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Mayor’s reception celebrates local artisan food businesses’ Great Taste Awards’ success

Tuesday 19 September 2023

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, hosted a civic reception to honour three local exceptional food businesses for their remarkable achievements at the Great Taste Awards 2023.

Seated: Jake Houston and Rhonda Houston from Granny Shaw’s Fudge Factory; Nigel Logan from Hillstown Farm shop; Mayor, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna; Adrian and Angela Patterson from Gold & Browne’s.

These prestigious awards, organised by the renowned 'Guild of Fine Foods,' recognise and celebrate excellence in taste and quality within the food and beverage industry. The awards are widely considered as the ultimate accolade in the culinary world, thanks to a meticulous judging process that involves over 500 experts, including chefs, buyers, food writers, and retailers, who conduct blind taste tests.

The three distinguished gold star awardees are as follows:

Gold & Browne's Gluten Free, Double Chocolate Brownie - 1 star

Gold & Browne proudly received a 1-star accolade for their delectable gluten-free, ‘Double Chocolate Brownie’. Crafted with the utmost care and using only the freshest ingredients, this small-batch brownie exemplifies unrivalled quality and flavour, providing a true sensory delight.

Granny Shaw's Fudge Factory - 'Shut Yer Gob' Treacle Toffees - 1 star

Granny Shaw's Fudge Factory continues to amaze with their 'Shut Yer Gob' treacle toffees, earning a 1-star rating for their extraordinary taste. The dedication and expertise invested in each treacle toffee is evident in this well-deserved recognition.

Hillstown Farm Shop Irish Moiled 10oz Rib Eye Steak - 1 star

Hillstown Farm Shop's Irish Moiled 10oz rib eye steak has been recognised with a 1-star award, highlighting its superior quality. This award underscores Hillstown Farm Shop's commitment to excellence in offering premium Irish Moiled beef, known for its exceptional flavour and quality, thanks to traditional grass-fed cattle rearing methods.

Furthermore, Granny Shaw's Fudge Factory continued its reign of excellence with the 'Shut Yer Gob Irish Stout Toffee’ which earned an impressive 2-star rating. The rich and complex flavours of this toffee have captivated expert judges, solidifying Granny Shaw's Fudge Factory as a powerhouse in artisan confectionery.

Alderman Mulvenna commended these local businesses, emphasising that the Great Taste Awards are often referred to as the 'Oscars of the food and drink sector,' recognising standout products. She praised their dedication and passion, combined with the use of exceptional local ingredients, as key factors in their success.

And a special mention also goes to Maud’s for their Pistachio Ice Cream which scooped the ‘Great Taste Golden Fork’ award for Northern Ireland. Described as “smooth and creamy with an instant hit of freshly roasted nut” the Pistachio ice cream is made by the Mauds production team at their bespoke dairy in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, using the best ingredients. The amazing product also made it to the top sixteen highest-scoring product list in the whole competition and was in the running for the 2023 Great Taste Supreme Champion.

The star-rating system at the Great Taste Awards serves as a guide to the exceptional quality of products:

★ = Simply delicious

★★ = Outstanding, above and beyond delicious – less than 10% of entries receive this rating

★★★ = Exquisite extraordinarily tasty food and drink – around 2% of products are awarded 3 stars each year.

For additional information, please contact: Mary O'Boyle E: mary.oboyle@midandeastantrim.gov.uk