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Academy: the Centre for Food, Drink and Culture, has been awarded the Best Sustainable Practices Award (County Antrim) at the prestigious Ulster Regional Final of Irish Restaurant Awards 2023.

Now its 14th year, the Irish Restaurant Awards celebrate the best of the hospitality sector, showcasing the incredible food and talent in local cafes, hotels, pubs and restaurants across the region. This year’s awards saw a record breaking number of public nominations and was attended by almost 800 well-known restaurant and hospitality business owners and staff.

Academy is located on Ulster University’s new Belfast city centre campus and incorporates a state-of-the-art restaurant, culinary school, beverage school and conference and meeting facilities. As well as giving students hands-on experience, it provides comprehensive practical support to entrepreneurs, is an open-access learning centre for the public and contributes to the ongoing development of Northern Ireland as a food and drink destination.

A champion of Northern Irish culinary culture, Academy is committed to using ingredients that are sourced locally on the basis of quality, flavour, freshness and seasonality, from suppliers who are dedicated to environmental practices and to the highest standards of animal welfare.

Speaking about the achievement, Lisa Kennedy, Academy Business Manager, Ulster University, said;

At Academy, we embrace our responsibility to environmental leadership and are committed to integrating sustainability practices into our core business strategy which includes commitments to ethical food sourcing, zero-waste and minimising our environmental footprint. To be recognised for exemplary practices in environmental sustainability, among many other progressive restaurants in the area, is just incredible and something the entire team should be very proud of.

The Academy team will now compete for the Regional and All Ireland titles at the Irish Restaurant Awards All Ireland Final on Monday 15th May 2023 in Dublin.

Academy is open during term time, serving lunch on weekdays from 12.30pm and dinner on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7pm.