Belfast Telegraph

Awards night honours Ulster food producers

By Staff Reporter

Northern Ireland's food producers have been honoured at the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Awards, supported by Ulster Bank.

Winners in nine categories were commended for excellence in new products, training, supplier chains, best restaurant, food programmes and contribution to the industry.

They received their awards at Belfast's Ramada Plaza Hotel last Friday.

The Ulster Bank's prize for best new product (large company) was presented to Dungannon-based beef and lamb processors Linden Foods for their rosemary and garlic leg of lamb. Glastry Farm Ice-Cream in the Ards Peninsula picked up best new product by a small company with their Kilbeggan Whiskey Ice-Cream.

The service-sector award, backed by Invest NI, was awarded to Lisnaskea meats company Kettyle Irish Foods for its free- range peat and heather-smoked chicken breast.

Hannan Meats won the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's supply chain excellence in farming award. The Moira-based food company was commended for a full range of products including Glenarm Estate's organic shorthorn beef and lamb, fresh and smoked Glenarm organic salmon and Joseph and Stephen O'Neill free-range rare-breed pigs.

The Food and Drink Sector Skills award for training excellence was presented to Deirdre Fitzpatrick & Associates, in partnership with Full Circle Management Solutions, for their organisation's seed food and fisheries development programme. The 2011 Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme award winner for best promotional event/initiative was Belfast City Council in recognition of their 2010 Great Belfast Food Week, which celebrated Northern Ireland's food culture and history.

The 2011 Taste of Ulster restaurant of the year award went to Lisburn-based steakhouse and urban grill Del Toro.

Billy O'Kane from O'Kane Poultry was named the 2011 recipient of the Ulster Bank award for outstanding contribution to Northern Ireland food and drink. Mr O'Kane carried on the business founded by his father in 1932, which merged with Moy Park last year.