Owner of popular Ballynahinch restaurant wins Chef of the Year

Mouth-watering food. Credit: Bull & Ram
Mouth-watering food. Credit: Bull & Ram

Having opened its doors for the first time just under a year ago, the award-winning Bull & Ram in Ballynahinch has kicked off with a bang with a series of rave reviews and accolades.

Now this week at the Institute of Hospitality Awards in the Titanic Quarter, it has swept another awards ceremony as head chef and owner Kelan McMichael was awarded the prestigious Restaurant Chef of the Year.

Bull & Ram was opened by award-winning Chef Kelan McMichael who boasts a clear passion for foraging, sourcing and growing seasonal ingredients (Credit: Bull & Ram)

Bull & Ram was opened by award-winning Chef Kelan McMichael who boasts a clear passion for foraging, sourcing and growing seasonal ingredients (Credit: Bull & Ram)

It comes soon after The Bull & Ram was awarded Best Restaurant in Ulster at the 2017 Good Eating Guide and Best Newcomer in County Down at the Irish Restaurant Awards.

As the Bull & Ram continues to go from strength to strength, Daryl Shields, Head of Operations and Business Development Manager explained: “The food culture in Northern Ireland is absolutely booming and what’s exciting to see is there’s a wealth of people who will travel for good food.

“Our approach from the beginning is cook the very best of local, fresh produce and our menu is ever changing with seasonal, local produce but we keep a number of signature dishes at the ‘heart’ of the menu which our customers love.”

Earlier this week, the team also travelled to Dublin to hear they had been awarded the All Ireland Restaurant Awards 2017 for Best Newcomer in Ulster, often referred to in the local industry as the ‘Food Oscars.’

Daryl Shields, Operations Manager, Hannah McMichael with husband and head chef, owner Kelan McMichael.

Daryl Shields, Operations Manager, Hannah McMichael with husband and head chef, owner Kelan McMichael.

Kelan McMichael, owner and head chef of the Bull & Ram told the News Letter: “It’s been an incredible year for myself and my team with the majority of the 21 staff I opened with still with me today.

“My passion for helping develop and train young chefs to building relationships with some of our amazing producers like Peter Hannan from Hannan Meats have helped us to succeed.

“There’s no one ingredient alone down to our success it’s a combination of great staff, investing in training plus the very best of local producers with amazing local seasonal produce.

“Combining all of these with a beautiful building which we were lucky enough to find and unveil have all worked in our favour and we continue to inspire our customers with our ‘no frills’ imaginative food which simply tastes delicious”.

Bull & Ram is located at 1 Dromore Street, Ballynahinch, County Down. Visit bullandram.com to find out more, including how to book.