Belfast chef Michael Deane hailed as Ireland's 'hospitality hero of the year'
BELFAST-based chef Michael Deane has been hailed as Ireland's 'hospitality hero of the year' at an awards event in Dublin.
The restaurateur won the accolade at the Georgina Campbell Awards, which celebrates the best food and hospitality in Ireland.
Ms Campbell said he was a worthy winner: "For many years, chef Michael Deane's Howard Street venue has been the benchmark by which other restaurants in the region are judged and - although other talented and dedicated people are also raising the bar for Belfast as a top dining destination - it remains a beacon of excellence.
"He continues to provide leadership and to give discerning Northern Ireland diners a cuisine choice of exceptional quality and value."
London-based chef Richard Corrigan, who presented the award, also said Mr Deane had "worked tirelessly through thick and thin to maintain his restaurants to an exceptional standard in often challenging circumstances....with real style, real panache".
Mr Deane, who runs several restaurants in Belfast including Deanes EIPIC on Howard Street and Deanes At Queens, said: "I am hugely honoured to accept the prestigious accolade especially from Georgina Campbell whose assessment continues to be impartial, anonymous and therefore important in our calendar.
"I also pay tribute to the team at Deanes who work tirelessly to keep us at the forefront of the industry."
Other winners from Northern Ireland included James St in Belfast, which won the 'casual dining restaurant of the year' award, while Killeavy Castle in Co Armagh was named 'newcomer of the year'.