Sarah Travers with Susie Brown, Naomi Waite and Carolyn Boyd of Tourism NI
Stand-out examples of industry engagement during the Year of Food and Drink 2016 were honoured at a glittering ceremony at the Culloden Hotel last night. Destinations, producers, food innovators and food experiences were among the categories recognised at Tourism NI’s Year of Food and Drink Awards in association with the Belfast Telegraph. Around 300 representatives from the tourism and food industries attended the glittering event hosted by broadcaster Sarah Travers.
Among the main winners on the night was Derry-Londonderry, whose expansive and innovative Year of Food and Drink activity saw it clinch the main ‘Destination Delicious’ award. Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Comber and the Sperrins were also recognised for their tours and events during the 12-month long initiative.
Products including Mash Direct’s crispy vegetable bake, free range Cavanagh Eggs from Co Fermanagh and Lough Neagh eels also garnered praise with the crispy vegetable bake winning an award for food innovation.
Winners had been selected by an esteemed panel of judges consisting of Professor Una McMahon Beattie of Ulster University, food critics Charles Campion and Georgina Campbell, and Belfast Telegraph food writer Joris Minne.
The awards’ main sponsor Tourism NI was supported by category sponsors Sodexo, Invest NI, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Spar, Moy Park and Food NI and event partner Belfast Telegraph.
Best Food Story sponsored by Invest NI – Food Heartland Forums, Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council
Best NI Food Event or Festival sponsored by the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – Legenderry Food Festival, Derry City & Strabane District Council
Best NI Local Market sponsored by Belfast Telegraph – Comber Farmers’ Market, Comber Regeneration Community Partnership
Food Innovation sponsored by Food NI – Crispy Vegetable Bakes, Mash Direct
Growing for the Future sponsored by SPAR NI – Foodovation Centre, North West Regional College
Roots to Market sponsored by Sodexo – Food Heartland Initiative, Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council
Best NI Tours & Trails sponsored by Tourism NI – Cycle Sperrins, Far & Wild
Best Marketing Achievement sponsored by Moy Park & Food NI – Eel-Eat, Lough Neagh Partnership
Destination Delicious – Derry-Londonderry & the North West