Food Champion: Kevin Aherne of Sage Restaurant, Midleton, Co. Cork

In Hot Press’ special Best of Ireland 2018 magazine, we celebrated the Irish Food Revolution – and spoke to some of Ireland's leading Food Champions about the part they have played in making Ireland one of the hottest food destinations in the world.

My wife, Réidín and I, conceived of Sage as a family-run destination restaurant, where people could visit and get an authentic taste of the area. That’s crucial to us.
It’s an experience you won’t find anywhere else in the world, as the quality ingredients we use are all sourced within 12 miles of the restaurant’s front door. That’s our 12 Mile Ethos.
We believe that we’re very lucky to be situated where we are, in this lovely part of Ireland. We have the perfect landscape and topography, with the ideal amount of limestone, sunshine and rain. That all enables the local producers to harvest quality produce that is unique to the area. Farm to table, you know that you’re getting the best of what it has to offer. That is where Irish food is heading and it is wonderful.
The restaurant is now expanding, with a courtyard and function room. We hope to soon add a bar that will also feature local beverages. We’re very lucky that Midleton is the home of Jameson Whiskey and we plan to make the most of that. We also have a local cider maker who has been supplying the restaurant with ice wine and their own delicious ciders.
It would be great to apply the same 12 Mile Ethos to the bar, as we do to the restaurant. It’s great to see what’s happening lately, where Irish food is being put back on the pedestal that it deserves and we’re no longer looking outside of the country for fine dining and high-quality produce. So, my ‘Irish Foodie Heaven’ is in exploring – and experiencing – the wealth of amazing ingredients that are natural to our shores.  

For more Food Champions, and all of the gen on Ireland's Food Revolution, get the Best of Ireland 2018 or check out Features on


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