Main Content

Local Food and Drinks Producers Recognised at TASTE AND Food Heroes Awards

Local food and drinks producers have been recognised at the third annual TASTE AND Food Heroes Awards.

Local food and drinks producers have been recognised at the third annual TASTE AND Food Heroes Awards, hosted by Ards and North Down Borough Council at Bangor Castle. Individuals from across the food and drink industry attended the prestigious evening, including representatives from Food NI, the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association, and the renowned Blas na hEireann awards.

2023 was one of most successful years ever for the Borough’s food and drink sector with a range of regional, national and international awards received by local producers, restaurants and independent food retailers. Ards and North Down currently ranks third among Northern Ireland’s local authorities for the number of awards won by our talented producers.

This third edition of the Taste AND Food Heroes Awards celebrated 21 producer winners and eight restaurant winners, who secured 90 awards across a range of national and international standards from the most globally reputable competitions.

Award winners at this year’s event included Nina Cristinacce from Lightfoot Kitchen won the Local Food Champion award and Wayne Adair Papas Mineral Company who secured the prestigious Lady Dufferin Producer of the Year award which was judged by representatives from the Clandeboye Estate, Clandeboye Courtyard and Clandeboye Estate Yoghurt Company.

Award winners

Many other businesses were recognised for their achievements during the evening too, with a wide range of producers from across the Borough celebrating their successes.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Jennifer Gilmour, said:

“These awards are a celebration of what has been the most successful year ever for our food and drink sector. Our Borough boasts an increasingly strong and impressive sector that continue to do us very proud and the Taste AND Food Heroes Awards show that innovation, tenacity, and resilience are the hallmarks of our local food and drink producers.”

For more information, see