THE STRAND Hotel’s executive chef, Tom Flavin, has walked away with two gold stars in the Great Taste Awards, billed as the ‘Oscars of the food industry’.
Organised by the Somerset-based Guild of Fine Food, which judge retail food and drink in the UK and Ireland, the 2011 Great Taste Awards were announced recently and saw over 400 experts assess more than 7,000 products from 1,500 companies in the UK and Ireland.
Two of Flavin’s products in the in-house pantry range ‘The Secret Ingredient’ - a range of sauces which are sold in the Strand and served with food in the River Restaurant in the hotel - were awarded two gold stars each, the Great Taste Awards equivalent of “faultless” food.
Flavin’s Caesar Salad Dressing and homemade Chicken Liver Pate were awarded the prestigious stars, with the chef, who has been with the Strand since it opened in 2007, telling the Limerick Leader he and his team were “delighted with the win”.
“Given that we only started producing the range last February it has just gone from strength to strength,” said the chef, who has over 20 years’ experience in the industry, spending time in Singapore, The Dorchester in London and Australia in a variety of 5 star hotel kitchens and fine dining restaurants.
Sean Lally, general manager of the Strand, said he was “absolutely thrilled” with the two awards.
“To win two gold star awards in such a short space of time is fantastic. We have a whole range - about 20 items - on sale in the ‘Secret Menu’, as we call it, and we sell it as well as serving it in our restaurants on a daily basis, and they are very popular,” he explained.
“The beauty of Tom is that he is a fantastic chef, but everything is made in house here also. Everything is made fresh, in house. We are thrilled and it is a very high profile award,” he added.