For the second year in a row, Harvey’s Point, Donegal was crowned Ireland’s best hotel carvery in the fourth annual Great Carvery of the Year competition. The winners of the competition were unveiled by rugby ace Sean O’Brien in front of a packed house at the Great Carvery of the Year Grand Final at the Herbert Park Hotel in Dublin.
Harvey’s Point made it through a six-week long public vote, before a team of mystery shoppers led by Head Judge and Business Development Chef at Unilever Food Solutions, Mark McCarthy, selected them as one of just 24 finalists. Harvey’s Point then beat off stiff competition from its rivals to be crowned Ireland’s Great Carvery Hotel of the Year 2013 at the Dublin awards presentation.
For an incredible third year in a row, The Elm Tree in Cork was crowned Great Carvery Public House of the Year.
Launched in 2010 by Unilever Food Solutions Ireland, Great Carvery of the Year is an all-island search for Ireland’s best pub and hotel carvery. Speaking at the final, Mark McCarthy said: “The carvery is an institution in Ireland and I am hugely impressed every year by not only the response we receive from operators, but by the calibre of entries we receive. I know that times are tough for a lot of pubs and hotels because of the difficult economic climate, but I strongly believe that carvery is something truly unique to Ireland and that we have to continue showcasing it as one of our foodservice industry’s unique selling points.
“While all our finalists demonstrated exceptionally high standards in food quality and service, I would like to especially acknowledge all our provincial and overall winners. These establishments not only impressed us with their vast array of carvery dishes, but with providing excellent value for money in what is an increasingly competitive space.”
Now in its fourth year, the Great Carvery of the Year competition continues to grow. Open to pubs and hotels in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, this year saw a record number of entries received. All venues were subject to a six-week-long public vote – with text voting introduced alongside the traditional online vote for the first time – to determine a long list of 48 venues. These venues were then visited by a team of mystery shoppers, led by Mark McCarthy, who had the tough job of whittling these venues down to 24 finalists, and then down to just eight provincial winners and two overall winning venues.
Among the provincial winners in the Hotel of the Year category are Ashbourne House Hotel, Meath (Leinster); Dan Buckley’s Bar at the Castle Hotel, Cork (Munster); Galway Bay Hotel, Galway (Connacht) and Harvey’s Point, Donegal (Ulster).
In the Public House of the Year category, An Poitín Stil, Dublin (Leinster); The Elm Tree, Cork (Munster); The Merry Monk, Mayo (Connacht) and The Stables Bar and Restaurant (Ulster) claimed the provincial titles.
As Great Carvery Hotel of the Year and Great Carvery Public House of the Year, Harvey’s Point and The Elm Tree will receive marketing support to the value of €2,500 each. Both venues will also receive a specially commissioned wall plaque and commemorative chalkboard to remind customers that they are about the sit down and enjoy the best carvery in Ireland.
Ulster: Harvey’s Point, Co Donegal
Our picture shows: Unilever Food Solutions Business Development Chef Mark McCarthy presents the award to the provincial winner and the overall winner of the Hotel category to Deirdre McGlone, Harvey’s Point, Donegal with Sean O’Brien, Leinster and and Ireland rugby player.
Picture: Maura Hickey.