite restaurants, chefs, gastro publs, hotels, restaurant managers and ‘foodie towns’,” he said.
“The Irish Restaurant Awards are all about celebrating those who have brought acclaim to the Irish food scene from abroad and who keep the restaurant industry thriving at home,” he continued.
“Ireland has so much to offer to the culinary tourist and these awards remind everyone of the quality and class of Irish restaurants and chefs.”
The Irish restaurant scene employs 64,000 people and generates revenue in excess of €2 billion each year.