Food, drink and hospitality businesses and individuals from across Northern Ireland’s official Food Heartland are celebrating after securing success in the biennial Food Heartland awards, proving again that the region deserves its enviable reputation for excellence and innovation.
The Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon area is already making a big name for itself at home and away for the quality of its ingredients, food provenance and award-winning artisan produce – and is still celebrating after confirming its place as a top five foodie destination in Ireland.
After an unprecedented number of entries and a shortlist of 12 category awards, a total of nine businesses came out on top after a rigorous judging process spearheaded by chef, writer and broadcaster Paula McIntyre MBE and renowned culinary expert Noel McMeel, Executive Chef of the exclusive Lough Erne Resort.
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s Food Heartland Awards, in association with Power NI, took place at a gala ceremony at The Palace Demesne, Armagh with special guest Jean-Christophe Novelli.
Portadown’s The Yellow Door Deli and Harnett’s Oils from Banbridge were jointly rewarded for the commitment to sustainability as Banbridge-based Quails Fine Foods was officially acknowledged as the Food Heartland’s Best Independent Retail Food Business.
James Gracey of Quail’s Butchers, Dromore, was praised for his skills and passion for his trade, receiving the coveted Rising Star award which was sponsored by Southern Regional College.