March 15 In the Press

Uluru chefs storm IFEX16 bringing home string of awards to Armagh

By Eleanor McGillie

THE team from Northern Ireland’s only Australian restaurant have put the region on the culinary map yet again as they stormed this year’s premier event showcasing all things food and drink.

A team of chefs from Uluru Bar & Grill returned to Armagh this week as winners in the Junior Chef of the Year, Junior Seafood Chef of the Year, Junior Culinarian Chef, Senior Lamb Chef and Butcher of the Year competitions at IFEX 2016.

The team, which faced stiff competition in the IFEX16 Salon Culinaire Belfast Competition, showed resilience and professional standards as they demonstrated Uluru’s commitment to customers and to the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink celebrations.

The team came back to the ecclesiastical city with two gold medals, two silver medals, seven bronze medals and one certificate of participation.

Sean Owens, Salon Culinaire Director of IFEX 2016, described the competition as ‘a sounding board for future endeavours’.

Ahead of this year’s competition he said: “IFEX16 takes its rightful place as one of the top Salon Culinaire’s on these islands. We all should celebrate this particularly in the NI Year of Food 2016. Over the past number of years it has undoubtedly been a testing time for our industry, but with IFEX16 now being the sounding board for future endeavours, we are confident our industry is strong and resilient. We relish the prospects for growth and development throughout our sector.

“Training young chefs and cooks and other industry professionals is key to our strategic growth and we at IFEX16 have great global standard competitions to test the mettle of our very best talent.”

Dean Coppard, Head Chef of Uluru Bar & Grill, said: “I was honoured this year to be a judge at IFEX. The judges are professional chefs and professional standards were maintained at all times.

“It was very exciting especially when strict rules mean I had to stand back from judging when any member of my team were competing. It was nerve wrecking but I had full confidence in their ability to perform under pressure while creating absolutely phenomenal dishes for the team of judges.

“I am so proud of the team. They performed amazingly well in each of the classes. I have never seen our team sweep awards from a competition like this ever before.

“To come back to Armagh, during one of the city’s busiest weeks of the year during the St Patrick’s Festival, and show off the talent which exists in our kitchen, is an amazing achievement. Well done to all of our chefs from all of the management and a huge thank you too to Mark McGonigle who kept our customers happy while we competed at IFEX.”

Congratulations to:

* Christopher Black – Student Culinarian of the Year – Gold (First in class)

* Andrew Aston – Young Seafood Chef of the Year – Silver (First in class)

* Wayne Elliott – NI Young Chef of the Year – Silver (First in class)

* Adam Ogle – NI Chef of the Year – Bronze (Third in class)

* Trevor Burden – Junior Poultry Competition – Certificate of Participation

* Eric Donnelly (La Rousse Foods) – NI Butcher of the Year – Gold (First in class)

* Dean Coppard, Aaron Heaney and Erin Breen – Cook & Serve – Bronze (Third in class)

* Steven Dick – Senior Lamb Chef – Bronze  (First in class)

* Steven Dick – Senior Fish – Bronze (Second in class)

* Steven Dick – Modern Trend – Bronze (Second in class)


Notes To Editor:

  • Uluru Bar & Grill is an award winning restaurant where chefs cook with an Australian twist to create an exciting culinary experience.
  • Emersons is a family run supermarket which has been serving the local community for 125 years. The supermarket employs 110 people and is committed to creating a sustainable future on the high street in Armagh city centre. Emersons houses a local family supermarket, the city’s Post Office, the Wine Store and Uluru Bar & Grill.
  • The Wine Store at Emersons stocks a large selection of fine wines and craft beers.
  • The Post Office customers will be able to pay bills, do banking, collect benefits and change travel money as well as use the postage, home shopping returns and Local Collect services.
  • For further information or interview requests contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379 | | Retail PR | Food and Drink PR | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism UK | Brand Journalism Experts | #EnjoyNI16

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