Chef James Richardson wins top award!

James Richardson, chef/proprieter of Old Barn Steakhouse and Event Catering, has been awarded Ulster Tatler Chef of the Year 2012, at a glittering ceremony at City Hall Belfast on 13th September. 450 people from all industries were in attendance at what has become one of the most prominent events in the Northern Ireland social calendar. James Richardson is an award winning chef who is also a native of Markethill, and holds many culinary competition medals and awards, including accolades from the World Culinary Olympics, and he is also a past winner of Seafood Chef of the Year. This year he took home two medals from Panel of Chefs, cooking with the Irish team. Throughout his career, James has cooked with some of the world’s most well known chefs including Ainsley Harriot, Paul Rankin, Rick Stein, and Nevin Maguire

Judging took place at the restaurant at the end of August, with James serving a special tasting menu to the judges, who included newspaper editors and well known figures from the hospitality trade. The menu and service were described as “flawless” on the day, with more than one of the judges saying that the food was the some of the best that they had ever tasted.

The full menu served was:

Amuse Bouche        

Braised chicken rillette ( a preparation of meat which is similar to a coarse pate), caramelised onion puree, pearl onions, broad beans


Pan-seared scallops, roast cauliflower puree, Granny Smith apple, Ras el-Hanout caramel (a popular blend of spices commonly used across North Africa)


Steak and mushroom pie, fillet of Dexter beef, wild mushroom pie, truffle honey, Chantenay carrots, wild mushroom puree


Lemon meringue ice-cream in a cone



Chocolate mousse with a bitter orange brulee centre


Guinness, apple, and cheese soda

Opened in May 2010, Old Barn Steakhouse has gone from strength to strength, establishing a solid customer base with patrons travelling from all over Northern and Southern Ireland. The restaurant has been recently completely refurbished, and has been given a modern feel, while still maintaining its’ old world charm.  Excellent customer service is what Old Barn Steakhouse prides itself on, and James is assisted in achieving this goal by a team of experienced staff, led by General Manager, Peter Slevin.

The business is continually expanding, with the recent addition of Old Barn Event and Wedding Catering, specialising in events and wedding of all sizes, from smaller gatherings at Old Barn Steakhouse, to large marquee weddings at country estates such as Larchfield Estate, Gosford Castle, and Narrow Water Castle, to gourmet dinners in client’s own homes. No event is too big, nor too small for Old Barn Event Catering. A range of complementary services are also available, including vintage ice-cream bicycles, candy carts, and chocolate fountains. Pictures and details of all services available are available on the companies’ website,