Following months of judging, 64 Great Taste stars were awarded to 16 products, old and new, to producers in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon borough council area, known as the Food Heartland of Northern Ireland.
Deputy Lord Mayor Margaret Tinsley congratulated the winners: “Many congratulations to all the award winners. Council is thrilled to see the number of awards increase year on year, as well as welcoming new names to our hall of fame.
“We have always known our local produce is world class and these awards cement our reputation as the true Food Heartland of Northern Ireland.
“The ambition, drive and commitment to new product development and focus on quality means that year on year our producers achievements are driving forward the standard of local produce on global platforms.” Great Taste, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, is the world’s largest and most trusted food and drink awards.
Judged by over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs, buyers, retailers and producers, as well as a whole host of food writers and journalists, Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers.
As well as a badge of honour, the unmistakeable black and gold Great Taste label is a signpost to a wonderful tasting product, which has been discovered through hours and hours of blind tasting by hundreds of judges.
There were 12,772 entries into Great Taste this year and of those products, 208 have been awarded a three-star, 1,326 received a two-star and 3,409 were awarded a one-star accolade.
The panel of judges this year included cook, writer and champion of sustainable food Melissa Hemsley, Kenny Tutt, MasterChef 2018 champion, author Olia Hercules, chef and food writer Gill Meller, Kavi Thakar from Dishoom, food writer and stylist Georgina Hayden and author and chef Zoe Adjonyoh, as well as food buyers from Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Sourced Market and Partridges.
These esteemed palates have together tasted and re-judged the three-star winners to finally agree on the Golden Fork Trophy winners and the Great Taste 2019 Supreme Champion.
In 2018, Food Heartland producer Natural Umber picked up the much coveted Golden Fork Award. The 2019 Great Taste Golden Fork trophy winners for each region will be revealed at the finale on Sunday, September 1.
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