The winners of the Isle of Man’s first Manx Menu competition have been announced.

Described as a celebration of the island’s hospitality sector, the contest ran from February 5 to March 1 this year and featured restaurants, cafes and local food producers battle it out in nine different categories.

The competition, a joint initiative between Business Isle of Man and Visit Isle of Man, attracted 123 individual entries across the award categories.

To enter the contest, venues and businesses had to put their products and dishes forward for consideration.

Every entry was then subjected to a public vote with the scored totaled before category winners were decided by an esteemed panel of independent judges.

After the scores were tallied, The Boatyard Restaurant was declared the overall Manx Menu Award winner for 2024, followed by the Kiki Lounge and Little Fish Cafe, both in Douglas, in second and third place respectively. The award winners for each category were:

  • Manx Menu Starter/Light Bites Award: Frank Matcham’s, Douglas
  • Manx Menu Main Course Award: The Creg-Ny-Baa, Onchan and The Boatyard
  • Manx Menu Dessert Award: The Creg-Ny-Baa
  • Manx Menu Speciality Drink Award: The Fyn Bar & Shop, Ramsey
  • Manx Menu Takeaway Award: The Parish Pantry, Ramsey
  • Manx Menu Customer Service Award: The Dovecote Tearoom, Kirk Michael
  • Manx Menu Product of the Year- Food: Fire Island Chillies
  • Manx Menu Product of the Year- Drink: Hoolie Rum, Outlier Distilling Company

The Parish Pantry won the Takeaway Award for its Parish Pizza while Terry’s Tatos chicken supreme jacket was highly commended in the category.

Frank Matcham’s pan seared scallops won the Light Bite Award and the Creg Ny Baa’s Manx pork belly in an Isle of Cider cream sauce won the main course award.

Its Fynoderee spiced rum bread and butter also came out tops in the Dessert Award.

The Fyn Bar and Shop won the Specialty Drink Award for its ‘The Shapeshifter’ spirit while Outlier Distilling Company were awarded the Product of the Year Award for their popular Hoolie Manx Rum. More than 2,000 verified public votes were cast during the Manx Menu contest.

Manx Menu
Manx Menu (-)

The votes helped determine the finalists of the competition and each judge was then asked to consider the presentation, originality, and variety of local ingredients used in each dish and product when determining category winners.

The judging panel was made up of Robinsons Managing Director Janna Horsthius, Chef Lecturer in Professional Cookery and Patisserie UCM Isle of Man Robert Hunter and award-winning cake maker and experienced international judge Aimee Ford.

The winners of the Manx Menu awards will each receive £1,000 in marketing support to help further promote their businesses while the Overall Manx Menu Award winner will receive £1,500.

Diane Kelsey MLC, Political Member for Business Isle of Man, who attended the award presentation held today at Barrool Suite, said: ‘It has been heartening to see the response from hospitality businesses and food and drink producers to the inaugural Manx Menu contest.

‘I would like to thank everyone who participated and made this a success and congratulate all the finalists and winners. It is clear that the Manx public takes pride in our food and drink businesses and the incredible talent of our chefs and hospitality staff.

‘The Economic Strategy made clear that nurturing and encouraging growth in the Island’s hospitality sector forms an important part of our long term vision to ensure the security, vibrancy and sustainability of our economy, and I hope to see such contests become a part of our yearly calendar of events that both the public and businesses look forward to.’

Robert Hunter, chef lecturer at University College Isle of Man, and Manx Menu judge said: ‘The Manx Menu was a fantastic opportunity for the hospitality and food production sector to highlight their creativity and commitment to innovation.

‘It was great to see so many impressive entries from such a variety of places across the island.

‘The initiative really helped to emphasise the array of local suppliers and food provenance on island, which is increasingly important. Our catering students are very lucky to have so many fantastic establishments to choose from’