Posted on Tuesday 12 August 2014 by Ulster Business

Just desserts for food companies at great taste awardsSuki Teahouse is one of the 11 Northern Ireland companies awarded three gold stars at the UK Great Taste Awards. Pictured is Anne Irwin and Oscar Woolley of Suki Teahouse in Belfast, with John Hood, Invest NI Director of Food and Tourism, when the company announced earlier this week a £250,000 investment to boost its export sales.  Picture: Michael Cooper

From scallops to steak, cheese to chocolate; Northern Ireland’s food companies have come out on top in a competition to find the best delicacies in the UK.

A total of 99 firms from these shores walked off with 264 awards at the UK Great Taste Awards organised by the Guild of Fine Food

They notched up a record 349 gold stars, the most of any region across the UK and the Republic, with 11 companies awarded the top ranking three gold stars.

Moira’s Hannan Meats was again one of the best performing, taking home seven of the three gold star awards for its salt-aged beef and pork.

Others in the three star catergory include Baronscourt Estate, Donegal Rapeseed Oil, Ewing Seafoods, Flossie’s Fudge, Greenmount Meats, K&G McAtamney, Mauds Ice Cream, Quail’s Fine Foods, Suki Teahouse and Thompson’s Family Teas.

The 18 products from the award winners go forward to the final stage of the awards on 8 September in London, when the Supreme Champion Award will be announced along with other category winners in the Ambient Foods, Farmshop and Deli Signature Dish and the Northern Ireland Regional Fork. The Northern Ireland companies will also be in the running to be included in the Top 50 Foods.

This year’s awards included the first ever judging session to be held in Belfast. Overall, 405 judges including leading retail buyers, chefs and food writers were involved in the seven-week judging process that involved 10,000 individual products from the UK and Republic of Ireland.

 Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster welcomed the strong performance.

“These Great Taste results, especially the new food ideas, are already attracting the attention of major UK retailers including Harrods - the sponsor of the Great Taste Awards, Selfridges and Fortnum and Mason.”

Meanwhile, one of the three star award winners Suki Teahouse announced this week it’s investing £250,000 and creating new jobs to expand its export sales.


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