Quinlans In the Press – Irish Examiner

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South and west land hefty catch in seafood awards

SEAFOOD specialists in the south and west have again dominated this year’s Seafood Circle awards.

Among the growing number of top-class seafood restaurants and retail outlets is Quinlan’s Kerry Fish in Tralee, winning the Seafood Specialist of the Year Award; Scally’s SuperValu, Clonakilty, gaining Supermarket Seafood Counter of the Year and Fishy Fishy Café in Kinsale landing Seafood Restaurant of the Year 2011.

Almost 200 Seafood Circle members for 2011 were listed in addition to the major award winners.

Award-winner Liam Quinlan of Kerry Fish is delighted. The company, based at Renard Point in Caherciveen, has branches in Tralee and Killarney. “It is a huge award. You can tell everyone that the men from the bogs are thrilled.”

Kerry Fish aims to produce the freshest fish possible and have their own boats. “When BIM [Bord Iascaigh Mhara, the Irish Sea Fisheries Board] came down, the fish was landed the night before and boned in the morning. Because we have our own boats, we have full control from catch to end user. That means our produce is as fresh as it can be.”

Already, the award has seen an increase in business. “We have already had a massive sale in the shops.”

The Seafood Circle was developed by BIM to champion those who offer excellent quality seafood and service and the Seafood Circle plaque is presented annually to members.

Announcing the 2011 membership on behalf of BIM, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food Sean Connick welcomed, in particular, the 41 newcomers to the Seafood Circle.

“The fact that the Seafood Circle is growing despite the stringent criteria that need to be met in order to gain membership is inspiring,” he said.

“It highlights the fact that many seafood retailers and hospitality outlets are striving to go that extra mile to ensure customers have the best seafood experience possible and that quality and attention to detail do not need to be compromised even in these demanding economic times.”

Since its inception in 2001, the categories have expanded to include retail members covering supermarket seafood counters and seafood specialists. In 2011, all of the Superquinn counters retained membership and SuperValu seafood counters nationwide are now on board.

The hospitality sector boasts 99 members and are independently assessed by food writer Georgina Campbell.

* www.seafoodcircle.ie

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