The Old Imperial Hotel and Carewswood Garden Centre Make Short List For Restaurant Awards

By Seamus Whelehan


Every kitchen has its own recipes and ingredients, but two East Cork eateries carry something else also, a big nomination.

For the past 12 years, the Irish Restaurant Association has been honouring the best culinary teams across Ireland.

This week the team at a Youghal hotel and a Castlemartyr Café were nominated by their customers for this year’s outstanding restaurants and chef awards.

The Old Imperial Hotel Youghal will compete in 11 categories: Best Restaurant Manager - Paul McElduff, Best Chef - Dan Leahy, Best Casual Dining, Best Customer Service, Best Gastro Pub, Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant, Best Kids Size Me, Best Restaurant, Best Wine Experience, Pub of the Year and Best ‘Free From.’

The Café at Carewswood Garden Centre has been nominated as Best Café.

Both businesses are hoping they have the right ingredients to be crowned the best in Munster, at the Irish Restaurant Regional Awards at the Radisson Blu Little Island on Tuesday 24 March.


The restaurant association describe the regional finalists as restaurants that offer “top quality food, great customer service and genuine hospitality.”

Head Chef Daniel Leahy from the Old Imperial Youghal says his recipe for success is providing a relaxed atmosphere and customer-focused friendly staff.

He said the nominations are a “great boost” for the staff and “makes it even better when your customers vote for you rather than anybody else.”

In Castlemartyr the Carewswood Café said they were delighted with their nomination and thanked all their “wonderful customers” for the vote of confidence in their staff and the Carewswood dining experience.

The awards are described as the Oscars of the restaurant industry.

The regional winners will be announced at a gala dinner held at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Little Island next Tuesday 24 March.

The All-Ireland Final of the Irish Restaurant Awards 2020 takes place on Monday 18 May 2020 in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road.