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Donegal chef named Ulster Local Food Hero award winner

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Ulster Local Food Hero

Brian McDermott and his wife Brenda with the Ulster Local Food Hero awards in Belfast

Donegal chef captures  top Ulster’s Local Food Hero award

Donegal chef Brian McDermott has been named Ulster’s Local Food Hero at the prestigious Irish Restaurant Awards.

Brian, from Moville is fast becoming known all over Ireland as the voice of Donegal food. He is famous in Donegal as a tireless supporter of local food producers and the food and hospitality industry.

The top award of the night and the only one to be awarded on a province-wide basis, the Local Food Hero recognises an individual who promotes food culture in their locality and inspires people to get involved with food.

Reacting to the award Brian said he was “overwhelmed” to be named Ulster’s Local Food Hero.

“This is the culmination of the most incredible three weeks in my career,” he said.

“As a chef my ethos has always been to promote local food producers, local growers and local restaurants.

“We’re lucky in Donegal, because we’ve always had incredible food right on our doorstep, and that’s a message I’ve spent my career trying to get out to a wider audience.

“I’m genuinely overwhelmed that I’ve been recognised in this way,” he said.

Brian’s second cookery book, Brian McDermott’s Donegal Table – which celebrates traditional recipes, local produce and the county’s people and places – was launched in March to popular and critical acclaim.

“I have to give all credit to the people of Donegal,” said Brian.

“This isn’t just my award, it’s their award, and it shows that the things we value here in Donegal, hard work, integrity, commitment to quality, really do pay off.

“I’ve had a great reaction to the book from all over Ireland and further afield, so I think the secret of Donegal cooking really is well and truly out!”

Brian was nominated by a member of the public and accompanied by his wife Brenda, Brian received the award at an events ceremony in the La Mon Hotel and Country Club in Belfast on Wednesday night.