The tenth annual Irish Restaurant Awards were launched today with lunch at Chapter One for the who's who of the Irish restaurant industry, Aiming to acknowledge 'outstanding performers in the sector', the awards are judged over five months, and take into account public nominations, judging panels, mystery guest inspections and events.
The Irish restaurant industry currently employs 74,000 people, so if there's a sommelier, host, chef or food producer that you think deserves a nod, this is as good a time as any to give them a pat on the back and nominate them here. There are 21 categories that you can vote in, including new category, best 'free from', showing how obsessed we now are with what 'isn't' in our food, rather than what is in it.
There are regional and national awards, and the winners will be announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards on Monday 14th May in the Clayton Hotel. Maybe don't book in anywhere too nice on the 15th - there will be hungover heads from Donegal to Dingle.
You can read more about the Irish Restaurant Awards at www.irishrestaurantawards.com.