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The Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink Awards will celebrate both food producers and experiences and is also supported by Food NI in association with the Belfast Telegraph.

Winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony and dinner at the Culloden Hotel outside Belfast on February 2.

Entries, which need to be lodged by the morning of Friday, 6 January 2017, will be judged by a panel of distinguished experts including food critic Charles Campion, food author Georgina Campbell, Belfast Telegraph restaurant critic Joris Minne and Professor Una McMahon-Beattie, head of the department of hospitality and tourism management at Ulster University. 

Organisations and producers who are not just making food but who are creating unforgettable food experiences for tourists and for the people who live here are encouraged to get involved. Applications can be made online through the Belfast Telegraph website by clicking here or alternatively, you can follow our "Register Here" Link. 

Categories

Best Food Event or Festival – Entries are invited from private, public or voluntary events, festivals and food experiences bookable from January to December 2016

Best NI Local Market – Open to local markets which have been running from January to December 2016

Best NI Tours and Trails - Open to tours and trails which have been running from January to December 2016

Best Food Story – Open to those who have a story to tell which links food to destination, place to plate, culture and arts or PGI status between January to December 2016

Best Food Innovation – Open to those who can demonstrate evidence of how a new initiative, product, service or experience has put a spotlight on a place or destination. The initiative should have been launched between January and December 2016

Roots to Market – Open to those who have demonstrated working together collaboratively with others to grow and strengthen their destination

Growing for the Future – Recognition of a local developmental initiative focusing on the future skills required to drive food destination development. Open to colleges, universities, private training bodies or other developmental project owners. Projects should have been delivered between January and December 2016

Best Marketing Achievement – Open to those who can demonstrate positive outputs from working collaboratively to market food products, services, experiences and destinations which evidence value for money, creativity and reach to specific target markets. Campaigns should have been delivered between January and December 2016