Belle Isle named Best Northern Ireland Cookery School 2012
Belle Isle Cookery School in Lisbellaw, County Fermanagh has beaten two other top Northern Ireland cookery schools to win the accolade of Best Northern Ireland Cookery School at the British Cookery School Awards.
Fiona Plunket, PR manager at Belle Isle, picked up the team's trophy at the awards event which took place at the Vintners' Company in the heart of the City of London, hosted by BBC Radio 2's food and drink presenter Nigel Barden.
Belle Isle Cookery School opened its doors in 2003 and is now a highly acclaimed school running courses throughout the year. Students come from all over Northern Ireland but their extended courses attract Europeans and pupils as far afield as Japan, Canada and the USA.
Nigel Barden, head judge of the British Cookery School Awards which is headline sponsored by Kenwood said: "Choosing the winner of the Northern Ireland category was incredibly tough. For this category we were looking for an all-round cookery school success story, and the winner had to have that extra special something which makes it the crème de la crème of cookery schools in its country.
"The Belfast Cookery School and Cookery School at James St. South put forward excellent entries, but Belle Isle came out tops in the end. Michel Roux Senior has both encouraged and supported the cookery school from the outset and has used it as a launching platform for one of his cookery books. The fact that he is currently in the process of organising an exclusive two-day workshop at his residence in the South of France in conjunction with Belle Isle Cookery School shows its high calibre within the international cookery school world."
Fiona added: "We were up against the best of the best in our country, so to win this award is a real honour. Northern Ireland now has a strong selection of quality cookery schools which we should be extremely proud. The level of skills and teaching within our country is on a par with the top cookery schools in the world so it was excellent to see that the British Cookery School Awards had a dedicated Northern Ireland category."
With more than 250 cookery schools now operating in the UK, The British Cookery School Awards were set up this year to honour all those excellent cookery schools that go above and beyond to deliver a first class cookery school experience. The awards aim to celebrate the important role that cookery schools play in driving Britain's passion for cooking good, homemade food.