Carrickfergus firm gets ‘Ulster Takeaway Restaurant of the Year 2022’ accolade

Carrickfergus based Castello Italia has been named as the Ulster ‘Takeaway Restaurant of the Year 2022’ in the recent YesChef Takeaway Awards 2022.

Jetmire Cufaj, chef, Melisa Kukaj, manager, Sameda Mustali, manager, Meridian Ramaj, chef, Jonida Cufaj, owner from Castello Italia and award sponsor Patrick Dowling from AIB Merchant Services
Jetmire Cufaj, chef, Melisa Kukaj, manager, Sameda Mustali, manager, Meridian Ramaj, chef, Jonida Cufaj, owner from Castello Italia and award sponsor Patrick Dowling from AIB Merchant Services

The restaurant was also highly commended in the award’s Ulster ‘Pizza of the Year 2022’ category.

Hosted by YesChef Ireland the annual awards are designed to celebrate the stars of the Takeaway Industry in Ireland and there have been lots of stars during the Covid pandemic.

Programme director, Nicci Smith explained: “We held our first Takeaway Awards in 2019 and little did we know what lay ahead for us all and the challenges that would face the industry.

Food is not just a necessity it is a joy, a pleasure in life, a sensory experience, something that lifts us at the end of a tough week!

“Owners and staff in takeaways across the country were on the frontline with a smile on their faces and a willingness to go the extra mile.

Restaurants pivoted to deliver takeaway food and throughout it all quality improved and standards were raised. And I don’t say that lightly, each and every business was independently assessed, and the standards were superb. I need to point out that researchers also found the level of service to be superb.”

Discussing the win Artur Cufaj, owner, Castello Italia, which is based at Scotch Quarter in the town, said: “We are thrilled to have been named Ulster Takeaway Restaurant of the Year 2022.

“When the pandemic hit, like lots of businesses we had to alter our offering to continue to serve our customers. We quickly re-calibrated and started providing a takeaway service, which proved to be phenomenally popular.

“As Covid restrictions eased, we recognised lots of individuals were still apprehensive about social interactions, so we maintained our takeaway offering to cater for our loyal customer base.

“As a business, we have previously won YesChef Best Italian Restaurant awards, but being so new to the takeaway scene and achieving this success is an indication that our approach has been right.

“We have applied our restaurant standards to our takeaway offering and customers recognise and appreciate this.”

Castello Italia, which opened in 2017, was born from a passion for Mediterranean cuisine.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.

You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to newsletter.co.uk

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Thank you