The Lodge at Ashford and Jonathan Keane, Chef of the Year.
For almost twenty years now chef Jonathan Keane has been one of our favourites. The first time I ever tasted his food was way before The Lodge at Ashford, back in Westport, and even then his cooking was something special.
Almost twenty years on and Jonathan is at the top of his game and the food in The Lodge at Ashford is sublime.
It doesn’t come as a surprise then to see he has won Chef of the Year at the
Virgin Media Business Gold Medal Awards.
Now in their 33rd year, the awards are recognised as the leading independent awards programme for the Irish hospitality industry, rewarding excellence in hospitality and catering.
The Ashford estate's ‘haul’ of six awards included three Gold Medal Awards: Chef of the Year for Jonathan Keane, executive head chef at The Lodge at Ashford Castle, Ireland’s Sustainability/Leading Green Hotel - Ashford Castle, and Ireland’s Five Star Hotel Spa Experience - Ashford Castle.
Silver Medal Awards: Ireland’s Five Star Resort - Ashford Castle, Ireland’s Afternoon Tea Hotel - Ashford Castle, and Ireland’s Wine Experience - The Lodge at Ashford Castle.
“This is an incredible achievement and just reward for our more than 400 staff who work across our two properties on the Ashford estate,” said Niall Rochford, general manager.
“I’m thrilled for Chef Jonathan who has led his team at The Lodge for more than 10 years and creates fantastic flavourful dishes that let the produce, sourced locally and on the estate, do the talking.
“I’m particularly proud of our Gold Medal in the area of sustainability. It has been an operational priority for many years, and we have made significant progress in reducing our carbon footprint with everyone on the estate contributing to the effort, the ideas and the outcomes.
“The Spa at Ashford is an incredible oasis of calm and one of a number of jewels in the Ashford Castle crown. The team at The Spa treat our guests with exceptional professionalism, not to mention pampering, and the Gold Medal win will mean the world to them.”
Each shortlisted hotel is blind site inspected by the Gold Medal Awards judging panel, which is made up of industry experts from a range of hospitality sectors. They compile scores and meet together to decide on finalists, and then winners in each category.