A total of five Mayo based seafood establishments were recently awarded membership of the highly regarded Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM ), the Irish Sea Fisheries Board Seafood Circle programme. BIM’s Seafood Circle recognises and awards hospitality and retail businesses that consistently deliver the highest standards of seafood and service across the three membership categories of hospitality, seafood specialist, and supermarket seafood counter. The programme aims to assist the retail and food service sectors to achieve excellent standards in the provision of seafood and encourage the use of locally sourced, sustainably fished, quality seafood. The success and growing recognition of the programme is clear from the continued growth in membership nationwide. BIM awarded 23 new members in 2009 bringing the total number of restaurants, pubs, and seafood retailers awarded membership to 155.
The high number of Mayo based establishments that have achieved membership of the Seafood Circle comes as no surprise as Mayo is well renowned for providing some of the best quality seafood from well-established suppliers such as Clare’s Seafood Delicatessens in Ballina and Westport, as well as Ardmore Country House Restaurant, and The Tavern, which is also joined this year by Cronin’s Sheebeen in its hometown of Westport.
The inclusion of Cronin’s Sheebeen as a new establishment to the Seafood Circle programme, along with all those which have met the standards and retained their membership again this year, demonstrates their dedication to unwaveringly high standards of quality and service. Details of the programme along with tasty recipes, fish preparation and buying tips, frequently asked questions and a national directory of all the members, are available on www.seafoodcircle.com
In selecting members for the hospitality category, BIM works with well known food writer Georgina Campbell and her team who conduct independent, consumer focused, assessments in order to select the best seafood establishments around the country. Georgina and BIM have also teamed up to publish Ireland’s first ever seafood bible, From Tide to Table, a beautifully illustrated cookbook, available in all good bookshops at a retail price of €25 (BIM is to donate its proceeds from sales to the RNLI ), which features more than 60 mouthwatering recipes including some from the well-known hospitality Seafood Circle members nationwide.