Interest in the now annual Ulster Fry World Championship is hotting up with entries from across Ulster.  Last year Donaghadee Community Development Association (DCDA) launched the Championship as part of its annual ten week long Summer Festival to see who can make the best Ulster Fry. This innovative culinary event has resonated among cafe, restaurant and hotel cooks and chefs with entries this year coming from all over Ulster’s nine counties. Two counties have even held a local competition to put forward their best candidate. The winner in 2023 was Steve McDonald of McKee’s Farm Shop in Newtownards, an award which contributed to boosting his business profile.

The competition to establish what constitutes the essential Ulster Fry is the highlight of the three-day Ulster Scots Festival which is being held in the town 16-18 August and which also includes cultural talks, an exhibition, music and dance. The Championship is being held on Saturday 17th August and the Association is being assisted in the planning by FoodNI, Ards and North Down Borough Council, South Eastern Regional College and Celebrity chef Jenny Bristow as overall judge.

Chairman of DCDA which organises the event Denis Waterworth explained “Last year’s event attracted widespread public attention and has encouraged chefs Province-wide to enter. We have been deliberately ambitious in making it a World Championship. Already the event has captured the interest of local chefs which gives us confidence it has the potential to grow into a much wider major attraction.”

Michele Shirlow, Chief Executive of FoodNI, is also enthusiastic about the competition “We are passionate about promoting the people behind food and drink from Northern Ireland. The Ulster Fry is very much part of the food scene across Ulster and it’s great to see it being promoted in this high profile way. Feedback from last year’s competition has been very positive and I am delighted to see the competition grow in popularity and reach.”

Alongside the competition there will be a food market on both Friday and Saturday with local food producers keen to display their produce. In addition to acting as compere of the competition Jenny Bristow will be demonstrating how to make some mouthwatering dishes with an Ulster Scots flavour. Her demonstrations are being sponsored by local greengrocer Peter Wallace of Grattans in the town. Jenny Bristow is looking forward to the event “I thoroughly enjoyed last year’s event.  The standard was extremely high and I’m confident that this year’s event will be even more competitive.”


Any chefs interested in competing should contact Alana Cassidy of FoodNI at alana@nigoodfood.com

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