Shaun Hanna, 36 who’s chef and co-owner of the Linen Hill Kitchen & Deli at The Outlet in Banbridge has been named the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) Northern Ireland Chef of the Year at IFEX.
DARDNI Chef of the Year is one of the highlights of Salon Culinaire competition and Shaun impressed the judges with his creative flair and inspirational use of ingredients throughout the course of the competition’s challenges.
Shaun competed against five other culinarians to win the top ChefSkills accolade at the IFEX food, retail and hospitality exhibition, which took place at the King’s Hall, Belfast from Tuesday 11th until today, Thursday 13th March 2014.
Competing at the Salon Culinaire since he was 16, Sean has won many accolades over the past 20 years however this was his first entry into the prestigious Chef of the Year competition.
On presenting Shaun Hanna with award, Permanent Secretary for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Noel Lavery, added:
“DARD has been supporting the IFEX Chef of the Year competition since 1995. The competition helps show the links between our farming industry, the culinary environment and the successful agri-food supply chains that we have in Northern Ireland.
“Chefs here are incredibly fortunate to have some of the finest producers and artisan companies on their doorstep and it’s a testament to our agri-food industry that Northern Ireland’s international reputation is continuing to grow.
“I would like to congratulate each of the six finalists for their creative and talented use of our local products and I wish each of them well in their culinary careers.”
Tadgh McNamara from The Apartment, Belfast, was named runner-up at the event, in which the standards were exceptionally high with three silver and three gold medals being awarded.
For many years, IFEX has been pivotal in nurturing some of the best culinary talent that Northern Ireland has to offer and the Salon Culinaire at IFEX this year was no exception. Supported by Department for Employment and Learning (DELNI), Flogas and Stephens Catering Equipment Co., almost 250 student and industry chefs took part in 14 individual category competitions and La Parade des Chefs team event.
The competition was judged by some of the industry’s most respected chefs and was adjudicated by Gary Gamble, IFEX Chairman of the Judges.