Royal Hotel makes All-Ireland carvery shortlist

The Royal Hotel, Cookstown. INMM3013-136ar
The Royal Hotel, Cookstown. INMM3013-136ar
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A Tyrone hotel has beaten off stiff competition from hotels around the country to be shortlisted by the public in the fourth annual Great Carvery of the Year competition.

The Royal Hotel is now through to the next stage of the competition following a six-week long public vote and is in with a chance of being crowned the Great Carvery Hotel of the Year at the Grand Final in Dublin this September.

Now a firm fixture on the Irish and Northern Irish culinary calendar, there are 21 counties represented on the shortlist, with finalists hailing from: Antrim, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Derry, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Leitrim, Limerick, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Sligo, Tipperary, Tyrone, Westmeath, Wexford.

All 48 venues are in with a chance of being crowned the Great Carvery Public House of the Year and the Great Carvery Hotel of the Year at this year’s Grand Final in Dublin in September.

The annual all-island Great Carvery of the Year competition is now in its fourth year and is the premier carvery competition in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

There was a huge response to this year’s public vote, which, for the first time, saw a text vote introduced alongside the online vote. With voting lines now closed, Mark McCarthy, Business Development Chef at Unilever Food Solutions and a team of mystery shoppers will face the tough task of whittling the 48 venues down to just 24 finalists.

Announcing the shortlist Mark McCarthy, who leads the judging panel for the third year running said: “We are now approaching the business end of the 2013 competition. The public has chosen some very strong venues and it’s going to be a real challenge for our mystery shopping team to select the 24 finalists.

“Great Carvery is a really special competition,” Mark continued, “and, judging by the incredible response from the public vote, it is clear that carvery is something that remains close to the hearts of the nation. I believe that a great carvery meal is about more than just the quality of the food served. It’s about atmosphere, value and exceptional customer service and attention.”

Rugby ace Tommy Bowe is also back as competition ambassador: “It’s great to be part of the Great Carvery of the Year competition again this year. I was blown away by the response from pubs and hotels across the country last year, and was even more impressed by the calibre of venues that made it through to the final.

“After seeing this year’s shortlist it’s obvious that the public has once again chosen some of the country’s finest carveries and I’m looking forward to seeing which of these great establishments makes it through to the final.”

The 24 finalists will be announced at the end of August, with all finalists invited to attend the second annual Great Carvery of the Year Grand Final in Dublin this September. Here the provincial winners from Munster, Leinster, Connacht and Ulster will be revealed, along with the overall Great Carvery Public House of the Year and Great Carvery Hotel of the Year. Competition ambassador Tommy Bowe will be on hand to present the awards to all of this year’s winners and finalists.

The overall winning venues will receive marketing support to the value of €2,500 each. The winners will also receive a specially commissioned wall plaque and commemorative chalkboard to remind customers that they are about to sit down and enjoy the best carvery in Ireland!

For more, see www.greatcarvery.com.