The Ulster Regional Awards for the 2019 Irish Restaurant Awards took place in the Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan, last night, where the country’s leading chefs, restaurants and pubs were recognised for their hard work and dedication.
Over 500 restaurant owners and staff attended the second of four regional events on Tuesday 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 11th year, the Irish Restaurant Awards continue to showcase the incredible food that is on offer in the cafes, pubs and restaurants of Ireland, as well as recognising the teams behind these establishments and the hard work and dedication that they put in. With well over 90,000 nominations received from the public this year, the standard for the judging process was higher than ever.
“Ireland may be a small country, but it boasts everything from fine dining to high quality gastropubs, from the comfort of traditional Irish food to exploring the world though exotic world cuisine, the Irish restaurant industry has much to offer. We have an appreciation for what we eat and where our food comes from, as well as the dedication of those working in the food industry”.
Those who won at county level will progress to the All-Ireland event on May 13, where they will compete for the Regional and All-Ireland titles.
The winner were:
Best Restaurant – Sponsored by Tindall’s Wine Merchant - Oysters Restaurants
Best Chef – Sponsored by Nisbets - Colin Mc Menamin of The Red Pepper
Best Restaurant Manager – Sponsored by AIB MS - Caroline Clarke of Oysters Restaurant
Best Customer Service – Sponsored by Lockton - Restaurant 1861 at Sion Stables
Best Hotel and Guesthouse Restaurant – Sponsored by BWG Food Service - The Kitchen at Tullylagan Country House Hotel
Best Gastro Pub – Sponsored by Elavon - The Brewer’s House
Best Café – Sponsored by Illy - Deli On The Green
Pub of the Year – Sponsored by Jameson Caskmates - Tomneys Bar
Best Wine Experience – Sponsored by Gilbeys - The Brewer’s House
Best Newcomer - District 80 Restaurant
Best World Cuisine - Dragon Garden
Best “Free From” – Sponsored by Peroni Gluten Free - Oysters Restaurant
Best Kids Size Me - Tullylagan hotel
Best Local Food Hero – Sponsored by Rewarding Times - Jonathan Cuddy of Ispini Charcuterie
Best Local Food Hero – Ulster Trevor Connolly of Monaghan Town Team
Best Emerging Irish Cuisine – Sponsored by Odaios - Restaurant 1861 at Sion Stables
Best Casual Dining – Sponsored by Just Eat - Restaurant 1861 at Sion Stables.