Lisburn eatery tastes success at Irish Curry Awards

Head Judge for Northern Ireland, Joris Minne presents the Best Chef  (Ulster) gold award to the team from Spice, Lisburn.
Head Judge for Northern Ireland, Joris Minne presents the Best Chef (Ulster) gold award to the team from Spice, Lisburn.

The team at Lisburn restaurant Spice are celebrating after striking gold at this year’s Irish Curry Awards.

The awards, in association with Cobra Beer, UTIS Holdings and BJ Productions, took place this week at the Crowne Plaza, Shaw’s Bridge, and celebrated the best restaurants and curries on the island of Ireland, for a second year.

A total of 10 Asian eateries in Ulster won either gold or silver on the night, including Bridge Street restaurant Spice, which picked up a gold award for Best Chef.

The annual awards were created by Belfast-based restaurateur Askir Ali to recognise the contribution made to Ireland’s food scene by hundreds of Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and other Asian chefs, restaurant workers and managers.

“Curry may have been born in India, but it has grown and matured across Ireland. The Irish Curry Awards are recognition of that,” he said.

“I was really surprised and thrilled to see the level of support that was out there for the Irish Curry Awards and I am delighted that year two has been just as successful as the first. Nominations were up this year and the standard was too. We had in place a broad mix of judges and food critics onboard again this year.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank all our judges for taking time out of the busy schedules to be part of the Irish Curry Awards; to all our supporters that have helped make this year’s awards possible and to all the restaurants that took part. Congratulations to all this year’s winners.”

UTV’s Pamela Ballentine oversaw hosting duties for the glamorous event, which included entertainment in the form of Bollywood dancing.

The Irish Curry Awards is a not-for-profit event, with all profits and money raised donated to the event’s official charity, Children’s Heartbeat Trust. The charity delivers emotional and practical support to children and young people with heart disease in Northern Ireland and their families.

Plans have already been put in place for the 2018 event, which will mark the third year of the Irish Curry Awards.