Derek Patterson, a prominent figure in NI’s hospitality scene, has died.
Mr Patterson, who would have been 54 next month, died in the St John’s Road area of Hillsborough today, a country lane to the west of the Co Down village itself.
It is understood it is not being treated as suspicious.
Described as both a chef and businessman, his operations included The Plough, Hillsborough, The Tannery, Moira, and he was a director of the Hillsborough Oyster Festival. The UUP’s Jenny Palmer said she was “deeply saddened”.
She added: “Just heartbreaking! The Lord is my Shepherd.”
Naldo Morelli, of the well-known Italian-Ulster ice-cream making family, said: “Awful sad news about Derek Patterson from The Plough in Hillsborough. Always ahead of the game & seemed to be very passionate about food & his business.”