Irish blogger Niamh O'Shaughnessy has been crowned AA Foodie of the Year 2015-2016. Voted for by the public, Niamh's blog Gourmet Grazing has quickly gathered momentum since its set up in July 2014.
A new addition to this year's AA Hospitality Awards ceremony, the AA Foodie of the Year honour is presented in recognition of a food enthusiasts’ influence in the Irish foodie community. Whether it’s via writing, blogging or celebrating fine Irish cuisine on social media, the award signifies an individual who has consistently promoted Irish culinary excellence.
On winning the top food award, Niamh commented: "I'm so thrilled to win the AA Foodie of the Year award, especially in a category of such prestigious peers! To gain recognition in the food community is an honour in itself, and tonight's award is the icing on a proverbial cake."
Created in July 2014 before beginning a MA in Digital Marketing at DCU, Niamh saw the perfect opportunity to celebrate her love of food through photogrpahy and recipes, as well gaining valuable hands-on experience. With food always on her mind, Niamh says she makes sure to carry a little notebook with her if and when the perfect cuisine combination strikes her. "It takes so much more time than you could imagine creating a recipe. I photograph all images for the blog myself which is very time consuming between setting up and styling the shoot, to editing the photographs," says Niamh.
"For me blogging has had nothing but a positive impact on my life and I'm so thankful for the opportunities I've gained and the people I've met through it."
Previous to scooping the AA Foodie of the Year award, Niamh attended an exclusive tasting hosted by The Westbury Hotel with 12 other like-minded foodies. Attendees enjoyed The Westbury’s Irish Design Inspired Afternoon Tea experience with executive pastry chef, Tatjana Upelniece-Kiselova in the hotel's Gallery. The tea included a collection of beautifully handcrafted pastries, cakes and sandwiches all inspired by the work of five Irish designers, showcased through a range of ingredients and techniques.