• Home|
  • Experience|
  • Kilkenny, winner of Ireland’s Foodie Destination Award 2018

Kilkenny, winner of Ireland’s Foodie Destination Award 2018

Kilkenny is known nationwide for its vibrant food and hospitality offering, from local producers to food festivals, farmers markets and trails, cookery schools and gastro pubs, to the Michelin star dining experiences that regularly receive critical acclaim and national attention.

It’s official! Kilkenny is Ireland’s Top Foodie Destination 2018, as selected by the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI).

For food lovers, Kilkenny offers a vibrant and thriving artisan food and beverage scene, populated by champion organic producers, bakers, craft brewers, Michelin star eateries, gastro pubs and everything in between.

In August 2018, Kilkenny was officially announced as Ireland’s Top Foodie Destination in the National ‘Foodie Destination’ competition held by the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI). 

The adjudication process is intense and demands a collaborative approach engaging stakeholders from Taste Kilkenny, Kilkenny Tourism, Kilkenny LEO, Kilkenny County Council, Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce and KLP to restaurants, cookery schools, retailers, accommodation and activity providers, media partners and festival organisers across the county. 

The initiative was supported by Kilkenny Tourism in collaboration with #tastekilkenny and its members. The showcase of local food producers, the quality of product, the innovation displayed by brewers and distillers, together with the diverse ever evolving foodie scene is a testament to the food sector in Kilkenny. Kilkenny convinced the judges that the city and county listens, adapts and evolves, earning the well-deserved crown of Ireland’s Top Foodie Destination 2018. 


Organic Champions

Following rigorous judging of over 200 entries, six organic food companies were selected as overall category winners. The event marked a true celebration of the best of Irish organic food as a wide selection of produce from all over the country was represented on the winning stage.

Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, awarded Highbank Orchards from Cuffesgrange with the top direct selling award for their ‘Distillery Sack No 3 Pommeau 2016.’ The husband and wife team, Rod and Julie Calder-Potts, have been developing a range of products that add value to their apples, exploiting their exceptional properties of taste and flavour, which they call “Pip to Sip”.

Vincent O’Shea and Riversfield Farm in Callan were announced as Chef’s Choice winners in the National Organic Awards in 2018. Riversfield Farm is a certified organic vegetable farm, providing a fresh, quality selection of locally-grown organic vegetables and salad leaves – delivered weekly, from the farm direct to your door.


With tales from a global award winning author running a diversifying trout farm, to an enterprising and innovative veal producer evolving next generation farming, the food stories and visitor experiences in Kilkenny continue to grow.

In this article

Highbank Orchards

Eden Hall Cookery School

Edward Hayden Cookery School

Riversfield Farm

Recommended Experiences

Kilkenny, winner of Ireland’s Foodie Destination Award 2018

6 Sensational Foodie Experiences

Brilliant Breakfasts in Kilkenny

Taste Kilkenny – Food Trail

More than a Menu

Highbank Orchards

Farmley, Cuffesgrange, Co. Kilkenny

086 8172132

[email protected]


Highbank Organic Farm in Co. Kilkenny was a 17th century farmyard and the present farm house was built by our family in the 19th Century. The first apple orchards were planted by the family, in 1969, to compliment the hop gardens. The varieties of apples are specially chosen for their juicing properties which are uniquely complex and full of health giving vitamins and minerals. Highbank Orchards is home to the original and innovative and multi award winning HIGHBANK orchard syrup. We also produce several delicious Apple juices, including our acclaimed Christmas organic mulling apple juice.

Eden Hall Cookery School

Eden Hall, Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny

087 2858753

[email protected]


Cooking Classes at Eden Hall has something to offer all food lovers: learn, taste, and enjoy with demonstrations for groups of eight or more. Whether a novice or more experienced cook, we will make your visit memorable. Located in a traditional old Irish house in the heartland of County Kilkenny.

Edward Hayden Cookery School

Graignamanagh, Co. Kilkenny

059 9724359

[email protected]


Edward will be doing cookery demonstrations over the weekend as well as giving hands-on tuition. Boasting private dining facilities, he will also be doing children’s cookery workshops and corporate team building events. The cookery school, with Brandon Hill in the background, boasts a large kitchen suitable for both demonstration and hands-on classes with an adjoining dining room and stylish utility room area.

Riversfield Farm

Callan, Co. Kilkenny

086 3894447

[email protected]


Riversfield Farm is a certified organic vegetable farm, providing a fresh, quality selection of locally-grown organic vegetables and salad leaves - delivered weekly, from our farm direct to you door. A box typically includes potatoes, carrots, onions, broccoli and salad - topped up with other seasonal delights such as tomatoes, fresh peas, courgettes and more, from a range of over 30 different vegetables.