A numbers of Donegal restaurants were among the winners at the Ulster regionals of the Irish restaurant awards.
The last of four regional finals in this year’s Irish Restaurant Awards took place at La Mon Hotel, Belfast, last night where 135 awards were presented to the country’s leading chefs, restaurants and pubs.
Over 400 people attended the Ulster Regional Final on Wednesday evening where the top establishments in each county were named.
The awards covered a wide range of venues and the winners from each of Ulster’s nine counties were selected from the following categories: Best Casual Dining, Best Emerging Irish Cuisine, Best Kids Size Me, Best ‘Free From’, Best World Cuisine, Best Restaurant Manager, Best Wine Experience, Pub of the Year, Best Café, Best Customer Service, Best Gastro Pub, Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant, Best Newcomer, Best Chef and Best Restaurant. There was also a special Regional award for Ulster’s Local Food Hero.
Speaking at the awards, Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) said: “Now in their tenth year, the Irish Restaurant Awards continue to showcase the exquisite and admirable calibre of food available in our restaurants and pubs nationwide.
“Online nominations have increased from 9,000 in 2013 to over 80,000 this year and with the increase in interest comes an increase in standards, making the judging process more difficult than ever.
“Our small island boasts everything from fine dining to high quality gastropubs, from the exotic taste explosions of world cuisine to the comfort of traditional dishes.
“We have an appreciation for what we eat, for the journey of our food from farm to fork, and for the dedication of those working in the food industry to serve up Ireland’s finest food.”
Donegal winners are as follows:
Best Casual Dining sponsored by San Pellegrino - Quay West Restaurant Donegal Town
Best Emerging Irish Cuisine sponsored by Odaios Foods - The Lemon Tree Restaurant
Best Kids Size Me sponsored by Dubliner Cheese - Market House Restaurant
Best 'Free From' sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro Gluten Free - Simple Simons
Best World Cuisine sponsored by Aryzta - Chandpur Restaurant
Best Newcomer sponsored by Elavon - Benny & Co Coffee Bar & Restaurant
Best Wine Experience sponsored by ClassicDrinks - Lough Eske Castle, a Solís Hotel & Spa
Pub of the Year sponsored by Bushmills - The Forge
Best Café sponsored by Illy - Sonder
Best Gastro Pub sponsored by Coca Cola & Schweppes Kennedy's Bar & Restaurant
Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant sponsored by BWG Foodservice - Lakeside Restaurant at Harvey's Point
Best Customer Service sponsored by - Harvey's Point
Best Restaurant Manager sponsored by AIB Merchant Services - Jo Daly of Quay West Restaurant
Best Chef sponsored by Nisbets - Colin McKee of Harvey's Point
Best Restaurant sponsored by Tindal Wine Merchants - Cook & Gardener Restaurant at Rathmullan House
Best Local Food Hero sponsored by Rewarding Times - Chef Brian McDermott
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