International success for Clarecastle chef

International success for Clarecastle chef

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Michael O'Meara
Michael O’Meara

A cookbook by a Clare author has made history, scooping the title of one of the world’s most acclaimed culinary publications.

Clarecastle man Michael O’Meara’s cookbook Sea Gastronomy: Fish and Shellfish of the North Atlantic was announced as winner of the Seafood Cookbook of the Year award at the Gourmand World Cookbook awards in Yantai, China. Regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the food industry, the Gourmand awards is the most prestigious accolade in the world of culinary writing. Now in its twentieth year, the awards celebrate the world’s most accomplished and influential food writers from over 136 countries around the globe.

The Irish publication by Michael O’Meara, published by Artisan House Connemara was the only Irish contender to have been shortlisted in two categories in the competition. Sea Gastronomy was announced as winner of the Best Seafood Cookbook in the World Award. Along with this outstanding achievement, Sea Gastronomy was shortlisted as a nominee for the overall Best Cookbook in the World Award, the top merit in the competition.

Galway based O’Meara was highly commended by the competition judges, and surpassed a number of the world’s most established culinary writers in the competition to secure the winning title of Best Seafood Cookbook in the World, and a nomination as a finalist in the overall Best Cookbook in the World category.

Sea Gastronomy has been awarded in the highest stature, now recognised as 2016’s most influential seafood cookbook in the world. This outstanding merit has positioned Sea Gastronomy and Michael O’Meara in the top tier of the world’s most elite food publications and places the Irish culinary and publishing sectors in a class of itself, with Ireland’s Sea Gastronomy celebrated globally for its excellence. O’Meara was praised for his in-depth knowledge and expertise which set him apart from his competitors.

Speaking on the nomination, GMIT lecturer Michael O’Meara, chef/proprietor of Oscars Seafood Bistro, Galway, said: “I am delighted and so honoured. Sea Gastronomy has been a labour of love for over 20 years, created from a lifelong passion of fish, seafood, cooking and photography. The Gourmand Awards is the most prestigious of its kind in the world, and to have been recognised, was a landmark achievement for me. There is simply no comparison having Sea Gastronomy named as the World’s Best Seafood Cookbook.

“It’s truly overwhelming and it’s something I will always be so hugely proud of. This award grants us the opportunity to showcase Ireland’s unique seafood story to a global audience and profile Ireland as one of the most distinguished culinary destinations in the world.”

This is a landmark achievement for author Michael O’Meara and publishers Artisan House. Mary Ruddy and Vincent Murphy of Artisan House were equally as delighted with the outcome. “We are so thrilled that Sea Gastronomy has been named the World’s Best Seafood Cookbook. This win is a testament to Michael’s incredible talent and passion. We are aware that we are a small scale and relative newcomer to publishing so this is a huge endorsement of our commitment to high production values in our publishing.

“It is also very much a reflection of the commitment and dedication of not only our author, Michael O’Meara, but also contributors like Dr. Peter Tyndall and Ernie Whalley as well as copy editors, indexers, and so on. We are pleased that Sea Gastronomy, a truly Irish publication, is making waves in the culinary publishing world. Michael has established himself as a national culinary authority and we are proud to see Sea Gastronomy getting such recognition.”

Sea Gastronomy was kindly supported by BIM under Fisheries Local Action Group Scheme and Fáilte Ireland – The Wild Atlantic Way. Oscars Seafood Bistro is a member of the “Taste The Atlantic: A Seafood Journey”.

The cookbook is available nationwide through Dubray’s, Eason’s, Waterstones, Charlie Byrne’s, Hodgis Figgis and independent bookshops for €30. Signed copies of regular and special limited editions are available from Oscars Seafood Bistro in Galway, or online from Artisan House.

Recently announced as winner of John and Sally McKenna’s Book of the Year 2015, Sea Gastronomy is a stunning encyclopaedia of fish, containing over 220 recipes on over 110 seafood species of the North Atlantic, carefully researched and photographed by Michael O’Meara and beautifully produced and published by Artisan House, Connemara. The combination of recipes, cooking tips and scientific knowledge and facts behind each seafood species is encyclopaedic and makes for spell-binding reading. Michael’s unique combination of culinary and photographic skills and most of all his expertise, passion and commitment to all things related to Irish fish, seafood and fish cuisine are reflected in this outstanding tome. The compelling and imaginative Sea Gastronomy is an absolute must for anyone with an interest in fish and fish cookery.

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