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Westport’s Sage wins big at Restaurant Awards


BETTER THAN ALL THE REST Eva Ivanova of Sage Restaurant, Westport, has been named the Best Restaurant Manager in Ireland.

Lucas Treacy

On Monday, May 13, over 1,100 guests sat down to a black-tie gala dinner to celebrate the winners of the Restaurant Association of Ireland (RAI) Awards in the Clayton Hotel in Dublin. These awards are given out each year to honour the hard work and achievements of those working in the Irish restaurant industry over the last 12 months. In each category, a provincial winner and an All-Ireland winner was picked by the judging panel from this years regional award winners, who were presented with their accolades back in March.
Representatives of restaurants and pubs within Mayo claimed five of the provincial and one of the All-Ireland accolades at the awards ceremony this year. Eva Ivanova of Sage Restaurant was presented with the Connacht and the All-Ireland award for the best restaurant manager.
“I feel like I’ve accomplished something huge for both myself and the whole team in Sage. Receiving this award is great publicity for the restaurant and the town. It’s also a good source of motivation for the staff, especially for the chefs because they are the core of the restaurant, who are in everyday and they deserve the most recognition. At the end of the day, my job is made easier because they are performing great. They’re being adventurous and trying new things everyday so it’s great to manage such a hardworking group,” Eva told The Mayo News last week.
At the event, chief executive of the RAI, Adrian Cummins said “This is the 11th year of the Irish Restaurant Awards, and it has been the biggest year for the awards to date. Over 90,000 nominations were received from the public in January, and over 2,000 restaurateurs attended the Regional Awards, which were held in Kildare, Monaghan, Limerick and Sligo. The standard for judging this year has been very high.”

The Mayo winners were as follows:

Best Restaurant Manager: All-Ireland and Connacht - Eva Ivanova of Sage Restaurant, High St, Westport; Best Chef: Connacht - Barry Ralph of House of Plates, Upper Chapel St, Castlebar; Best Gastro Pub: Connacht - Bar One, Rush St, Castlebar; Best Emerging Cuisine: Connacht - An Port Mór, Brewery Place, Bridge St, Westport; Pub of the Year: Connacht - VJ Doherty’s, Ridge Pool Road, Ballina.