A chef from one of Northern Ireland’s leading food-to-go businesses, is the only local chef shortlisted for the UK food industry’s coveted title of Sandwich Designer of the year.
Dean Skinner, part of Newry-based Deli-Lites’ product development team, has qualified for the final of the much-anticipated British Sandwich Association’s annual awards – thanks to two impressive sandwich designs, which won first place at heats earlier this year in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.
Dean caught the judges’ eye with his Pistachio Z’aatar Shredded Chicken Khobez, a middle-eastern inspired khobez flatbread featuring beetroot and rosemary hummus, couscous, feta, pickled cauliflower and shredded z’aatar spiced chicken and pistachio nuts.
The chef’s second mouth-watering dish was titled ‘Get it India’, a gluten free sourdough toastie. Described as an Indian twist on the traditional croque monsieur, Dean created a pishwarii croque toastie top with a spiced nut-butter which was then baked with a shredded curried-chicken filling.
Speaking about being shortlisted for the high-profile award, Dean Skinner said:
“The food-to-go business has changed drastically over the years with customers demanding better choice and quality. At Deli-Lites we pride ourselves in continuously breaking the mould by introducing delicious flavour combinations with the best quality ingredients, inspired by our team’s experience across the globe.
“I’m delighted to have been shortlisted for this competitive industry accolade, especially as we’re the only company from Northern Ireland represented in this category. I’m looking forward to preparing our unique dishes once again and competing against the best in the business.”
The finals of the awards, known in the industry as The Sammies will be held in the Lancaster Gate Hotel in London on the 10th of May where Dean will recreate his designs for a panel of judges. The winner will then be announced at a black-tie ball, scooping an impressive £5,000 prize fund.
Deli-Lites was founded by Brian and Jackie Reid in 1998 and is based outside Warrenpoint, employing around 250 people. The business produces around 12m hand-made sandwiches, wraps and salads annually and distributes across Ireland.