Winner Michael Deane with Gareth McColgan NI Job

Northern Ireland’s hospitality industry celebrated in style at the 24th Institute of Hospitality NI Awards’ prestigious Gala dinner and Awards Ceremony on May 17th, held at Titanic Belfast.

The glittering event was hosted by TV personality Pamela Ballantine.

The Institute of Hospitality NI annually recognises the most dedicated and passionate professionals working across Northern Ireland’s ever-expanding hospitality industry.

The independent panel of expert judges had a very tough job over the last few months selecting the best winners in 21 wide-ranging categories, while the prestigious Outstanding Contribution Award was deliberated and decided upon by the Institute of Hospitality NI committee. Marianne Hood, Chairperson of The Institute of Hospitality NI says;

“This award is given to those who are innovative, progressive and driven, striving to achieve the very best for the industry and for those around them.  In so doing, they raise the bar for the rest of the industry, ensuring it continues to flourish and grow.

The unanimous winner of the Outstanding Contribution Award, sponsored by NI Jobs, was multi award winning chef, Michael Deane, who is one of the most recognisable faces of Ireland’s hospitality industry.  His business has won 18 Michelin Stars in total, holding the star consecutively for 14 years, which is the longest time for any restaurant in Ireland. It is fair to say that Michael lives, breathes and dreams the hospitality industry and is a champion of local people, local produce and local producers.  Michael is a fine example of someone who truly embodies the spirit of the Institute of Hospitality’s mantra ‘to promote hospitality professionalism through life-long learning.’  Marianne continues;

Now in their 24th year, these are the longest established hospitality awards in Northern Ireland, recognising the success of individuals working across all sectors of the hospitality industry. Every year the awards grow in popularity and the standards keep getting higher and higher. These awards are an excellent barometer of the health of the thriving hospitality industry in Northern Ireland. It’s a huge honour to be named as a finalist in these awards and we had more people than ever enter this year, the standards were exceptional. Those who have won an award are shining examples of the high calibre of the Northern Ireland hospitality industry and we are proud of everyone who took part this year – they are all winners!”

The awards also raised over £11,000 for their nominated charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI.


Outstanding Apprentice of The Year Award sponsored by People Ist International: Kaitlin Bentz from Holiday Inn Express, Antrim

Student Management Potential Award sponsored by Stephens Catering Equipment: Dominika Murlak from Ulster University

Independent Bar Manager of The Year Award sponsored by Molson Coors: Francis McGuinness from The Devenish Complex

Business Development Manager of the Year Award sponsored by Johnsons Coffee: Leigh Heggarty from Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort

Coffee Shop / Café Manager of  The Year Award sponsored by Lynas Foodservice: Shelly Harvey from Toasted Artisan Kitchen

Contract Catering Chef of the Year Award sponsored by Irwins Bakery: Stephen Chambers from Sodexo

Contract Catering Manager Of The Year Award sponsored by Recruitment Solutions NI: Angela Maguire from Mount Charles Group

General Manager of The Future sponsored by Tourism NI: Lindsay Carroll from Hastings Ballygally Castle Hotel

Front of House Manager of the Year Award sponsored by Avvio: Chrissie Carson from The Merchant Hotel, Belfast

Hospitality Management Team of The Year Award sponsored by Firmus Energy: Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort

Hotel Chef of The Year Award sponsored by Get Fresh: John Whyte from Armagh City Hotel

Hotelier of the Year sponsored by MKB Law: Brian Tracey from Maldron Belfast International Airport

Housekeeping Manager of the Year Award sponsored by Lilliput Services: Monika Wieczorek from Galgorm Spa and Gold Resort

Human Resource Manager of the Year Award Sponsored by GenTech Specialist Recruitment Solutions: Lauren McAteer, Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort

Lecturer Of The Year Award sponsored by The Institute of Hospitality: Ruth Doherty from South Eastern Regional College

Operational Manager of the Year, Sponsored by Direct Wine Shipments: Stacy Feeney from Crowne Plaza Belfast

Restaurant Chef  of The Year Award sponsored by Henderson Foodservice: Daniel Harvey from Havana Bank Square.

Restaurateur Of The Year Award sponsored by Galgorm Group: Fisnik Ujkaj from Castello Italia

Supplier Of The Year Award sponsored by Institute of Hospitality NI: Gerry White, Jawbox Gin

The Unsung Hero Award sponsored by Net Affinity: Jacqueline Thompson Sodexo

Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry sponsored by NI Jobs com Michael Deane


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