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Belfast duo are crowned champions of food producer TV challenge


Praised: Alanagh and Ilse

Praised: Alanagh and Ilse

Praised: Alanagh and Ilse

Two contestants from Belfast have been crowned champions of BBC Two's artisan food producer competition series Top Of The Shop.

Lecturer Alanagh Chipperfield and butcher Ilse van Staden have triumphed in the final challenge, which saw all of the previous heat winners battle it out to sell their products in a farmers' market.

As well as the farmers' market, the contestants were asked to stock the show's Town End Farmshop in the Yorkshire Dales for a month. Alanagh and Ilse's wowed customers and the show's judges with their interpretation of South African dried meat biltong.

Their version is made from local beef using Ilse's grandmother's recipe.

With an introductory offer of two-for-one on their biltong, farm shop owner Chris Wildman said during the final episode: "It's flown out of the door, we've only got one packet left."

The biltong ended up selling the most out of all seven of the finalists' products.

Alanagh and Ilse were presented with their title by two-time Michelin star chef and presenter Tom Kerridge and judges food writer and restaurateur Nisha Katona and artisan expert Alison Swan Parente.

Reacting to their win, Alanagh said: "I feel absolutely blown away, we didn't expect to win the meat round, and now come out complete winners, I can't believe we've got it."

Ilse added: "For our biltong, its just the validation of the amount of time and effort that we've put in to it. This is going to give us the confidence to take it to that next step."

Swan Parente praised the winners, saying: "The standard in this final was really extremely high, but in the end Alanagh and Ilse really deserved to win because of the wonderful taste of the biltong itself."

Speaking about their plans for the future, Ilse said: "We want to create a biltong revolution, so we will continue making it, and expanding the business."

Belfast Telegraph