A streetwise Dromore baker was among a batch of award-winners at a recent black-tie celebration of Northern Ireland’s food indsutry.
Mark Douglas, also known as The Krazi Baker, picked up the gong at the Food Awards Northern Ireland, hosted by Banbridge comedian Gene Fitzpatrick in Belfast’s Europa Hotel.
Based on a public vote, the awards are aimed at commending talented individuals and businesses for professionalism, service and “fantastic” food.
Dromore man Mark lifted the Best Street Food award, one of 26 presented on the night. The Krazi Baker trades at markets across Northern Ireland and beyond, serving up everything from soda farls to potato and apple cakes to pancakes, anything that can be baked on a griddle, and he recently branched out into oven bakes; made with Dromara’s own Abernethy Butter, his butter shortbread won a gold star at the Great Taste Awards, to add to the one he holds for his potato apple bread.
In an online profile, Mark reveals he had the idea for street food after years of city-break market visits left him wondering why the bread he saw coming in couldn’t be made on site.
“You’d see every product under the sun,” he says, “but never bread baked on site. I was wondering how to do this and when I went back to work the answer was staring me in the face - hotplates and soda bread.”
Typically to be found at Belfast’s Crumlin Road and Folktown Markets, on Sundays and Thursdays repectively, Mark can also be seen at events such as Balmoral Show, Lurgan Show and Portadown’s Country Comes To Town.
In the hope, he says, of restoring a lost skill to the home, he also gives demonstrations and baking classes in workplaces, clubs and schools.