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Deane's chef Danni Barry wins chef of the year award

Danni Barry, of Deanes EPIC in Belfast, took home the 2017 All-Ireland Best Chef title. Picture by Hugh Russell

IRELAND'S only Michelin-starred female chef has won one of the most prestigious awards in the Irish restaurant business.

Danni Barry, of Deanes EIPIC in Belfast, took the 2017 All-Ireland Best Chef title at the ninth annual Irish Restaurant Awards at the Clayton Hotel in Dublin.

Ms Barry is originally from Mayobridge, Co Down.

A total of 22 awards were handed out to a pool of more than 80 nominees.

Chapter One in Dublin was named as the 2017 All-Ireland Best Restaurant.

The north was also represented by two of Belfast's finest - The Muddler’s Club and OX Cave. They won Best Casual Dining and Best Wine Experience respectively.

Alain Kerloc'h of OX Cave also won the title of Best Restaurant Manager, while the Bull and Ram in Co Down was nominated for the Best Newcomer.

The Restaurant Association of Ireland's chief executive, Adrian Cummins, said the ceremony marked the award's most successful year.

"These awards are the accolades of the Irish restaurant industry – everybody wants to win one," he said.

"From over 70,000 online nominations cast earlier this year to 2,500 guests attending our regional events, it is clear that the stature, calibre and reputation of the awards is expanding at a considerable rate and it is all in aid of recognising the talent within our sector.

"All winners and finalists here tonight are very deserving of their awards."

The 2017 awards are decided after scrutiny from consumers, regional judges, mystery guest visitors and finally, the National Awards Academy, which is made up of food writers and regional judges, among others.

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