It is the first time that the Market has reached the final of what is regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the UK food industry, and comes just weeks after St George’s was named ‘Best Large Indoor Market’ by trade body NABMA.
St George’s is one of three markets to have been shortlisted for the prestigious awards: the others are Brockley Market in London and Aberystwyth Farmers Market. The three markets are among 24 finalists who have been shortlisted from a record-breaking 6,000 for this year’s awards.
Reacting to the shortlisting, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, Chair of Belfast City Council’s Development Committee, which oversees the Market, commented:
“This is a fantastic and well-deserved achievement. We in Council are fiercely proud of St George’s Market, and it is great news for us to see it continuing to win accolades and justifying our continuing faith and investment in this superb facility. I would like to pay tribute to the Market staff for all their hard work, and in particular to the traders, whose dedication to St George’s is the key to its continuing success, and to all of those who voted for the Market.”
One other Northern Ireland food outlet also is competing in the final stage of the competition: Abernethy Butter, from Dromara in County Down, who count Heston Blumenthal among their customers, have been shortlisted in the ‘Best Food Producer’ category.
This year’s finalists will feature in a special edition of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme, broadcast on Sunday 9 March 2014. Winners will be announced at a ceremony held in Bristol on Thursday 1 May 2014.
Chef and writer Valentine Warner chairs this year’s panel of judges which includes farmer and BBC ‘Countryfile’ presenter Adam Henson, blogger Jack Monroe, food writer Charles Campion and chefs Raymond Blanc and Richard Corrigan.