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Local Businesses cook up a storm at Irish Restaurant Awards

Local Businesses cook up a storm at Irish Restaurant Awards

June 7, 2018

Local businesses, Clenaghans Restaurant and Wine & Brine have both received prestigious accolades at the 2018 Irish Restaurant Awards.

Organised by the Restaurants Association of Ireland, the Awards celebrated the wealth of culinary talent across the whole of Ireland selecting the crème de la crème of restaurants for county, provincial and all Ireland honours.

On the night, Clenaghans Restaurant received Best Newcomer 2018 for Ulster and All of Ireland while Moira chef Chris McGowan from Wine & Brine received the ‘Best Chef in Ulster’ award.

Alderman Allan Ewart MBE, Chairman of the Development Committee at Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council commented; “It is fantastic to see two superb local restaurants win these awards, very well deserved, and a testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff in both restaurants, and not forgetting the delicious high quality food which is served. 

He continued; “The Council intends to build upon the wealth of talent across the hospitality sector located within the City, and to this end the food and hospitality sector is a key strand of our newly launched Tourism Strategy which aims to build upon successes to date and position Lisburn & Castlereagh as one of the premier food and drink destinations in Northern Ireland.”

Speaking about the win, Cristina Higginson, Business Partner at Clenaghans Restaurant commented; “We are delighted to have received the Best Newcomer Award for Ulster and All Ireland in 2018. Our Head Chef and Business Partner, Danni Barry also had the additional honour of creating a dish served on the night to showcase the quality of food served within our restaurant.

She continued; “We re-opened the restaurant in November 2017 and so far we have had a fantastic year that was only made possible through hard work, determination and support from an amazing team of staff.”

Chris McGowan from Wine & Brine added; “It is an honour to receive the Best Chef in Ulster from the Irish Restaurant Awards for 2018. I am lucky to have such a great team here at Wine and Brine not to mention the continual support from the local people of Moira and the greater Lisburn & Castlereagh area.

He continued; “We opened our doors 2 ½ years ago and to be nominated and to win is a superb achievement for all involved.”

To see a full list of winners on the night, visit