May Brings Top Awards for NI Food, Drink and Hospitality

Irish Restaurant Association Awards
On 8th May, 900 restaurateurs and staff attended the ninth All-Ireland Irish Restaurant Awards at The Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin and named the top restaurants in Ireland for 2017 with a number of Taste of Ulster members winning top awards.

Originally from Mayobridge, Co Down Danni Barry is Ireland’s only Michelin-starred female chef and won the prestigious All-Ireland Best Chef at last night’s awards. Fellow Taste of Ulster member, Ox Belfast’s Alain Kerloc’h picked up the accolade of All-Ireland Best Restaurant Manager. That wasn’t the only award for Alain and his team as Ox Cave was awarded the accolade of Best Wine Experience in Ireland.
Continuing the success in Belfast, The Muddler’s Club, picked up the All-Ireland award for Best Casual Dining.

The Walled City Brewery, a unique restaurant and brewhouse located in Ebrington Square, Derry-Londonderry was named Best Gastro Pub at the awards while the city’s Lost & Found was named Best Cafe respectively in Ireland.

Institute of Hospitality Awards
The Institute of Hospitality, a professional membership body for managers and aspiring managers who work and study in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries and each year recognise the success of its members.

Former Taste of Ulster placement student, Laura McKee, received the distinction of being awarded the Student Management Potential Award on 5th May.

Kelan McMichael, The Bull and Ram was awarded Restaurant Chef of the Year, Simon Dougan’s Yellow Door received the accolade of Outstanding Contribution to the Industry and Distillers Arms’ Gary Stewart went home with the award for Restaurateur of the Year. The awards kept on coming for Taste of Ulster members as John Paul McCafferty of Hastings Hotels was named Food & Beverage Manager of the Year.

Northern Ireland Tourism Awards
The annual Northern Ireland Tourism Awards by Tourism Northern Ireland recognise the best of the best each year in Northern Ireland’s growing tourism industry and Taste of Ulster members reigned supreme yet again on 18 May.

Bushmills Inn was awarded best Customer Excellence Award  and Hotel of the Year at the awards at Enniskillen Castle. Bishop’ s Gate, Derry~Londonderry was crowned Most Promising New Business with Best Food Tourism Experience going to Browns Restaurant also in Derry~Londonderry. New member, Lough Neagh Partnership won Best Marketing Initiative for Eel Eat.