The West is the Best… AGAIN!

The West is the Best… AGAIN!

It was certainly a case of twice as nice for The West Bar, Westport, Co. Mayo, as for the second year running they were crowned All-Ireland Chowder Champion at the All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off which took place in Kinsale on Sunday 21st April.

Almost 900 people cast their vote, to choose their champion in the hotly contested All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off which took place in Acton’s Hotel, Kinsale. The event saw chefs, fishermen and commercial chowder producers from every county of Ireland serve up pots and pots of delicious creamy chowder in a bid to walk away with the coveted title.

In the end it was The West Bar’s special recipe that once again wowed the public’s palate and won their vote. Louth’s Fitzpatrick’s Bar & Restaurant, who’s fantastic “fishy” stand was one of the main talking points of the day came 2nd; while The Cornstore, Cork came in 3rd place.

Frank Walsh, co-owner of The West Bar, was stunned and delighted to be crowned champions for the second year in a row, and attributed his continued success to a simple recipe using only the freshest and best quality fish to achieve the best flavour. The West Bar has established itself as Westport’s favourite Gastro bar with both locals and tourists alike, and Chef Frank serves up a broad range of seasonal dishes based on the best of locally sourced produce such as the seafood used in their double award winning chowder, sourced directly from local fishmongers and suppliers.

Commenting on their win John McGrath, Frank’s business partner, added “We’re absolutely thrilled to once again be crowned Ireland’s chowder champions; particularly as the competition this year was so stiff with an amazing array of chowders being served! It’s a great honour to win the title in Kinsale, Ireland’s Gourmet capital; and we would like to extend special thanks to Kinsale Chamber of Tourism & Business and Kinsale’s Good Food Circle for an exceptionally well organised event. We look forward to doing Ireland proud in the upcoming Great Chowder Cook-Off which takes place in Newport, Rhode Island this June; and we hope to follow Bunratty Manor’s brilliant result last year, who’s success was a great endorsement for the All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off.”

The All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off was the pinnacle of a two day Family Festival that was held in Kinsale over the weekend. The town was transformed into a massive open air street market with food stalls and lots of fun family activities throughout the town. Food stalls hosted by many of the local businesses sold delicious samples and dishes, and there certainly was something for everyone to enjoy.

Following the Cook-Off, Chairman of Kinsale Chamber of Tourism & Business, Hal McElroy said “We were astounded with the response from both the public who turned up in droves, and all the chefs who took part; and I would like to thank them all for making the trip to Kinsale. On behalf of Kinsale Chamber of Tourism & Business, I would also like to ONCE AGAIN congratulate The West Bar on being crowned All-Ireland Chowder Champions, no mean feat considering the standard of chowder that was available this year. We wish them the very best of luck in the upcoming Newport, Rhode Island Great Chowder Cook-Off, where they will fly the flag for Ireland, as part of their 2012 prize.”

For more information and photos from the All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off and all that Kinsale has to offer visit and  

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