Skip to main content


Lecturers form part of the judging panel for NI's Best Bakery competition

Goodfood News Template
From sodas farls to wheaten, barmbrack and boxty, Northern Ireland is well known for its unique bread and baking traditions. In recent years new and different breads are emerging in cafes and bakeries across Northern Ireland and with that is coming a resurgence in traditional baking methods. With different monthly themes throughout 2016, September has the distinction of Bread & Baking month as part of the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink.  

To celebrate, we’re excited to announce that the BBC Good Food Show Northern Ireland is on the hunt for Northern Ireland’s Best Bakery. The winner will receive a free stand at the BBC Good Food Show Northern Ireland at Belfast Waterfront 14 – 16 October to showcase their produce to thousands of food loving visitors, plus the opportunity to meet local celebrity chef Paul Rankin at the Show. 

Bakeries will need to record a short video, maximum two minutes, capturing ‘a day in the life of the bakery’ highlighting all the stages of a typical day at the bakery – from choosing the finest ingredients, to baking their products and serving to local customers. Bakeries will need to upload this to social media, making sure they tag @BBCGoodFoodShow & @NITouristBoard and use #GFSNIBakery. Judges will be looking at the following, with best videos being shortlisted: 

  • Range, quality and value of baked goods 
  • Product knowledge and enthusiasm 
  • Customer service   

The shortlisted bakeries will need to send a selection of their baked goods to a tasting day where judges, including Aine Kearney from Tourism Northern Ireland, Michele Shirlow from Food NI and lecturers Lorna Johnston & Mark Magee from the NI Home Bakery School at Belfast Metropolitan College. Judges will be scoring the products on a range of criteria, including taste and appearance. In addition, the video with the most shares and likes via social media will be automatically shortlisted. 

Michele Shirlow comments, “This month is a celebration of our local bread and baking traditions. Our visitors love to see first-hand how our traditional griddle breads are made. We have talented bakers whose award winning products are stocked at farmers markets, restaurants and to retail. I’m delighted to judge Northern Ireland’s best bakery to promote the industry.”

Lorna Johnson also comments, “Mark and I are very excited to form part of the judging panel for Northern Ireland’s Best Bakery. Bread is, and always has been a staple in the NI diet, we are world famous for our varieties. Belfast Met has been a part of the great baking tradition in NI dating back to early 1900's. This industry is growing in strength and especially in artisan breads, so these home bakeries will continue to provide us with our daily bread for many generations to come.”

Deadline for video submission is Monday 5th September with shortlisted bakeries being announced by Friday 9th September and the winner being announced by Friday 16th September. 

Visitors to the new BBC Good Food Show Northern Ireland can enjoy a delicious day out in the food-loving city of Belfast. Visitors will be able to see top chefs cooking regional and seasonal dishes live in the Supertheatre, including James Martin, Paul Hollywood and the Hairy Bikers, plus local star Paul Rankin leading the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink sessions. Visitors can delve into the wealth of fantastic produce that Northern Ireland has to offer, and discover, sample and buy from the producers themselves in the Food NI Pavilion and Producers’ Village, plus shop from favourite brands around the Show.

< view all news items