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Northern Ireland farms' street eats delight top critic

By Rachel Martin

Published 06/09/2016

Sandy Cole of Broughgammon with TV and radio presenter Hardeep Singh Kohli at Belfast City Hall
Sandy Cole of Broughgammon with TV and radio presenter Hardeep Singh Kohli at Belfast City Hall

Northern Ireland food firms Broughgammon Farm and Pheasants' Hill Farm have made it to the finals of a leading UK food writer's top street eats.

The British Street Food Awards were founded five years ago by writer Richard Johnston, whose passion for the quick and tasty led him on a mission to find the best of UK quality fast food.

The culinary critic known for his work in the Sunday Times, the Guardian and BBC Radio 4, said that while he had eaten in several Michelin star restaurants, some of the best meals he had eaten had been from a van.

"The best street food is cheap and fresh," he said. "Unlike a lot of restaurant food, which is expensive and left on a hot-plate until some sniffy waiter deigns to pick it up and bring it to your table.

"And street food is all about offering the kind of food that the British people actually want to eat. Restaurants still seem to be hung up on some received notion of what constitutes 'good food'."

The winner of the judge's wild card was Broughgammon Farm, which impressed with a kid offal and chorizo taco. The Ballycastle business consists of a farm shop and butchery specialising in goat meat.

Richard Johnston described Broughgammon as "one inspirational place", and said he was impressed by the firm's ethos.

"It's a farm with a mission, set up when the team saw that a majority of male kid goats born to the dairy industry were being put down at birth," he said.

"It seemed such a waste of life - so they set out to rear the males for kid goat meat. They've since branched out into free-range rose veal and an on-site butchery."

Pheasants' Hill Farm in Donwpatrick was also praised for its high-quality meat.

The British Street Food Awards final will take place on September 17 and 18.

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