Pic courtesy of Waitrose / Khara Pringle
Three time Great British Menu contestant and ex-Corrigan’s chef Chris McGowan at helm of award-winning eatery
NORTHERN Ireland restaurant Wine & Brine, based in Moira, Co Down, has been named the Best Local Restaurant in the UK in the 2017 awards by the prestigious Waitrose Good Food Guide.
Wine & Brine’s celebrated chef Chris McGowan, one-time NI regional winner of the Great British Menu, in which he is competing again this year, only set up the restaurant with his wife Davina in December 2015.
Wine & Brine was voted the overall UK winner by the guide’s readers and editors who were won over by the McGowans’ commitment to serving local produce at “ridiculously reasonable prices”.
McGowan trained with Michelin-starred chef Richard Corrigan, Pierre Koffman of La Tante Claire, London, and TV chef Gary Rhodes, and with 20 years’ experience, has created innovative menus which celebrate age-old traditional cooking methods of brining and pickling.
Consultant editor Elizabeth Carter said ‘every town should have a restaurant of this standard’.
Describing it as a ‘a role-model of its kind’ she added: “Chris McGowan’s relaxed town centre venue has a big heart, friendly, laid-back staff and generous cooking of fresh, seasonal and local ingredients at ridiculously reasonable prices.
“A hive of endeavour, it is no wonder that Wine & Brine has a huge and very vocal fan base,” she added.
Restaurant owners Chris and Davina McGowan said: “To say we are delighted by this accolade is a great understatement; we are positively ecstatic to be chosen as the overall UK winner.
“The Good Food Guide is so influential in the industry and as we are such a young business, it makes it all the more profound for us. It’s also a testament to all our hard work over the years ahead of setting up Wine & Brine, which we always wanted to be a place where people wanted to come to eat and enjoy spending time with friends, family and business colleagues.”
Local produce, which Chris asserts is among the best in the world, features heavily in their regularly-changing menus.
“Our tea, coffee, craft beer, local vodka and gin and liqueurs were all sourced within a ten-mile radius of the restaurant and our meat, fish and vegetables are all sourced locally in Northern Ireland.
“We are very proud of the excellent relationships we have established with our suppliers who understand our commitment and ethos of regularly changing menus in keeping with the produce that’s available at the time. This award is also a brilliant way of placing Moira right in the heart of Northern Ireland’s culinary map.”