Connaught Tribune 25th September 09′
A CONNEMARA – based food innovator- who specialises in smoking Wild Irish Salmon – has taken one of the most prestigious awards in the country for the quality of his produce.
The Connemara Smokehouse & Visitor Centre was nominated for awards in tree different categories, and emerged as winner for “Best Use of Sustainable Local Fish” at the Good Food Ireland Awards in Dublin this week. The operation, run by Graham and Saoirse Roberts, is situated on the water’s edge at Bunowen Pier, in the heart of Connemara and between Roundstone and Clifden, with exceptional views of the Twelve Bens.
Graham Roberts’ parents John and Bridget opened the Connemara Smokehosue in 1979. When Graham was 16, he became actively involved and followed this with a course in the Fisheries Colege in Greencastle. Their wild salmon are caught locally with the organic salmon coming from Clare Island, and they also specialise in Irish smoked tuna and gravadlax.
Today a the grand age of just 34, Graham and his wife Saoirse run the business together and with four young children, they can rest assured that the Smokehouse will continue into the next generation. They were among the operators who earned such a plaudits for the quality of their food at the showcase with coincided with the Volvo Ocean Race sotpover in Galway earlier this year – which meant a re-union of sorts for them this week because the special guest at the awards on Tuesday night was Green Dragon skipper Ian Walker.