Sally Barnes

Sally has worked extensively in the food industry for more than 40 years. She has gained a Diploma in Social Studies from UCC, studied Food Production Systems & Oceanography with the Open University, and is an accredited Mediation Practitioner.  

She is the former wife of a former commercial fisherman, and fished occasionally with him, as crew. 

She has run a very successful artisan fish smoking business, gaining an audience and fan-base far beyond the borders of this country. She has lectured here and across Europe on fish issues, for Slow food, and for ‘Women of the Sea’ organisation in Spain and France. She worked with the HSE on ‘Safety at Sea’ and is an active member of the FSAI-based ‘Artisan Working Group’. She was part of the Steering Committee of ‘Fuschia Brands’. She has won many international Awards, including Supreme Champion Award in 2006, at the Great Taste Awards in London. 

Good, clean and fair food is her passion and ethos, every day brings her another learning experience, and she champions and promotes the activities of young people who show entrepreneurial skills. Training and teaching are in the blood, and her experiences are there to be shared with others; she established a dedicated teaching space alongside her smokery, the Keep, to share her knowledge and techniques around fish, fishing, the culture of fishing, our environment, and many questions around ‘sustainability’, which is daily practice at the Smokery. 

In 2022, she was awarded the Guild of Irish Food writers Award Lifetime Achievement Award; 2018 Euro-Toques Award for the craft of salting and smoking wild fish; Joe Macnamee hailed her as one of his ‘sustainability’ heroes in 2022.