The Golden Fork for Northern Ireland

Oozing with quality, Shorthorn 4 Rib Roast wows Great Taste judges

Golden Fork from Northern Ireland announced

Celebrating the very best in food and drink, Great Taste, the world’s most coveted blind-tasted food awards, has reached its grand finale for 2016. The Great Taste Golden Fork for the best food or drink in Northern Ireland was presented to Hannan Meats from Armagh, Northern Ireland, for its Glenarm Shorthorn 4 Rib Roast, a product thathas also been named Great Taste Supreme Champion 2016 (see separate press release). The judges heaped praise upon this exceptional product, which is dry-aged in a Himalayan Salt Chamber for a minimum of 28 days. The panel really were bowled over and couldn’t “believe that beef could taste so good”, saying that “to have the sweet, juicy and oozy flavour travelling through the meat and fat was commendable”. This “beef of joy” was a real hit with the entire panel, with one judge wanting to “be covered in the fat, sit next to a fire and then pick the cooked crust off themselves”.

Out of 10,000 products entered into Great Taste 2016, the Glenarm Shorthorn 4 Rib Roast was celebrated as the best tasting product in its region at the Great Taste Golden Forks Dinner held on Monday 5 September at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, where over 300 guests from the world of fine food gathered to hear the results of many months of rigorous judging.

Contact: Peter Hannan, +44 (0) 2892 619790,

The Golden Fork from Northern Ireland was sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland and also nominated this year was Hannan Meats’ Great Taste 3-star award-winning Glenarm Shorthorn Wing Rib Sirloin and SmokedAbernethy Butter made by Dromara-based Abernethy Butter.

What is Great Taste? 

Great Taste, founded in 1994 and organised by The Guild of Fine Food, has judged over 110,000 products in the last 22 years; each one has been blind-tasted by a team of judges who are dedicated to finding the most exquisite tasting food and drink regardless of branding or packaging. This year’s final judges included TV chef and author, Valentine Warner, MasterChef judge and restaurant critic, Charles Campion, fifth generation baker, Tom Herbert from Hobbs House Bakery, food buyers from Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols and Waitrose, James Golding, chef director of THE PIG Hotels, and Kevin Gratton, chef director of HIX Restaurants, who together re-judged the 3-star winners to agree on the Top 50 Foods, the Golden Fork Trophy winners and the Great Taste Supreme Champion for 2016. 

Great Taste 2016 facts

  • 10,000 different products entered (Great Taste entry is capped at 10,000)

  • Over 400 food and drink judges

  • Judging took place across the UK and Ireland, including many sessions at the Guild HQ in Gillingham, Dorset, as well as several other Dorset venues

  • This year’s Great Taste Roadshows saw Great Taste judged at Fulham Palace in London, Hotel Minella in Clonmel, Tipperary and Belfast Metropolitan College’s Titanic Quarter Campus

  • 3,539 products awarded 1-, 2- or 3-star awards

  • 141 awarded a 3-star

  • Top 50 Foods announced in The Times on Saturday 6 August 2016

  • EIGHT Golden Fork Awards for best regional food and drink

  • ONE Supreme Champion

What are Great Taste judges looking for?

Above all they are looking for truly great taste. Yes, they take into account texture, appearance and of course quality ingredients; they like a good aroma, a decent bite to a sausage, a smooth lemon curd, crunchy rich pastry, but everything comes back to the taste. Is it really, truly great?  

How do they work?

Each team of four judges blind-tastes around 25 products per session, discussing each product as a coordinating food writer transcribes their comments directly onto the Great Taste website which producers access after judging is completed. Over the years, numerous food businesses, start-ups and well established producers have been advised how to modify their foods and have subsequently gone on to achieve Great Taste stars. Food or drink that is deemed worthy of Great Taste stars is also tasted by a team of arbitrators, who taste, confer and agree on the final award given. If judges feel that a product needs some adjustment, and therefore not likely to receive an award, the food or drink gets a second chance on a referral table, where another team, blind-tastes and deliberates. For a Great Taste 3-star award, the vast majority in the room – which can be as many as 30-40 experts – must agree that the food or drink delivers that indescribable ‘wow’ factor.

What should consumers look for?

The black and gold logo. The Great Taste seal is their guarantee a product has been through a rigorous and independent judging process. It’s not about smart packaging or clever marketing – it’s all about taste.


Images are available to view in the press room on the Guild of Fine Food website and high resolution images are available from

For further information, please contact any of the following: 
Amy Brice at Freshly Ground PR on +44 (0) 7717 893123 or at
Tortie Farrand at the Guild of Fine Food on +44 (0) 1747 825200 or at