News for 2017

Probably The Finest Culinary Competition In The World Is Back!

‘Michel Roux OBE, who presented the trophies at the 2016 Awards Dinner in November’

The team behind the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards is delighted to announce that the competition has been launched for 2017 for what is expected to be its best year yet!

The Awards are aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

Thanks to ongoing support from its existing sponsors, including headline sponsor Carlsberg UK, Booker, British Pepper & Spice, Cordant People, Heygates Flour and Animal Feed, Moulton College, Northamptonshire County Council, Pidy UK, Weetabix, Whitco Catering and Bakery Equipment, Whitworth Bros Ltd Flour Millers, and the addition of two new sponsors, Howes Percival LLP and Northampton College, as well as support from SEMLEP, the Awards line-up has a new look (media partners in brackets):

‘Artisan Local Savoury Product of the Year’ – sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed (BBC Radio Northampton)

‘Artisan Local Sweet Product of the Year’ – sponsored by Moulton College (BBC Radio Northampton)

‘Artisan Local Drink of the Year’ – (BBC Radio Northampton)

‘New Local Drink of the Year’ – (BBC Radio Northampton)

‘One to Watch’ – sponsored by Whitworth Bros. Ltd Flour Millers

‘Booker Food Pub of the Year’ – sponsored by Booker (Great Food Club)

‘Restaurant of the Year’ – sponsored by Whitco Catering and Bakery Equipment (Business Times)

‘Spice Restaurant of the Year’ – sponsored by British Pepper & Spice

‘Independent Café / Tea Room of the Year’ – sponsored by Pidy UK (Northampton Life)

‘Chef of the Year’ – co-sponsored by Dawn Farms and Cordant People (NeneQuirer)

‘Booker Young Chef of the Year’ – sponsored by Booker (NeneQuirer)

‘Community Pub of the Year’ – sponsored by Carlsberg UK

‘Weetabix Local Food Hero of the Year’ – sponsored by Weetabix with Northamptonshire CPRE (Aspire Magazine)

‘Healthy Eating Workplace of the Year’ – sponsored by Northamptonshire County Council

‘F&B Achiever of the Year’ – sponsored by Howes Percival LLP

‘Farming Innovation Award’ – sponsored by the Weetabix Growers Group with the NFU

‘Great Service Award’ – sponsored by Northampton College

In addition, the Awards Dinner in November will again provide a platform to highlight successes in the county’s ‘Eat Out Eat Well’ scheme – the project managed by Environmental Health Northamptonshire which celebrates those eateries and catering companies that offer healthy and nutritious options on their menus – as well as the presentation of the ‘Chairman’s Award’, which is given in recognition of a particularly special contribution to the county’s food and drink sector.

The details of the 2017/18 competition were unveiled at the launch at Dawn Farms in Northampton (Thursday 30th March) – co-sponsor of the ‘Chef of the Year’ category – by the Awards’ Director, Rachel Mallows of The Mallows Company.

Among the changes she announced to the audience made up of reigning champions, sponsors, judges and competition partners was the introduction of the new category for 2017, the ‘One To Watch’, which will recognize the passion and commitment of businesses less than five years old which look set to have a major impact on the national and international markets, thereby raising the profile of Northamptonshire’s food and drink sector.

Meanwhile Rachel also underlined the competition’s continuing commitment to growth with the news that the winners of the all the categories will go on to receive tailored mentoring from experts on the Awards Mentoring Board, while the winners of the product and drink categories will be submitted as entries into the Great Taste Awards 2017 at the Northamptonshire Awards’ cost.

The competition also sees the return of the ‘Community Pub of the Year’ category, sponsored by Carlsberg UK, which replaces the Best Bar None categories of 2016/17 and celebrate those pubs which stand at the heart of their communities.

In addition, guests learned of the considerable business benefit that success in the competition can bring from Jim Kay, co-owner of the current ‘Booker Food Pub of the Year’, the Plough @ Shutlanger: “Aside from having such a great night at the awards dinner itself back in November, the resulting publicity has meant the ‘phones have not stopped ringing off the hook for the last few months” explained Jim.

“We’re taking bookings weeks in advance now and there doesn’t seem to be any end to it, so it’s going to be a busy summer ahead!” he enthused.

To set taste buds watering, guests were treated on arrival to a selection of mouthwatering biscuits from award-winner Most Marvellous Baking in Northampton and a glass of Ashmead’s Kernel Apple Juice from New Creation Farm in Nether Heyford.

After the formal proceedings they then enjoyed a tour of the Dawn Farms factory and a butchery masterclass before tucking into a lunch provided by the hosts which used not only a range of their own meat products but also a number of Northamptonshire treats from award winners and finalists, including cheese from The Little Smokehouse in Wellingborough and Neneview Dairy at Stanwick, Honeyed Real Ale Chutney from Thrapston’s Nature’s Fayre, a selection of salad dressings from Farrington Oils in Hargrave and Strawberries Ice Cream generously provided by I’m Real in Northampton.

For more details on all of the categories in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2017/18, including to request entry forms, to make a nomination in the ‘Independent Café / Tea Room’, ‘Weetabix Local Food Hero’, ‘Healthy Eating Workplace’ and ‘F&B Achiever of the Year’ categories, or to recommend your favourite pub, restaurant or spice restaurant, please contact Rachel Mallows on 01933 664437 or email rachel@themallowscompany.com Alternatively entry, nomination and register of interest forms as well as the terms and conditions are available on the ‘Entry Forms’ page of this website.

You can also follow the Awards on twitter at @foodawardsHQ or on Facebook at facebook.com/foodawards

FEAST Funding 2017

For more information on FEAST Funding for 2017 click here

FEAST

News for 2016

Michel Roux OBE (Snr) celebrates Northamptonshire’s finest food and drink!

After much anticipation and a great deal of excitement, the winners in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2016 /17 are finally celebrating being named the best of the county’s best!

The competition, now in its eighth year is again aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

The results were announced at a glittering Awards Dinner (Thurs 3rd November) staged at Northamptonshire County Cricket Club in Northampton and watched by the evening’s special guest, Michel Roux OBE (Snr). Those were (in presentation order and, in the case of two winners or runners-up, in alphabetical order):

F&B Achiever of the Year

Winner: Angus and Kirsty Clarke of Waterloo Cottage Farm, Great Oxendon
Winner: The Jeyes Family of The Apothocoffee Shop, Earls Barton

Chairman’s Award

Winner: Paul McManus of The McManus Pub Company, Northampton

Healthy Eating Workplace of the Year
(sponsored by Northamptonshire County Council)

Winner: St Andrew’s Healthcare, Northampton
Runner-up: RCI Europe, Kettering 

Independent Café / Tea Room of the Year
(sponsored by Pidy UK)

Winner: Dreams Coffee Lounge, Northampton   
Runner-up: The Green Room, Brackley  

Best Bar None – Late Night Venue of the Year
(sponsored by the Office of Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner)

Winner: Jeckyll & Hyde, Northampton

Best Bar None – Town Pub of the Year
(sponsored by the Office of Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner)

Winner: The Princess Alexandra, Northampton 

Best Bar None – Rural Pub of the Year
(sponsored by the Office of Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner)

Winner: The Sun Inn, Hardingstone 

New Local Drink of the Year

Winner: Elderflower Vodka – Jelley Distilleries, Brixworth
Runner-up: Podium Gold – Towcester Mill Brewery, Towcester

Artisan Local Drink of the Year

Winner: Lucky IPA – Maule Brewing Co, Northampton
Runner-up: Bad to the Bone – Gun Dog Ales, Woodford Halse

Artisan Local Savoury Product of the Year
(Sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed)

Winner: Marinated Hogget Cannon – Waterloo Cottage Farm, Great Oxendon
Runner-up: Cobblers Nibble Cheese – Hamm Tun Fine Foods, Hannington

Artisan Local Sweet Product of the Year
(sponsored by Moulton College)

Winner: Strawberries Ice Cream – I’m Real, Northampton
Runners-up: Orange Polenta Cake – The Happy Little Cake Company, Northampton

New Local Product of the Year
(sponsored by Whitworth Bros. Ltd)

Winner: Munchable Multiseed Crackers – Most Marvellous Baking, Northampton
Runner-up: Blackjack Ice Cream – Gallone’s Ice Cream, Northampton
Runner-up: Northamptonshire Blue Cheese – Hamm Tun Fine Foods, Hannington

Farming Innovation Award
(sponsored by the Weetabix Growers Group)

Winner: New Lodge Farm, Bulwick
Winner: Turney Partners, Quinton      

Weetabix Local Food Hero of the Year
(sponsored by Weetabix)

Winner: Elsie’s Pay As You Feel Café, Northampton
Runner-up: Adam Church of Bread and Pullet, Northampton
Runner-up: Magee Street Bakery, Northampton

Chef of the Year
(sponsored by TMI Foods and Cordant People)

Winner: Shane Clarke from 185 Watling Street, Towcester
Runner-up: Grant Wentzel from Rose & Crown Bistro, Yardley Hastings

Restaurant of the Year
(sponsored by Whitco Catering and Bakery Equipment)

Winner: The Palmichael, Burton Latimer 
Runner-up: Olive, Corby

Booker Food Pub of the Year
(sponsored by Booker)

Winner: The Plough @ Shutlanger, Shutlanger 
Runner-up: The Hopping Hare, Northampton

Booker Young Chef of the Year
(sponsored by Booker)

Winner: Sebastian McLean from Rushton Hall, Rushton
Runner-up: Marcus Franklin from The Plough @ Shutlanger, Shutlanger

Spice Restaurant of the Year
(sponsored by British Pepper & Spice)

Winner: Mem-Saab, Northampton
Runner-up: Taste of Spice, Northampton
Runner-up: The Exotic Dining, Kettering 

Great Service Award

Winner: The Red Lion, East Haddon

The evening also put a spotlight on Eat Out Eat Well, a national scheme run here in the county by Environmental Health Northamptonshire which rewards caterers and eateries who make it easier for their customers to make healthy choices, and saw the top scoring Gold venues from five of the seven borough and district councils being celebrated for their achievement. They are:

Kafe Bloc in Kettering 
Manvell Farm Tea Room in Walgrave
Millie’s Café in Wellingborough
Mrs B’s in Rushden
Reg’s Café in Kings Sutton

The winners of all the categories were presented with a trophy – a specially commissioned bone china jug designed by Newnham-based Susan Rose China – by Michel and the categories’ respective sponsors.

Welcoming guests to the event were the Awards’ Director, Rachel Mallows of The Mallows Company, Bruce Ray, VP Global Government Relations and UK Corporate Affairs at Carlsberg and Stephen Catchpole who is the Chief Executive of SEMLEP.

Guests made up of finalists, judges, sponsors, media partners and supporters including Awards Patrons William Sitwell, Sophie Grigson and Mary Laing then enjoyed a sumptuous three course meal designed and created by Lee Scott, with help from a team of culinary students from Northampton College who switched their regular classes for the experience of being part of the prestigious event.

The menu included a starter of duck parfait, sticky duck bun with local honey from Beeline Apiculture at Castle Ashby and toasted local sourdough from The Good Loaf in Northampton, the main course of beef generously provided by Booker, while the pudding was a twist on a black forest gateau using Caffè Mocha Milk Chocolate from finalists Seed and Bean in Corby and served with a kirsch cream using cream from Newlands Farm at Hannington. The culinary offering concluded with petits fours generously provided by Belflair Chocolates of Brackley.

To watch the videos of the Chef and Booker Young Chef of the Year cook-offs and the bake-off in the Independent Café / Tea Room of the Year category, please visit our gallery page while you can also follow the Awards on twitter at @foodawardsHQ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/foodawards

If you are an organisation, business or individual interested in taking part in, or sponsoring, next year’s Awards, please contact Rachel at The Mallows Company on 01933 664437.

Probably the finest culinary competition in the world nears its climax!

With less than a fortnight to go till the winners in this year’s Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards are announced, we can now reveal the finalists in all eighteen categories in the competition!

Those vying for the respective titles (in alphabetical order within their category) are:

Artisan Local Drink of the Year (sponsored by Carlsberg UK):

Ashmeads Kernal Apple Juice – New Creation Farm, Nether Heyford; 01327 344515
Bad to the Bone – Gun Dog Ales, Woodford Halse; 01327 264095
Big Bang Theory – Nene Valley Brewery, Oundle; 01832 272776
Guilsborough Gold – Nobby’s Brewing Company, Thrapston; 01832 730800
Lucky IPA – Maule Brewing Co, Northampton; 07818 057272

New Local Drink of the Year (sponsored by Carlsberg UK):

Apple Cider 2015 – New Lodge Vineyard, Earls Barton; 01604 811311
Attitude IPA – Brigstock Brewhouse, Brigstock; 01536 373428
Elderflower Vodka – Jelley Distilleries, Brixworth; 01604 882342
King Richard III Cider – Welland Valley Vineyard, Marston Trussell; 01858 434591
Podium Gold – Towcester Mill Brewery, Towcester; 01327 437060
Wakatu Pilsner – Maule Brewing Co, Northampton; 07818 057272

New Local Product of the Year (sponsored by Whitworth Bros. Ltd Flour Millers):

Apple-smoked Cobblers Nibble Cheese – The Little Smokehouse, Wellingborough; 01933 674649
Blackjack Ice Cream – Gallone’s Ice Cream, Northampton; 01604 715371
Caffe Mocha Milk Chocolate – Seed and Bean, Corby; 07984 561541
Munchable Multiseed Crackers – Most Marvellous Baking, Northampton; 01604 720884
Northamptonshire Blue Cheese – Hamm Tun Fine Foods, Hannington; 07701 089513
Pasture Fed Gravy – Waterloo Cottage Farm, Great Oxendon; 01858 467158

Artisan Sweet Product of the Year (sponsored by Moulton College):

Chocolate Brownie – Connie The Vintage Travelling Tearoom, Northampton; 07845 879262
Homemade Caramel Fudge – Sweet Sensations, Northampton; 07845 879262
Orange Polenta Cake – The Happy Little Cake Company, Northampton; 01604 720884
Strawberries Ice Cream – I’m Real, Northampton; 01604 754023

Artisan Savoury Product of the Year (sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed):

Chicken and Chorizo Pie – Most Marvellous Baking, Northampton; 01604 720884
Cobblers Nibble Cheese – Hamm Tun Fine Foods, Hannington; 07701 089513
Honeyed Real Ale Chutney – Nature’s Fayre, Thrapston; 01832 732720
Marinated Hogget Cannon – Waterloo Cottage Farm, Great Oxendon; 01858 467158
Pork Sausage Roll – Much A’Dough Bakery, Wellingborough; 01933 272733
Rob’s Traditional Pork Pie – Ashley Farm Shop, Ashley; 01858 565722

Independent Café / Tea Room of the Year (sponsored by Pidy UK):

Dreams Coffee Lounge, Northampton; 01604 636368
Nanna’s Kitchen, Northampton; 07716 907962
Tea Jenny Cottage, Corby; 07939 212722
The Apothocoffee Shop, Earls Barton; 01604 810289
The Green Room, Brackley; 01280 703123

Chef of the Year (sponsored by TMI Foods and Cordant People):

Shane Clarke from 185 Watling Street, Towcester; 01327 317177
Ondine Hartgroves from Dîner Privé Par Ondine, Northampton; 07527 471256
Carl Long from Barton Hall Hotel & Vines Brasserie, Kettering; 01536 515505
William Mountain from The Saracen’s Head, Lt. Brington; 01604 770640
Paul Vant from The Three Cranes, Gt. Cransley; 01536 790287
Grant Wentzel from Rose & Crown Bistro, Yardley Hastings; 01604 696276

Booker Young Chef of the Year (sponsored by Booker):

Marcus Franklin from The Plough @ Shutlanger, Shutlanger; 01604 864644
Mae Jackson from Sol Y Lunas Tapas, Northampton; 01604 456750
Sebastian McLean from Rushton Hall, Rushton; 01536 713001
Christian Young from Castello Lounge, Wellingborough; 01933 274653
Edyta Zieba from The White Hart, Flore; 01327 341748

Farming Innovation Award (sponsored by Weetabix Growers Group):

Brixworth Farming, Brixworth
Cranford Farming, Cranford
New Lodge Farm, Bulwick
Oak Farm, Naseby
Redlands Farm, Stanwick
Turney Partners, Quinton

F&B Achiever of the Year:

Angus and Kirsty Clarke of Waterloo Cottage Farm, Great Oxendon; 01858 467158
The Jeyes Family of The Apothocoffee Shop, Earls Barton; 01604 810289
Paul McManus of The McManus Pub Company, Northampton; 01604 713601
Alaric Neville of Phipps NBC, Northampton; 01604 946606
Phil Saxby of Saxby’s Cider, Irchester; 07966 558186

Best Bar None Town Pub of the Year (sponsored by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner):

Bar Hygge, Northampton; 01604 655790
Barratts Club, Northampton; 01604 721777
Pike & Eel, Daventry; 01327 704828
The Abington, Northampton; 01604 631240
The Golden Horse, Northampton; 01604 7055565
The Princess Alexandra, Northampton; 01604 245485

Best Bar None Rural Pub of the Year (sponsored by the Office of the PCC):

Barley Mow, Paulerspury; 01327 811086

The George at Tiffield, Tiffield; 01327 350587
The Red Lion, Thornby; 01604 740238
The Sun Inn, Hardingstone; 01604 700007
The Sun Inn, Kislingbury; 01604 833571

Best Bar None – Late Night Venue of the Year (sponsored by the Office of the PCC):

Aspers Casino, Northampton; 01604 623580
Jeckyll & Hyde, Northampton; 01604 634929
The Yards Bar and Kitchen, Kettering; via facebook

Healthy Eating Workplace of the Year (sponsored by Northamptonshire County Council):

John Lewis Plc, Northampton
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, Brackley
RCI Europe, Kettering
St Andrew’s Healthcare, Northampton
Weatherbys Ltd, Wellingborough

Restaurant of the Year (sponsored by Whitco Catering and Bakery Equipment):

Brasserie 23 at The Kings Head, Spratton; 01604 847351
Bread and Pullet, Northampton; 01604 638520
Kettering Park Hotel, Kettering; 01536 416666
Olive, Corby; 01536 266066
The Cedar Restaurant at Fawsley Hall, Fawsley; 01327 892000
The Palmichael, Burton Latimer; 01536 723641

Booker Food Pub of the Year (sponsored by Booker):

The Hopping Hare, Northampton; 01604 580090
The Plough @ Shutlanger, Shutlanger; 01604 864644
The Red Lion, East Haddon; 01604 770223
The Saracen’s Head, Little Brington; 01604 770640
The Tollemache Arms, Harrington; 01536 711770
The Wheatsheaf Pub & Dining Room, Northampton; 01604 758871

Spice Restaurant of the Year (sponsored by British Pepper & Spice):

Lasaan, Northampton; 01604 844244
Mem-Saab, Northampton; 01604 630214
Royal Tandoori, Corby; 01536 399700
Saffron, Northampton; 01604 630800
Taste of Spice, Northampton; 01604 754999
The Exotic Dining, Kettering; 01536 411176

Weetabix Local Food Hero of the Year (sponsored by Weetabix):

Adam Church of Bread and Pullet, Northampton; 01604 638520
Eco Kids, Northampton; 01604 401445
Elsie’s Pay As You Feel Café, Northampton; 07968 535020
Magee Street Bakery, Northampton; 01604 634407
Roy Crutchley of Hoggleys at Phipps NBC, Northampton; 01604 946606
WH Thomas Butchers, Ecton; 01604 948904

The results of these eighteen categories, and those of two additional titles being presented this year – the Chairman’s Award and the Great Service Award – as well as those venues being celebrated in the county’s Eat Out Eat Well scheme, will be revealed at this year’s Awards Dinner being held at Northamptonshire County Cricket Club on Thursday 3rd November in the presence of Michel Roux OBE (Snr).

For more information you can email us using this link or call 01933 664437 while you can also follow the Awards on twitter at @foodawardsHQ or on Facebook at facebook.com/foodawards

Probably the finest eateries in the world!

Getting a table at some of the county’s finest eateries just got that little bit tougher with the announcement of the finalists vying for three of the prestigious venue titles in this year’s Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards!

The Awards, now in their eighth year, are aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

Among the accolades up for grabs are those for ‘Restaurant of the Year’ (sponsored by Whitco Catering and Bakery Equipment), ‘Booker Food Pub of the Year’ (sponsored by Booker) and ‘Spice Restaurant of the Year’ (sponsored by British Pepper & Spice) and the respective finalists are (in alphabetical order in each category):

Restaurant of the Year:
Brasserie 23 at The Kings Head, Spratton
Bread and Pullet, Northampton
Kettering Park Hotel, Kettering
Olive, Corby
The Cedar Restaurant at Fawsley Hall, Fawsley
The Palmichael, Burton Latimer

Booker Food Pub of the Year:
The Hopping Hare, Northampton
The Plough @ Shutlanger, Shutlanger
The Red Lion, East Haddon
The Saracen’s Head, Little Brington
The Tollemache Arms, Harrington
The Wheatsheaf Pub & Dining Room, Northampton

Spice Restaurant of the Year:
Lasaan, Northampton
Mem-Saab, Northampton
Royal Tandoori, Corby
Saffron, Northampton
Taste of Spice, Northampton
The Exotic Dining, Kettering

Meanwhile, although not shortlisted, the Barley Mow in Paulerspury and The White Hart at Grafton Regis were awarded a ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘Booker Food Pub of the Year’ category.
Having already been secretly assessed as part of the shortlisting process, the finalists will now be visited by two external Mystery Shoppers to score them on everything from staff knowledge of the menu, use of local ingredients, speed of service, and of course the quality of the food itself!

For obvious reasons, the identities of the Mystery Shoppers are being kept secret but the happy task has previously been performed by the likes of TV chef Sophie Grigson and the former editor of the Good Food Guide, Jim Ainsworth!

The winners and runners-up in those and indeed all eighteen categories of the Awards will be announced at the Awards Dinner taking place at Northamptonshire County Cricket Club on Thursday 3rd November.

For more details on the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2016/17, including purchasing dinner tickets priced at £100 (plus VAT) or £950 (plus VAT) for a table of ten, please visit the Awards’ website at www.northamptonshirefoodanddrink.co.uk or contact Rachel Mallows on 01933 664437 or email us using this link. You can also follow the Awards on twitter at @foodawardsHQ or on Facebook at facebook.com/foodawards

Northamptonshire’s tastiest treats revealed!

The oven gloves are now firmly off among some of the county’s finest producers as they battle for it out for culinary glory in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards.

The Awards, now in their eighth year, are aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

After much deliberating, cogitating and digesting by two select panels of experts at the recent drink and product judging sessions, staged at the reigning ‘Best Bar None – Town Pub of the Year’, The Artisan in Northampton, and Holdenby House respectively, the shortlisted finalists in the five categories have been chosen from a record number of entries. They are (in alphabetical order within the category):

Artisan Local Drink of the Year:

Ashmeads Kernal Apple Juice – New Creation Farm, Nether Heyford
Bad to the Bone – Gun Dog Ales, Woodford Halse
Big Bang Theory – Nene Valley Brewery, Oundle
Guilsborough Gold – Nobby’s Brewing Company, Thrapston
Lucky IPA – Maule Brewing Co, Northampton

New Local Drink of the Year:

Apple Cider 2015 – New Lodge Vineyard, Earls Barton
Attitude IPA – Brigstock Brewhouse, Brigstock
Elderflower Vodka – Jelley Distilleries, Brixworth
King Richard III Cider – Welland Valley Vineyard, Marston Trussell
Podium Gold – Towcester Mill Brewery, Towcester
Wakatu Pilsner – Maule Brewing Co, Northampton

New Local Product of the Year
(sponsored by Whitworth Bros. Ltd Flour Millers):

Apple-smoked Cobblers Nibble Cheese – The Little Smokehouse, Wellingborough
Blackjack Ice Cream – Gallone’s Ice Cream, Northampton
Caffe Mocha Milk Chocolate – Seed and Bean, Corby
Munchable Multiseed Crackers – Most Marvellous Baking, Northampton
Northamptonshire Blue Cheese – Hamm Tun Fine Foods, Hannington
Pasture Fed Gravy – Waterloo Cottage Farm, Great Oxendon

Artisan Sweet Product of the Year
(sponsored by Moulton College):

Chocolate Brownie – Connie The Vintage Travelling Tearoom, Northampton
Homemade Caramel Fudge – Sweet Sensations, Northampton
Orange Polenta Cake – The Happy Little Cake Company, Northampton
Strawberries Ice Cream – I’m Real, Northampton

Artisan Savoury Product of the Year
(sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed):

Chicken and Chorizo Pie – Most Marvellous Baking, Northampton
Cobblers Nibble Cheese – Hamm Tun Fine Foods, Hannington
Honeyed Real Ale Chutney – Nature’s Fayre, Thrapston
Marinated Hogget Cannon – Waterloo Cottage Farm, Great Oxendon
Pork Sausage Roll – Much A’Dough Bakery, Wellingborough
Rob’s Traditional Pork Pie – Ashley Herb Farm, Ashley

Meanwhile, a further eight entries into the three product categories were named as ‘Highly Commended’, those being (again in alphabetical order within the category):

New Local Product of the Year:

Ale and Cheese Loaf – Much A’Dough Bakery, Wellingborough
Black Grape & Chilli Jam – The Moulton Pie Company, Northampton
LIC Mojito – LIC, Welford

Artisan Sweet Product of the Year:

Madagascar Vanilla Truffles – Belflair Chocolates, Brackley
Middle Eastern Marmalade – Friars Farm, Northampton
Salted Caramel Brownie – The Good Loaf, Northampton

Artisan Savoury Product of the Year:

Punjabi Rice Kit – Punjaban, Northampton
Sausage Roll – WH Thomas, Wellingborough

Among the new finalists to be celebrating success in being shortlisted in both drinks categories is Tom Maule, the founder of The Maule Brewing Co; “We’re delighted that two of our drinks have been shortlisted as finalists after having entered this prestigious competition for the first time this year” explained Tom.

“As a truly independent, Northampton-based business it means a lot to us that our hard work and the quality of products have been recognised in a very competitive market” he added.

The winners and runners-up in all five categories will be decided by a second panel of judges later in the year and the results, along with those of the other thirteen categories in the competition, will be announced at the Awards Dinner taking place at Northamptonshire County Cricket Club on Thursday 3rd November.

For more details on all eighteen categories in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2016/17, please call Rachel Mallows on 01933 664437 or or email us using this link. You can also follow the Awards on twitter at @foodawardsHQ or on Facebook at facebook.com/foodawards.

Probably The Finest Culinary Competition In The World Is Back!

The team behind the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards is delighted to announce that the competition has been launched for 2016 for what is expected to be its best year yet!

The Awards are aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

Thanks to ongoing support from its existing sponsors, including headline sponsor Carlsberg UK, Booker, British Pepper & Spice, Cordant People, Heygates Flour and Animal Feed, Moulton College, Northamptonshire County Council, Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police, Pidy UK, TMI Foods, Weetabix, Whitco Catering and Bakery Equipment, Whitworth Bros Ltd Flour Millers, and the addition of a new sponsor, the Weetabix Growers Group, the category line-up has a new look (media partners in brackets):

‘Artisan Local Savoury Product of the Year’
sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed
(BBC Radio Northampton)

‘Artisan Local Sweet Product of the Year’
sponsored by Moulton College
(BBC Radio Northampton)

‘Artisan Local Drink of the Year’
(BBC Radio Northampton)

‘New Local Product of the Year’
sponsored by Whitworth Bros. Ltd Flour Millers
(BBC Radio Northampton)

‘New Local Drink of the Year’
(BBC Radio Northampton)

‘Booker Food Pub of the Year’
sponsored by Booker
(Great Food Club)

‘Restaurant of the Year’
sponsored by Whitco Catering and Bakery Equipment
(Business Times)

‘Spice Restaurant of the Year’
sponsored by British Pepper & Spice

‘Independent Café / Tea Room of the Year’
sponsored by Pidy UK
(Northampton Life)

‘Chef of the Year’
sponsored by TMI Foods and Cordant People
(Northants Herald & Post)

‘Booker Young Chef of the Year’
sponsored by Booker
(Northants Herald & Post)

‘Best Bar None – Town Pub of the Year’
sponsored by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police
(Chronicle & Echo and Northamptonshire Telegraph)

‘Best Bar None – Rural Pub of the Year’
sponsored by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police
(Chronicle & Echo and Northamptonshire Telegraph)

‘Best Bar None – Late Night Venue of the Year’
sponsored by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police
(Chronicle & Echo and Northamptonshire Telegraph)

‘Weetabix Local Food Hero of the Year’
sponsored by Weetabix with Northamptonshire CPRE
(Aspire Magazine)

‘Healthy Eating Workplace of the Year’
sponsored by Northamptonshire County Council

‘F&B Achiever of the Year’
sponsored by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership

‘Farming Innovation Award’
sponsored by the Weetabix Growers Group with the NFU

The details of the 2016/17 competition were unveiled at the launch at Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth (Thursday 17th March) – one of the winners of the ‘Healthy Eating Workplace of the Year’ category in 2015 – by the Awards Director, Rachel Mallows of The Mallows Company.

Among the changes she announced to the audience made up of reigning champions, sponsors, judges and competition partners was the introduction of the new category for 2016, the Farming Innovation Award, which will recognize those primary producers who have introduced modern techniques on their arable, livestock or mixed farms to become more environmentally friendly or to raise standards in animal welfare and food production.

The category has been introduced thanks to the support of new sponsor, the Weetabix Growers Group, which is made up of environmentally aware farmers within a 50 mile radius of the company’s Burton Latimer mills who grow and harvest wheat for the cereal-maker, and is backed by the NFU (National Farmers Union).

Meanwhile winners of the five product and drink categories will be given a boost by receiving not only tailored business support from experts on the newly-created Awards Mentoring Board but also free entry into the Great Taste Awards 2017.

In addition, the Awards Dinner in November will also provide a platform to highlight successes in the county’s ‘Eat Out Eat Well’ scheme which is managed by Environmental Health Northamptonshire and which celebrates those eateries and catering companies which offer healthy and nutritious options on their menus.

Rachel explained the value of the awards in recognizing the important role that the sector plays in the county; “With one in seven jobs now in food and drink, this industry is a vital player in Northamptonshire’s economy and we’re delighted that the competition has played its part over the last seven years in increasing tourism spend, boosting business development and creating jobs.”

“So on behalf of the hundreds of pubs, cafes, producers chef and indeed all of our finalists, runners-up and winners of the last seven years, we are thrilled not only to have the continuing support of our sponsors but also to welcome the Weetabix Growers Group to the fold and are confident that this year will be the biggest and best yet!”

To set taste buds watering, guests tucked into a selection of some of the healthy breakfasts which led in part to Mercedes’ success in the competition, created by Catering Manager James Ingram. Following the speeches, they were also treated to a tour of the company’s state-of-the-art, purpose-built factory where it designs, manufactures and tests Formula 1 power units.

For more details on all of the categories in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2016/17, including to request entry forms, to make a nomination in the ‘Independent Café / Tea Room’, ‘Weetabix Local Food Hero’, ‘Healthy Eating Workplace’ and ‘F&B Achiever of the Year’ categories, or recommending your favourite pub, restaurant or spice restaurant, please visit contact Rachel Mallows on 01933 664437 or email us using this link.

Alternatively entry, nomination and register of interest forms as well as the terms and conditions are available on the ‘Entry Forms’ page of this website.

You can also follow the Awards on twitter at @foodawardsHQ or on Facebook at facebook.com/foodawards.

Rachel Mallows is awarded the MBE

Rachel would like to thank all of those who have sent messages of congratulations and kind wishes on her being awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honour list.

News for 2015

Hardeep Singh Kohli celebrates Northamptonshire’s finest food and drink!

HardeepAfter much anticipation and a great deal of excitement, the 21 winners in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2015/16 are finally celebrating being named the best of the county’s best!

The competition, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), is now in its seventh year and is again aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

The results were announced at a glittering Awards Dinner (Thurs 15th October) staged at Royal & Derngate in Northampton and watched by the evening’s special guest, former Celebrity Masterchef finalist, journalist and comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli. Those were (in presentation order):

Artisan Local Savoury Product of the Year
(Sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed)

Winner: Pork, Apple and Black Pudding Scotch Egg – Elliotts Kitchen Fine Foods, Towcester
Runner-up: Pastrami – Ashley Farm, Shop, Ashley

Artisan Local Sweet Product of the Year
(sponsored by Moulton College)

Winner: Rich Fruit Cake – Elliotts Kitchen Fine Foods, Towcester
Runners-up: Cornish Sea Salted Caramels – Belflair Chocolates, Brackley
Fruitilicious Granola with Nuts and Seeds – Most Marvellous Baking, Northampton

New Local Product of the Year
(sponsored by Whitworth Bros. Ltd)

Winner: Skyver Goat Cheese – NeneView Dairy, Stanwick
Runner-up: Fruitilicious Granola with Nuts and Seeds – Most Marvellous Baking, Northampton

Artisan Local Drink of the Year

Winner: Becket’s Ale – Phipps NBC, Northampton
Runner-up: Booze Hound – Gun Dog Ales, Woodford Halse

New Local Drink of the Year

Winner: Plum Cider – Saxby’s Cider, Irchester
Runner-up: Bell Ringer – Towcester Mill Brewery, Towcester

Healthy Eating Workplace of the Year – Sport, Health & Education
(sponsored by Northamptonshire County Council)

Winner: Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, Brixworth
Runner-up: St Andrews Healthcare, Northampton

Healthy Eating Workplace of the Year – Private Sector
(sponsored by Northamptonshire County Council)

Winner: Travis Perkins, Northampton
Runner-up: Weatherbys, Wellingborough

Chef of the Year
(sponsored by TMI Foods and Cordant People)

Winner: Richard Walker of Fawsley Hall Hotel & Spa, Fawsley
Runner-up: David Simms of The Talbot Hotel, Oundle

Local Food Hero of the Year
(sponsored by Weetabix)

Winner: The Good Loaf, Northampton
Runners-up: Crispin Slee, Towcester Food Festival
Elsie’s Pay As You Feel Café, Northampton

F&B Achiever of the Year

Winner: Duncan Farrington of Farrington Oils, Hargrave
Runner-up: Tom Warner and Sion Edwards of Warner Edwards, Harrington

Young Chef of the Year
(sponsored by Booker)

Winner: Tamsin Hamilton-Testrote from Kettering Park Hotel, Kettering
Runner-up: Perry Langley from Nuovo, Northampton

Best Bar None – Rural Pub of the Year
(sponsored by the Office of Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner)

Winner: The Old Kings Head, Long Buckby

Best Bar None – Rural Pub of the Year Public Vote
(sponsored by the Office of Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner)

Winner: The Sun Inn, Kislingbury

Best Bar None – Town Pub of the Year
(sponsored by the Office of Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner)

Winner: The Artizan, Northampton

Best Bar None – Town Pub of the Year Public Vote
(sponsored by the Office of Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner)

Winner: The Swan and Helmet, Northampton

Best Bar None – Late Night Venue of the Year
(sponsored by the Office of Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner)

Winner: Bootleggers, Northampton

Best Bar None – Late Night Venue of the Year Public Vote
(sponsored by the Office of Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner)

Winner: Aspers Casino, Northampton

Restaurant of the Year
(sponsored by Whitco)

Winner: Tap and Kitchen, Oundle
Runner-up: Sophia’s Restaurant, Northampton

Independent Café / Tea Room of the Year
(sponsored by Pidy UK)

Winner: Evergreen Art Café, Daventry
Runner-up: The Apothocoffee Shop, Earls Barton

Booker Food Pub of the Year
(sponsored by Booker)

Winner: The Rose and Crown, Yardley Hastings
Runner-up: The Plough @ Shutlanger, Shutlanger

Spice Restaurant of the Year
(sponsored by British Pepper & Spice)

Winner: Dhan Shiri, Brackley
Runner-up: Mem-Saab, Northampton

Food 1The winners were each presented with a trophy – a framed miniature chef’s apron created by Northampton apron makers Griff’s – by Hardeep and the categories’ respective sponsors.

Welcoming guests to the event were the Awards’ Director, Rachel Mallows of The Mallows Company, and Bruce Ray, Corporate Affairs Director at Carlsberg UK, who spoke about the company’s increasing pride at being part of the growth and recognition of the sector in its ‘home’ county. He also pledged the company’s continuing financial support for next year, which was echoed by each of the other 13 sponsors.

Guests made up of finalists, judges, sponsors, media partners and supporters then enjoyed a sumptuous three course meal designed and created by chef patron of Towcester’s La Strada Nuova, Lee Scott, with help from a team of culinary students from Northampton College who switched their regular classes for the experience of being part of the prestigious event.

Pud 1The menu included a starter of local trout with beetroot textures using beetroot chutney from Limes Farm at Farthinghoe or a local goat cheese crostini, the goat cheese coming from triple finalists NeneView Dairy at Stanwick, a main course of pork provided by Booker and using apples from New Creation Farm at Nether Heyford and honey from Beeline Apiculture at Bozeat, while the pudding was a panna cotta made with local white chocolate from Belflair Chocolates in Brackley and honeyed damson preserve from Nature’s Fayre in Thrapston.

Among those celebrating at the end of the evening were Amanda and Phil Saxby from Saxby’s Cider in Irchester whose Plum Cider took the ‘New Drink of the Year’ title. As Phil explained, he believes the accolade will be a real boost to business; “Of course we think it is a great drink but it’s super that the judges thought so too and I’m sure this success can only help us when we approach potential stockists.

“Aside from winning it was a really fabulous event and wonderful to see the county’s thriving food and drink businesses coming together to celebrate on such a special night for the sector!” he added.

To watch the videos of the Chef and Young Chef of the Year cook-offs and the bake-off in the Independent Café / Tea Room of the Year category, please click here. You can also follow the Awards on twitter at @foodawardsHQ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/foodawards

If you are an organisation, business or individual interested in taking part in, or sponsoring, next year’s Awards, please contact Rachel at The Mallows Company on 01933 664437.

Probably the best culinary competition in the world reaches its climax!

With less than a month to go till the winners in this year’s Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards are announced, the finalists in the remaining four categories have been announced!

The Awards, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) and now in their seventh year, are aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

Joining the nervous finalists of the other 14 categories are those bidding for the titles in the two ‘Healthy Eating Workplace’ categories (sponsored by Northamptonshire County Council) and the two categories which offer a public pat on the back to those who are making a real difference to the food and drink sector in the county – those of ‘F&B Achiever of the Year’ and ‘Local Food Hero of the Year’ (sponsored by Weetabix and partnered by Northamptonshire CPRE).

The finalists in the ‘Healthy Eating Workplace – Private Sector’ category are (in alphabetical order):

DHL Supply Chain for House of Fraser, Wellingborough

John Lewis Plc, Northampton

Travis Perkins, Northampton

Weatherbys, Wellingborough

 

Those in the ‘Healthy Eating Workplace – Sport, Health & Education’ category are (in alphabetical order):

Kettering Science Academy, Kettering

Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, Brixworth

Northampton Saints Rugby Football Club, Northampton

St Andrews Healthcare, Northampton

 

Looking to take the title of ‘F&B Achiever of the Year’ are (in alphabetical order):

Duncan Farrington of Farrington Oils, Hargrave

Alaric Neville of Phipps NBC, Northampton

Mark Price of Sauls of Spratton, Spratton

Tom Warner and Sean Edwards of Warner Edwards, Harrington

While those in the reckoning to be named ‘Local Food Hero of the Year’ are (again alphabetically):

Crispin Slee of Towcester Food Festival, Towcester

Elsie’s Pay As You Feel Café, Northampton

Green Acres Rural Enterprise Centre, Staverton

The Good Loaf, Northampton

The Green Patch, Kettering

The judging of that final category took place at the Burton Latimer headquarters of sponsors Weetabix and the company’s Head of Procurement, Anthony Bowdidge, was among the panel who faced the difficult task of choosing the shortlist from the array of public nominations which the category received; “Having performed this role last year, I couldn’t imagine that we could possibly attract a similar calibre of nominees this year, yet the standard was amazing” explained Anthony.

“The number of people and businesses doing such great things to promote the local food sector here in the county is remarkable and we could have chosen a dozen finalists, but in the end these five really stood out. On behalf of Weetabix I offer them many congratulations and wish good luck to them all as they wait to hear who has won!” he added.

The winner of those and indeed all 18 categories in the Awards will be announced at the Awards Dinner taking place at Royal & Derngate on Thursday 15th October.

Meanwhile you can help to determine the winners in the three ‘Best Bar None’ categories (sponsored by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police) and the three dining venue categories of ‘Restaurant of the Year’ (sponsored by Whitco), ‘Booker Food Pub of the Year’ (sponsored by Booker) and ‘Spice Restaurant of the Year’ (sponsored by British Pepper & Spice) by voting for your favourites.

To cast your vote and to be entered into a prize draw to win a set of family tickets to see Cinderella at Royal & Derngate this Christmas, please visit the Awards’ website – www.northamptonshirefoodanddrink.co.uk

Voting closes at midnight on 4th October.

Finally for more details on the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2015/16, including purchasing dinner tickets priced at £100 (plus VAT) or £950 (plus VAT) for a table of ten, contact Rachel Mallows on 01933 664437 or email emailing us using our contact form. You can also follow the Awards on twitter at @foodawardsHQ or on Facebook at facebook.com/foodawards

Northamptonshire’s finest venues vie for your votes!

With the cutlery polished, aprons ironed and glasses sparkling, some of the county’s finest drinking holes and dining venues are now going head to head to see who will pick up six of the prestigious venue titles in this year’s Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards – and YOU can help to decide who wins!

The Awards, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) and now in their seventh year, are aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

Among the titles up for grabs are those for ‘Restaurant of the Year’ (sponsored by Whitco), ‘Spice Restaurant of the Year’ (sponsored by British Pepper & Spice) and ‘Booker Food Pub of the Year’ (sponsored by Booker) while the finalist venues in the three ‘Best Bar None’ categories (sponsored by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner) are hoping for your stamp of approval to help them win the ‘Public Vote’ award!

The finalists in the ‘Best Bar None – Town Pub of the Year’ category are
(in alphabetical order):

The Abington, Northampton

The Artizan, Northampton

The Princess Alexandra, Northampton

The Saxon Crown, Corby

The Swan and Helmet, Northampton

Those in the ‘Best Bar None – Rural Pub of the Year’ category are
(in alphabetical order):

The Old Kings Head, Long Buckby

The Sun Inn, Kislingbury

The White Horse, Old

While those vying for the title of ‘Best Bar None – Late Night Venue of the Year’ are (again alphabetically):

Aspers Casino, Northampton

Bar So, Northampton

Bootleggers, Northampton

To cast your vote for your favourite in each category, and to be entered into a prize draw to win a set of family tickets to see Cinderella at Royal & Derngate this Christmas, please click on the voting link on our home page.

Meanwhile the finalists in the dining venue categories are on tenterhooks as two expert Mystery Shoppers will be visiting throughout this month to assess them on everything from knowledge of staff, use of local ingredients,  speed of service, and of course the quality of the food itself!

For obvious reasons, the identities of the Mystery Shoppers are being kept secret but the happy task has previously been performed by the likes of TV chef Sophie Grigson and the former editor of the Good Food Guide, Jim Ainsworth!

The finalists in the ‘Restaurant of the Year’ category
(sponsored by Whitco) are:

Barton Hall Hotel and Vines Brasserie, Kettering

Clary’s Restaurant at Aspers Casino, Northampton

Mu Mu, Kettering

Sophia’s Restaurant, Northampton

Tap and Kitchen, Oundle

The Smoke Pit, Northampton

While those in the reckoning for the ‘Booker Food Pub of the Year’ title (sponsored by Booker) are:

The Four Pears, Little Houghton

The Hopping Hare, Northampton

The Plough @ Shutlanger, Shutlanger

The Rose & Crown, Yardley Hastings

The White Horse, Old

Lastly, those vying to be named ‘Spice Restaurant of the Year’ (sponsored by British Pepper & Spice) are:

Bengal Brasserie, Thrapston

Dhan Shiri, Brackley

Mem-Saab, Northampton

Shajahan, Wollaston

Voujon, Long Buckby

Again, fans of those sixteen finalists are encouraged to show their support for their favourites by voting and in doing so, will also be entered into the prize draw.

Voting in all six categories closes on Sunday 4th October and the results, along with those of the other twelve categories in the competition, will be announced at the Awards Dinner taking place at Royal & Derngate on Thursday 15th October.

For more details on all eighteen categories in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2015/16, including purchasing dinner tickets priced at £100 (plus VAT) or £950 (plus VAT) for a table of ten, please call Rachel Mallows on 01933 664437 or emailing us using our contact form You can also follow the Awards on twitter at @foodawardsHQ or on Facebook at facebook.com/foodawards.

Paul Hollywood – eat your heart out!

Dawn KnottWith their blenders whirring and cake plates polished, some of the county’s finest cafés have been battling it out in the hope of being named ‘Independent Café/Tea Room of the Year’ in this year’s Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards!

The competition, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), is now in its seventh year and is again aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

Using the details from their entry forms and the reviews from mystery shopping of all the entries which flooded in from all corners of the county, the six finalists chosen to compete at the bake-off at Northampton College were (in alphabetical order):

Beckworth Emporium, Mears Ashby
Dreams Coffee Lounge, Northampton
Evergreen Art Café, Daventry
The Apothocoffee Shop, Earls Barton
The Forest Café, Hartwell
The Park Café, Abington Park, Northampton

The venues were asked to prepare, cook and serve a scone, a signature cake or biscuit and a drink to a team of ‘diners’, including Dawn Knott from category sponsor Pidy UK, Chief Executive of Northamptonshire County Council, Paul Blantern, and Northampton North MP Michael Ellis who is himself no stranger to baking glory being the current Parliamentary cupcake champion!

And while they sieved, whisked and sliced they were being watched and scored on everything from hygiene to organisation, service and of course taste by a panel of judges which included food consultant Claire Jezard, former cookery school director Mary Laing and Deborah Manger, a contestant in the 2013 series of the BBC’s ‘Great British Bake Off’ who, as a judge at the event for the last three years, was impressed by all those taking part; “I’m always thrilled to be invited to this wonderful event and each year, I can’t quite believe that the standard could possibly get any better – yet it does!” explained Deborah.

“From their use of fine local ingredients, to their impressive piping and decorating skills, not to mention their delicious finished products, each of these venues was worthy of the title and I urge anyone in search of a tasty treat to go out and try them!” she enthused.

The six finalists now have to wait until Thursday 15th October to discover their fate when the winners and runners-up in all 18 categories will be announced at the Awards Dinner taking place at Royal & Derngate in Northampton. Tickets priced at £100 (plus VAT) or £900 (plus VAT) for a table of ten are available by calling Rachel Mallows on 01933 664437 or emailing us using our contact form

Probably the finest chefs in Northamptonshire!

With the saucepans bubbling and the frying pans sizzling, some of the county’s finest chefs have been battling it out to win two of the prestigious titles in this year’s Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards.

 

The competition, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), is now in its seventh year and is again aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

 

The accolades being vied for were those of ‘Young Chef of the Year’ (sponsored by Booker), for budding culinary stars aged 18-25, and ‘Chef of the Year’ (sponsored by TMI Foods and Cordant People) for those over 25.

Those competing for the senior title were (in alphabetical order):

Adam Church of Franks Steakhouse, Northampton

Lee Gaskins of The Terrace Restaurant at Highgate House, Creaton

David Simms of The Talbot Hotel, Oundle

John Tipson of The George & Dragon, Chacombe

Richard Walker of Fawsley Hall Hotel, Fawsley

 

The five, shortlisted from a record number of entries, were invited to the impressive kitchens of Northampton College to take part in a ‘Ready Steady Cook’ style challenge to prepare two courses, each being provided with a selection of store cupboard products from Awards sponsors Booker, including a shoulder of lamb, as well as their key Northamptonshire ingredients of rapeseed oil from Farrington Oils at Hargrave, cider from Saxby’s Cider at Irchester and rhubarb gin from Harrington-based Warner Edwards.

 

They were watched throughout the three-hour process by an expert panel of judges including Chef and Development Manager at category co-sponsor TMI Foods, Aaron Melly, former chef and now Northampton Branch Manager at category co-sponsor Cordant People, Chris Fleming, and Andy Ives, who trained at Tresham College in Corby and who is now Head Chef at Sunningdale Golf Club. Each observed, quizzed and scored the chefs before tucking into their varied dishes including braised lamb shoulder with a vegetable medley, herb-coated lamb with asparagus and tomato tortellini and rhubarb gin pannacotta with a white chocolate parfait.

 

For Andy, selecting a winner was an incredibly difficult decision; It’s a real privilege to have been invited back to the county and to watch these talented chefs in action he explained.

 

Using some great local produce, they each demonstrated skills that the top chefs in London would be proud of and having to choose the best was a real challenge! he added.

 

The second cook-off, also at Northampton College, saw some of the county’s finest up and coming chefs battle it out in the semi-final of the ‘Young Chef of the Year’. Like their senior counterparts, they too were provided with a basket of kitchen ingredients, including chicken legs, by sponsors Booker as well as the local rapeseed oil and rhubarb gin from which they had to create a main course for two people.

 

Drawing upon their wide variety of cooking talents, they served up a wonderful array of dishes for the judges – everything from ballotine of chicken with a coriander, lemon and thyme stuffing to dry-rubbed curried chicken legs to chicken fricassee with a warm new potato and asparagus salad.

 

Those contending with the tricky, but enjoyable task of choosing the finalists were Northampton College catering lecturer Richard Curtis, Peter Saunders, who is Catering Development Manager with category sponsor Booker, and Lee Scott, formerly head chef at the Silverstone circuit and now with his own restaurant, La Strada Nouva, in Towcester; It’s really great to see that Northamptonshire is bursting with young culinary talent” explained Lee, “and to watch the chefs turn their ingredients into seven such varied dishes was quite something”

 

We were all really impressed by the skills they’re showing so early in their careers and I’m only sorry that I can’t be at the final because I know the judges are set for a wonderful morning!”

 

The five finalists, who now go forward to compete for the ‘Young Chef of the Year’ title in the final cook-off at Tresham College in Corby in August, are (in alphabetical order):

Ceara Campbell from The Manor House, Corby

Tamsin Hamilton-Testrote from Kettering Park Hotel, Kettering

Perry Langley from Nuovo, Northampton

Ben Williams from Franks Steakhouse, Northampton

Christian Young from The Castle Theatre, Wellingborough

 

All finalists now have until Thursday 15th October to discover their fate when the winners and runners-up in all 18 categories of this year’s Awards will be announced at the Awards Dinner taking place at Royal & Derngate in Northampton.

Northamptonshire’s Tastiest Treats Revealed

The oven gloves are now firmly off among some of the county’s finest producers as they battle for it out for culinary glory in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards.

The Awards, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) and now in their seventh year, are aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

After much deliberating, cogitating and digesting by two select panels of experts at the recent product and drink judging sessions staged at Holdenby House and at the reigning ‘Community Pub of the Year – Town’, The Malt Shovel Tavern in Northampton respectively, the shortlisted finalists in the five categories have been chosen from a record number of entries. They are (in alphabetical order within the category):

Artisan Sweet Product of the Year
(sponsored by Moulton College):

Amaretti Tiffin – The Corner Deli & Sandwich Shop, Kettering
Cornish Sea Salted Caramels – Belflair Chocolates, Brackley
Fruitilicious Granola with Nuts and Seeds – Most Marvellous Baking, Northampton
Rich Fruit Cake – Elliotts Kitchen Fine Foods, Towcester
Swiss Roll Raspberry Puree Ice Cream Cake – A Rossi and Partners, Kettering

Artisan Savoury Product of the Year
(sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed):

Hobnail Goat Cheese – NeneView Dairy, Stanwick
Nice Try Lamb Pie – Sauls of Spratton, Spratton
Pastrami – Ashley Farm Shop, Ashley
Pork, Apple and Black Pudding Scotch Egg – Elliotts Kitchen Fine Foods, Towcester
Potato, Leek and Stilton Pie – The Moulton Pie Company, Moulton

New Local Product of the Year
(sponsored by Whitworth Bros. Ltd Flour Millers):

Fruitilicious Granola with Nuts and Seeds – Most Marvellous Baking, Northampton
Middle Eastern Marmalade – Friars Farm, Northampton
Rapstick Goat Cheese – NeneView Dairy, Stanwick
Rhubarb and GINger Cake – Most Marvellous Baking, Northampton
Skyver Goat Cheese – NeneView Dairy, Stanwick

Artisan Local Drink of the Year:

Apple Juice – Windmill Orchards, Sulgrave
Becket’s Ale – Phipps NBC, Northampton
Bible Black Porter – Nene Valley Brewery, Oundle
Booze Hound – Gun Dog Ales, Woodford Halse
Northamptonshire Bitter – Hoggley’s Brewery, Northampton

New Local Drink of the Year:

Bell Ringer – Towcester Mill Brewery, Towcester
Founder’s Reserve East India Pale Ale – Phipps NBC, Northampton
Plum Cider – Saxby’s Cider, Irchester
Ratliffe’s Celebrated Stout – Phipps NBC, Northampton

Additionally, while not shortlisted, One Track Mind from Brigstock Brewery at Brigstock was also ‘Commendedby the judges in the ‘New Local Drink’ category.

Among those new finalists to be celebrating their success is John Evans from Towcester Mill Brewery; “We’re absolutely thrilled that we have been shortlisted, especially as we’ve just marked the first anniversary of the opening of the newly refurbished brewery after we moved into the town from Whittlebury” explained John.

“It’s been a lot of hard work in bringing the old mill back to life but this helps to make all that effort worthwhile and we shall certainly be pulling a few pints in our community tap room to celebrate!” he added.

Those are sentiments echoed by Vicky Robertson of Most Marvellous Baking in Northampton who is a triple finalist across two categories this year with her granola and rhubarb and ginger cake; “The publicity I had from being shortlisted last year brought a real boost to my business so I’m delighted to have been successful again” explained Vicky.

“My cake uses rhubarb gin from one of last year’s winners, Warner Edwards, so here’s hoping that that might be the magic ingredient to take at least one of the titles this year!” she enthused.

The winners and runners-up in all five categories will be decided by a second panel of judges later in the year and the results, along with those of the other thirteen categories in the competition, will be announced at the Awards Dinner taking place at Royal & Derngate in Northampton on Thursday 15th October.

Meanwhile visitors to both the Northamptonshire Food Show at Holdenby on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th September and the Althorp Food Festival on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th September will have chance to sample some of the twenty-four shortlisted products and drinks.

Probably The Finest Culinary Competition In The World Is Back!

The team behind the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards is delighted to announce that the competition has been launched for 2015 for what is expected to be its ‘magnificent seventh’ year!

The Awards, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), are aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

Thanks to ongoing support from NEP, its other sponsors and partners, including headline sponsor Carlsberg UK, Booker, British Pepper & Spice, Heygates Flour and Animal Feed, Moulton College, Northamptonshire County Council, Pidy UK, Weetabix, Whitco and Whitworth Bros Ltd and the addition of two new sponsors – the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police and TMI Foods – the competition has yet again expanded to an impressive eighteen categories – those being (with the media partners in brackets):

‘€˜Artisan Local Savoury Product of the Year’€™
sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed
(BBC Radio Northampton)

 

‘€˜Artisan Local Sweet Product of the Year’€™
sponsored by Moulton College
(BBC Radio Northampton)

 

‘€˜Artisan Local Drink of the Year’
(BBC Radio Northampton)

 

‘€˜New Local Product of the Year’
sponsored by Whitworth Bros. Ltd (BBC Radio Northampton)

 

‘€˜New Local Drink of the Year’€™
(BBC Radio Northampton)

 

‘€˜Booker Food Pub of the Year’€™
sponsored by Booker
(Great Food Club)

 

‘€˜Restaurant of the Year’
sponsored by Whitco
(Business Times)

 

‘€˜Spice Restaurant of the Year’€™
sponsored by British Pepper & Spice

 

‘€˜Independent Cafe’ / Tea Room of the Year’
sponsored by Pidy UK
(Northampton Life)

 

‘€˜Chef of the Year’
sponsored by TMI Foods and Cordant People
(Northants Herald & Post)

 

‘Young Chef of the Year’€™
sponsored by Booker
(Northants Herald & Post)

 

‘€˜Best Bar None”€“ Town Pub of the Year’
sponsored by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police
(Chronicle & Echo and Northamptonshire Telegraph)

 

‘€˜Best Bar None”€“ Rural Pub of the Year’€™
sponsored by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police
(Chronicle & Echo and Northamptonshire Telegraph)

 

‘€˜Best Bar None”€“ Late Night Venue of the Year’
sponsored by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police
(Chronicle & Echo and Northamptonshire Telegraph)

 

‘€˜Local Food Hero of the Year’€™
sponsored by Weetabix with Northamptonshire CPRE
(Aspire Magazine)

 

‘€˜Healthy Eating Workplace of the Year’€“ Health and Education’€™
sponsored by Northamptonshire County Council

 

‘€˜Healthy Eating Workplace of the Year”€“ Private Sector’€™
sponsored by Northamptonshire County Council

 

‘€˜F&B Achiever of the Year

 

The details of the new-look competition were revealed at the launch in the new £1.2m Quality and Innovation Building of Whitworth Bros. Ltd flour millers’ Wellingborough headquarters (Tuesday 3rd March) by NEP’s Chairman John Markham OBE. Speaking before an audience made up of reigning champions, sponsors, judges and competition partners, he explained the importance of the awards in recognising the important role that the sector plays in the county; “It has long been recognised that Northamptonshire’s economy benefits hugely from the food and drink sector, currently contributing £1.5 billion each year. Moulton College’s recent announcement of a new £5m Food & Drink Technology Academy is testament to the importance of continuing to provide local people with the right skills to support the industry”.

“The long-running Awards are an opportunity to celebrate the talented individuals from a broad range of large and small businesses and their outstanding achievements year after year” he added.

Meanwhile Roger Butler, Managing Director of Whitworth Bros Ltd, gave an insight into why the company was keen to play its part in the competition again; “We’re delighted to be sponsoring the awards again this year as it is a great way to for us to raise our profile and to show our support for the sector here in the county”.
“We are also very proud of this fabulous new facility and hosting the launch has given us the opportunity to show it off to some of the other key local food businesses and demonstrate what a progressive and innovative company we are” he added.

Among those also present was Susie Keeping from Brasserie 23 at The Kings Head, Spratton which took the ‘Restaurant of the Year’ title in the 2014/15 Awards. Susie revealed what the venue’s success had meant to them; “Winning the title was a massive achievement for us, having only been open for just over a year, and it really boosted staff morale hugely” explained Susie.

“Perhaps more importantly, it gave us some great publicity further afield and in turn increased our bookings as we have had so many people come in who didn’t even know we were there!” she enthused.

Finally, the Awards’ Director, Rachel Mallows of The Mallows Company, thanked those who have enabled the competition to become the success it has over the last six years and how that can only help to further the excellence of the sector; “These awards were established to help drive the growth within food and drink in the county and we’ve seen the competition achieve just that through tourism spend, business development and job creation” explained Rachel.

“With the support of our fabulous brands in Northamptonshire, it is no wonder that the sector continues to thrive and we’re confident that this will indeed be another magnificent year!” she added.
To set taste buds watering, guests tucked into muffins and croissants freshly prepared in the on-site innovation bakery. Following the speeches, they were also treated to a tour of one of the four mills at the Wellingborough site to watch the milling process from start to finish, everything from the intake of the British-sourced wheat to the milling and grinding, before observing the flour being discharged into the company’s now famous bright yellow tankers!

Awards fever for Northampton food firm!

On the eve of the launch of the prestigious Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards, a further sponsor has stepped up to the plate to share in its culinary glory!

Northampton-based TMI Foods, which supplies cooked ingredients across Europe and is the UK’s leading manufacturer of cooked sausages, bacon and roasted vegetables, is sponsoring the ‘Chef of the Year’ category.

The company joins the likes of Booker, Weetabix, Whitco, Heygates Flour and Animal Feed and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police in supporting the competition devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership which is aimed at celebrating all that is great about the county’s produce and drink, recognising excellence within its dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

TMI Food’s General Manager Declan Kennedy explained why the firm was keen to play its part;

“It is great to be getting involved in the Awards which are so well respected for their support of the food and drink sector in the county and of the local community.

“For TMI Foods it is also a privilege to be able to give something back by sponsoring the prestigious Chef of the Year category” he added.

Full details of the seventh year of the competition were being kept under wraps until the launch (Tuesday 3rd March) being held at the Wellingborough headquarters of flour millers Whitworth Bros. Ltd but ahead of the unveiling the Awards’ Director, Rachel Mallows of The Mallows Company, explained why it is a great boost to have the company’s support;

“We’re thrilled that TMI Foods is joining us to support this year’s Awards. With a longstanding food heritage in the county town of over thirty years and as a key local employer of almost 200 full time local staff, we know that they are very proud of their Northamptonshire roots.

“Getting involved in the competition presents the ideal opportunity for them to demonstrate their commitment to the county and help support the continuing growth and prosperity of the local food and drink sector” she added.

Another major sponsor has stepped up to the plate in support of the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2015/16.

Another major sponsor has stepped up to the plate in support of the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2015/16. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police has joined the likes of Booker, Moulton College and Weetabix in becoming a category sponsor in the competition devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership to celebrate all that is best about the county’s food and drink sector.

The partnership will see the Awards categories of ‘Community Pub of the Year – Town and Rural’ – merge with the existing ‘Best Bar None’ scheme which has previously been operated in the county town by the Police, supported by Northampton Pubwatch and Northampton Community Safety Partnership, and which will now roll out across the county.

The result is that, over the next seven months, not only will the county’s finest restaurants, chefs and producers be battling it out to secure their respective titles, but there will also be the opportunity for pubs and clubs to gain recognition for their efforts in showing that they are well-managed, promote responsible drinking and take customer safety and the prevention of crime and disorder seriously.

Full details were being kept under wraps until the launch (Tuesday 3rd March), but ahead of the unveiling, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Adam Simmonds, explained the decision to get involved;

“I’m thrilled to be joining forces with this prestigious awards scheme. It can only serve to enhance the fantastic work already achieved by Best Bar None in helping make the county a safer place.

“My focus is on involving all agencies and communities in tackling alcohol related crime and getting tough on anti‐social drunken behaviour”.

“The pubs and clubs category will help serve as a catalyst for the successful continued development of high standards in the night-time economy across the county, strengthening the relationship between the licensed trade, police and local authorities” he added.

Meanwhile the Chief Constable, Adrian Lee, said;

“The Best Bar None schemes have demonstrated their value in reducing alcohol-related harms in the night time economy. This development of the scheme in conjunction with the Food and Drink awards will further spread the benefits of Best Bar None across the county so all our towns can benefit.

“The Best Bar None team nationally are looking with interest at this development to see if there is potential for these changes to be rolled out across the country.”

Meanwhile the Awards’ Director, Rachel Mallows of The Mallows Company, revealed some of the benefits that this new partnership will bring;

“We are delighted that Northamptonshire Police is joining us to support this year’s Awards. We know that they are very proud of their achievements through the Best Bar None scheme in Northampton in making pub-going a friendly, safe and enjoyable pastime and we’re very much looking forward to extending that success through our own competition across the county” she enthused.

The addition of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police means there is an impressive line-up of sponsors lending their weight to this year’s Awards – including Carlsberg UK, Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, British Pepper & Spice, Heygates Flour and Animal Feed, Northamptonshire County Council, Pidy UK, Whitco and Whitworth Bros. Ltd.

 

The 2015/16 Awards will be launched at the home of Wellingborough flour millers Whitworth Bros. Ltd. on Tuesday 3rd March.

Probably the best culinary competition in the world reaches its climax!

With less than a month to go till the winners in this year’s Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards are announced, the finalists in the remaining four categories have been announced!

The Awards, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) and now in their seventh year, are aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

Joining the nervous finalists of the other 14 categories are those bidding for the titles in the two ‘Healthy Eating Workplace’ categories (sponsored by Northamptonshire County Council) and the two categories which offer a public pat on the back to those who are making a real difference to the food and drink sector in the county – those of ‘F&B Achiever of the Year’ and ‘Local Food Hero of the Year’ (sponsored by Weetabix and partnered by Northamptonshire CPRE).

The finalists in the ‘Healthy Eating Workplace – Private Sector’ category are (in alphabetical order):

DHL Supply Chain for House of Fraser, Wellingborough

John Lewis Plc, Northampton

Travis Perkins, Northampton

Weatherbys, Wellingborough

 

Those in the ‘Healthy Eating Workplace – Sport, Health & Education’ category are (in alphabetical order):

Kettering Science Academy, Kettering

Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, Brixworth

Northampton Saints Rugby Football Club, Northampton

St Andrews Healthcare, Northampton

 

Looking to take the title of ‘F&B Achiever of the Year’ are (in alphabetical order):

Duncan Farrington of Farrington Oils, Hargrave

Alaric Neville of Phipps NBC, Northampton

Mark Price of Sauls of Spratton, Spratton

Tom Warner and Sean Edwards of Warner Edwards, Harrington

While those in the reckoning to be named ‘Local Food Hero of the Year’ are (again alphabetically):

Crispin Slee of Towcester Food Festival, Towcester

Elsie’s Pay As You Feel Café, Northampton

Green Acres Rural Enterprise Centre, Staverton

The Good Loaf, Northampton

The Green Patch, Kettering

The judging of that final category took place at the Burton Latimer headquarters of sponsors Weetabix and the company’s Head of Procurement, Anthony Bowdidge, was among the panel who faced the difficult task of choosing the shortlist from the array of public nominations which the category received; “Having performed this role last year, I couldn’t imagine that we could possibly attract a similar calibre of nominees this year, yet the standard was amazing” explained Anthony.

“The number of people and businesses doing such great things to promote the local food sector here in the county is remarkable and we could have chosen a dozen finalists, but in the end these five really stood out. On behalf of Weetabix I offer them many congratulations and wish good luck to them all as they wait to hear who has won!” he added.

The winner of those and indeed all 18 categories in the Awards will be announced at the Awards Dinner taking place at Royal & Derngate on Thursday 15th October.

Meanwhile you can help to determine the winners in the three ‘Best Bar None’ categories (sponsored by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police) and the three dining venue categories of ‘Restaurant of the Year’ (sponsored by Whitco), ‘Booker Food Pub of the Year’ (sponsored by Booker) and ‘Spice Restaurant of the Year’ (sponsored by British Pepper & Spice) by voting for your favourites.

To cast your vote and to be entered into a prize draw to win a set of family tickets to see Cinderella at Royal & Derngate this Christmas, please visit the Awards’ website – www.northamptonshirefoodanddrink.co.uk

Voting closes at midnight on 4th October.

Finally for more details on the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2015/16, including purchasing dinner tickets priced at £100 (plus VAT) or £950 (plus VAT) for a table of ten, contact Rachel Mallows on 01933 664437 or email emailing us using our contact form. You can also follow the Awards on twitter at @foodawardsHQ or on Facebook at facebook.com/foodawards

Northamptonshire’s finest venues vie for your votes!

With the cutlery polished, aprons ironed and glasses sparkling, some of the county’s finest drinking holes and dining venues are now going head to head to see who will pick up six of the prestigious venue titles in this year’s Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards – and YOU can help to decide who wins!

The Awards, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) and now in their seventh year, are aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

Among the titles up for grabs are those for ‘Restaurant of the Year’ (sponsored by Whitco), ‘Spice Restaurant of the Year’ (sponsored by British Pepper & Spice) and ‘Booker Food Pub of the Year’ (sponsored by Booker) while the finalist venues in the three ‘Best Bar None’ categories (sponsored by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner) are hoping for your stamp of approval to help them win the ‘Public Vote’ award!

The finalists in the ‘Best Bar None – Town Pub of the Year’ category are
(in alphabetical order):

The Abington, Northampton

The Artizan, Northampton

The Princess Alexandra, Northampton

The Saxon Crown, Corby

The Swan and Helmet, Northampton

Those in the ‘Best Bar None – Rural Pub of the Year’ category are
(in alphabetical order):

The Old Kings Head, Long Buckby

The Sun Inn, Kislingbury

The White Horse, Old

While those vying for the title of ‘Best Bar None – Late Night Venue of the Year’ are (again alphabetically):

Aspers Casino, Northampton

Bar So, Northampton

Bootleggers, Northampton

To cast your vote for your favourite in each category, and to be entered into a prize draw to win a set of family tickets to see Cinderella at Royal & Derngate this Christmas, please click on the voting link on our home page.

Meanwhile the finalists in the dining venue categories are on tenterhooks as two expert Mystery Shoppers will be visiting throughout this month to assess them on everything from knowledge of staff, use of local ingredients,  speed of service, and of course the quality of the food itself!

For obvious reasons, the identities of the Mystery Shoppers are being kept secret but the happy task has previously been performed by the likes of TV chef Sophie Grigson and the former editor of the Good Food Guide, Jim Ainsworth!

The finalists in the ‘Restaurant of the Year’ category
(sponsored by Whitco) are:

Barton Hall Hotel and Vines Brasserie, Kettering

Clary’s Restaurant at Aspers Casino, Northampton

Mu Mu, Kettering

Sophia’s Restaurant, Northampton

Tap and Kitchen, Oundle

The Smoke Pit, Northampton

While those in the reckoning for the ‘Booker Food Pub of the Year’ title (sponsored by Booker) are:

The Four Pears, Little Houghton

The Hopping Hare, Northampton

The Plough @ Shutlanger, Shutlanger

The Rose & Crown, Yardley Hastings

The White Horse, Old

Lastly, those vying to be named ‘Spice Restaurant of the Year’ (sponsored by British Pepper & Spice) are:

Bengal Brasserie, Thrapston

Dhan Shiri, Brackley

Mem-Saab, Northampton

Shajahan, Wollaston

Voujon, Long Buckby

Again, fans of those sixteen finalists are encouraged to show their support for their favourites by voting and in doing so, will also be entered into the prize draw.

Voting in all six categories closes on Sunday 4th October and the results, along with those of the other twelve categories in the competition, will be announced at the Awards Dinner taking place at Royal & Derngate on Thursday 15th October.

For more details on all eighteen categories in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2015/16, including purchasing dinner tickets priced at £100 (plus VAT) or £950 (plus VAT) for a table of ten, please call Rachel Mallows on 01933 664437 or emailing us using our contact form You can also follow the Awards on twitter at @foodawardsHQ or on Facebook at facebook.com/foodawards.

Paul Hollywood – eat your heart out!

Dawn KnottWith their blenders whirring and cake plates polished, some of the county’s finest cafés have been battling it out in the hope of being named ‘Independent Café/Tea Room of the Year’ in this year’s Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards!

The competition, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), is now in its seventh year and is again aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

Using the details from their entry forms and the reviews from mystery shopping of all the entries which flooded in from all corners of the county, the six finalists chosen to compete at the bake-off at Northampton College were (in alphabetical order):

Beckworth Emporium, Mears Ashby
Dreams Coffee Lounge, Northampton
Evergreen Art Café, Daventry
The Apothocoffee Shop, Earls Barton
The Forest Café, Hartwell
The Park Café, Abington Park, Northampton

The venues were asked to prepare, cook and serve a scone, a signature cake or biscuit and a drink to a team of ‘diners’, including Dawn Knott from category sponsor Pidy UK, Chief Executive of Northamptonshire County Council, Paul Blantern, and Northampton North MP Michael Ellis who is himself no stranger to baking glory being the current Parliamentary cupcake champion!

And while they sieved, whisked and sliced they were being watched and scored on everything from hygiene to organisation, service and of course taste by a panel of judges which included food consultant Claire Jezard, former cookery school director Mary Laing and Deborah Manger, a contestant in the 2013 series of the BBC’s ‘Great British Bake Off’ who, as a judge at the event for the last three years, was impressed by all those taking part; “I’m always thrilled to be invited to this wonderful event and each year, I can’t quite believe that the standard could possibly get any better – yet it does!” explained Deborah.

“From their use of fine local ingredients, to their impressive piping and decorating skills, not to mention their delicious finished products, each of these venues was worthy of the title and I urge anyone in search of a tasty treat to go out and try them!” she enthused.

The six finalists now have to wait until Thursday 15th October to discover their fate when the winners and runners-up in all 18 categories will be announced at the Awards Dinner taking place at Royal & Derngate in Northampton. Tickets priced at £100 (plus VAT) or £900 (plus VAT) for a table of ten are available by calling Rachel Mallows on 01933 664437 or emailing us using our contact form

Probably the finest chefs in Northamptonshire!

With the saucepans bubbling and the frying pans sizzling, some of the county’s finest chefs have been battling it out to win two of the prestigious titles in this year’s Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards.

 

The competition, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), is now in its seventh year and is again aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

 

The accolades being vied for were those of ‘Young Chef of the Year’ (sponsored by Booker), for budding culinary stars aged 18-25, and ‘Chef of the Year’ (sponsored by TMI Foods and Cordant People) for those over 25.

Those competing for the senior title were (in alphabetical order):

Adam Church of Franks Steakhouse, Northampton

Lee Gaskins of The Terrace Restaurant at Highgate House, Creaton

David Simms of The Talbot Hotel, Oundle

John Tipson of The George & Dragon, Chacombe

Richard Walker of Fawsley Hall Hotel, Fawsley

 

The five, shortlisted from a record number of entries, were invited to the impressive kitchens of Northampton College to take part in a ‘Ready Steady Cook’ style challenge to prepare two courses, each being provided with a selection of store cupboard products from Awards sponsors Booker, including a shoulder of lamb, as well as their key Northamptonshire ingredients of rapeseed oil from Farrington Oils at Hargrave, cider from Saxby’s Cider at Irchester and rhubarb gin from Harrington-based Warner Edwards.

 

They were watched throughout the three-hour process by an expert panel of judges including Chef and Development Manager at category co-sponsor TMI Foods, Aaron Melly, former chef and now Northampton Branch Manager at category co-sponsor Cordant People, Chris Fleming, and Andy Ives, who trained at Tresham College in Corby and who is now Head Chef at Sunningdale Golf Club. Each observed, quizzed and scored the chefs before tucking into their varied dishes including braised lamb shoulder with a vegetable medley, herb-coated lamb with asparagus and tomato tortellini and rhubarb gin pannacotta with a white chocolate parfait.

 

For Andy, selecting a winner was an incredibly difficult decision; It’s a real privilege to have been invited back to the county and to watch these talented chefs in action he explained.

 

Using some great local produce, they each demonstrated skills that the top chefs in London would be proud of and having to choose the best was a real challenge! he added.

 

The second cook-off, also at Northampton College, saw some of the county’s finest up and coming chefs battle it out in the semi-final of the ‘Young Chef of the Year’. Like their senior counterparts, they too were provided with a basket of kitchen ingredients, including chicken legs, by sponsors Booker as well as the local rapeseed oil and rhubarb gin from which they had to create a main course for two people.

 

Drawing upon their wide variety of cooking talents, they served up a wonderful array of dishes for the judges – everything from ballotine of chicken with a coriander, lemon and thyme stuffing to dry-rubbed curried chicken legs to chicken fricassee with a warm new potato and asparagus salad.

 

Those contending with the tricky, but enjoyable task of choosing the finalists were Northampton College catering lecturer Richard Curtis, Peter Saunders, who is Catering Development Manager with category sponsor Booker, and Lee Scott, formerly head chef at the Silverstone circuit and now with his own restaurant, La Strada Nouva, in Towcester; It’s really great to see that Northamptonshire is bursting with young culinary talent” explained Lee, “and to watch the chefs turn their ingredients into seven such varied dishes was quite something”

 

We were all really impressed by the skills they’re showing so early in their careers and I’m only sorry that I can’t be at the final because I know the judges are set for a wonderful morning!”

 

The five finalists, who now go forward to compete for the ‘Young Chef of the Year’ title in the final cook-off at Tresham College in Corby in August, are (in alphabetical order):

Ceara Campbell from The Manor House, Corby

Tamsin Hamilton-Testrote from Kettering Park Hotel, Kettering

Perry Langley from Nuovo, Northampton

Ben Williams from Franks Steakhouse, Northampton

Christian Young from The Castle Theatre, Wellingborough

 

All finalists now have until Thursday 15th October to discover their fate when the winners and runners-up in all 18 categories of this year’s Awards will be announced at the Awards Dinner taking place at Royal & Derngate in Northampton.

Northamptonshire’s Tastiest Treats Revealed

The oven gloves are now firmly off among some of the county’s finest producers as they battle for it out for culinary glory in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards.

The Awards, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) and now in their seventh year, are aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

After much deliberating, cogitating and digesting by two select panels of experts at the recent product and drink judging sessions staged at Holdenby House and at the reigning ‘Community Pub of the Year – Town’, The Malt Shovel Tavern in Northampton respectively, the shortlisted finalists in the five categories have been chosen from a record number of entries. They are (in alphabetical order within the category):

Artisan Sweet Product of the Year
(sponsored by Moulton College):

Amaretti Tiffin – The Corner Deli & Sandwich Shop, Kettering
Cornish Sea Salted Caramels – Belflair Chocolates, Brackley
Fruitilicious Granola with Nuts and Seeds – Most Marvellous Baking, Northampton
Rich Fruit Cake – Elliotts Kitchen Fine Foods, Towcester
Swiss Roll Raspberry Puree Ice Cream Cake – A Rossi and Partners, Kettering

Artisan Savoury Product of the Year
(sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed):

Hobnail Goat Cheese – NeneView Dairy, Stanwick
Nice Try Lamb Pie – Sauls of Spratton, Spratton
Pastrami – Ashley Farm Shop, Ashley
Pork, Apple and Black Pudding Scotch Egg – Elliotts Kitchen Fine Foods, Towcester
Potato, Leek and Stilton Pie – The Moulton Pie Company, Moulton

New Local Product of the Year
(sponsored by Whitworth Bros. Ltd Flour Millers):

Fruitilicious Granola with Nuts and Seeds – Most Marvellous Baking, Northampton
Middle Eastern Marmalade – Friars Farm, Northampton
Rapstick Goat Cheese – NeneView Dairy, Stanwick
Rhubarb and GINger Cake – Most Marvellous Baking, Northampton
Skyver Goat Cheese – NeneView Dairy, Stanwick

Artisan Local Drink of the Year:

Apple Juice – Windmill Orchards, Sulgrave
Becket’s Ale – Phipps NBC, Northampton
Bible Black Porter – Nene Valley Brewery, Oundle
Booze Hound – Gun Dog Ales, Woodford Halse
Northamptonshire Bitter – Hoggley’s Brewery, Northampton

New Local Drink of the Year:

Bell Ringer – Towcester Mill Brewery, Towcester
Founder’s Reserve East India Pale Ale – Phipps NBC, Northampton
Plum Cider – Saxby’s Cider, Irchester
Ratliffe’s Celebrated Stout – Phipps NBC, Northampton

Additionally, while not shortlisted, One Track Mind from Brigstock Brewery at Brigstock was also ‘Commendedby the judges in the ‘New Local Drink’ category.

Among those new finalists to be celebrating their success is John Evans from Towcester Mill Brewery; “We’re absolutely thrilled that we have been shortlisted, especially as we’ve just marked the first anniversary of the opening of the newly refurbished brewery after we moved into the town from Whittlebury” explained John.

“It’s been a lot of hard work in bringing the old mill back to life but this helps to make all that effort worthwhile and we shall certainly be pulling a few pints in our community tap room to celebrate!” he added.

Those are sentiments echoed by Vicky Robertson of Most Marvellous Baking in Northampton who is a triple finalist across two categories this year with her granola and rhubarb and ginger cake; “The publicity I had from being shortlisted last year brought a real boost to my business so I’m delighted to have been successful again” explained Vicky.

“My cake uses rhubarb gin from one of last year’s winners, Warner Edwards, so here’s hoping that that might be the magic ingredient to take at least one of the titles this year!” she enthused.

The winners and runners-up in all five categories will be decided by a second panel of judges later in the year and the results, along with those of the other thirteen categories in the competition, will be announced at the Awards Dinner taking place at Royal & Derngate in Northampton on Thursday 15th October.

Meanwhile visitors to both the Northamptonshire Food Show at Holdenby on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th September and the Althorp Food Festival on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th September will have chance to sample some of the twenty-four shortlisted products and drinks.

Probably The Finest Culinary Competition In The World Is Back!

The team behind the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards is delighted to announce that the competition has been launched for 2015 for what is expected to be its ‘magnificent seventh’ year!

The Awards, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), are aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

Thanks to ongoing support from NEP, its other sponsors and partners, including headline sponsor Carlsberg UK, Booker, British Pepper & Spice, Heygates Flour and Animal Feed, Moulton College, Northamptonshire County Council, Pidy UK, Weetabix, Whitco and Whitworth Bros Ltd and the addition of two new sponsors – the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police and TMI Foods – the competition has yet again expanded to an impressive eighteen categories – those being (with the media partners in brackets):

‘€˜Artisan Local Savoury Product of the Year’€™
sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed
(BBC Radio Northampton)

 

‘€˜Artisan Local Sweet Product of the Year’€™
sponsored by Moulton College
(BBC Radio Northampton)

 

‘€˜Artisan Local Drink of the Year’
(BBC Radio Northampton)

 

‘€˜New Local Product of the Year’
sponsored by Whitworth Bros. Ltd (BBC Radio Northampton)

 

‘€˜New Local Drink of the Year’€™
(BBC Radio Northampton)

 

‘€˜Booker Food Pub of the Year’€™
sponsored by Booker
(Great Food Club)

 

‘€˜Restaurant of the Year’
sponsored by Whitco
(Business Times)

 

‘€˜Spice Restaurant of the Year’€™
sponsored by British Pepper & Spice

 

‘€˜Independent Cafe’ / Tea Room of the Year’
sponsored by Pidy UK
(Northampton Life)

 

‘€˜Chef of the Year’
sponsored by TMI Foods and Cordant People
(Northants Herald & Post)

 

‘Young Chef of the Year’€™
sponsored by Booker
(Northants Herald & Post)

 

‘€˜Best Bar None”€“ Town Pub of the Year’
sponsored by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police
(Chronicle & Echo and Northamptonshire Telegraph)

 

‘€˜Best Bar None”€“ Rural Pub of the Year’€™
sponsored by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police
(Chronicle & Echo and Northamptonshire Telegraph)

 

‘€˜Best Bar None”€“ Late Night Venue of the Year’
sponsored by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police
(Chronicle & Echo and Northamptonshire Telegraph)

 

‘€˜Local Food Hero of the Year’€™
sponsored by Weetabix with Northamptonshire CPRE
(Aspire Magazine)

 

‘€˜Healthy Eating Workplace of the Year’€“ Health and Education’€™
sponsored by Northamptonshire County Council

 

‘€˜Healthy Eating Workplace of the Year”€“ Private Sector’€™
sponsored by Northamptonshire County Council

 

‘€˜F&B Achiever of the Year

 

The details of the new-look competition were revealed at the launch in the new £1.2m Quality and Innovation Building of Whitworth Bros. Ltd flour millers’ Wellingborough headquarters (Tuesday 3rd March) by NEP’s Chairman John Markham OBE. Speaking before an audience made up of reigning champions, sponsors, judges and competition partners, he explained the importance of the awards in recognising the important role that the sector plays in the county; “It has long been recognised that Northamptonshire’s economy benefits hugely from the food and drink sector, currently contributing £1.5 billion each year. Moulton College’s recent announcement of a new £5m Food & Drink Technology Academy is testament to the importance of continuing to provide local people with the right skills to support the industry”.

“The long-running Awards are an opportunity to celebrate the talented individuals from a broad range of large and small businesses and their outstanding achievements year after year” he added.

Meanwhile Roger Butler, Managing Director of Whitworth Bros Ltd, gave an insight into why the company was keen to play its part in the competition again; “We’re delighted to be sponsoring the awards again this year as it is a great way to for us to raise our profile and to show our support for the sector here in the county”.
“We are also very proud of this fabulous new facility and hosting the launch has given us the opportunity to show it off to some of the other key local food businesses and demonstrate what a progressive and innovative company we are” he added.

Among those also present was Susie Keeping from Brasserie 23 at The Kings Head, Spratton which took the ‘Restaurant of the Year’ title in the 2014/15 Awards. Susie revealed what the venue’s success had meant to them; “Winning the title was a massive achievement for us, having only been open for just over a year, and it really boosted staff morale hugely” explained Susie.

“Perhaps more importantly, it gave us some great publicity further afield and in turn increased our bookings as we have had so many people come in who didn’t even know we were there!” she enthused.

Finally, the Awards’ Director, Rachel Mallows of The Mallows Company, thanked those who have enabled the competition to become the success it has over the last six years and how that can only help to further the excellence of the sector; “These awards were established to help drive the growth within food and drink in the county and we’ve seen the competition achieve just that through tourism spend, business development and job creation” explained Rachel.

“With the support of our fabulous brands in Northamptonshire, it is no wonder that the sector continues to thrive and we’re confident that this will indeed be another magnificent year!” she added.
To set taste buds watering, guests tucked into muffins and croissants freshly prepared in the on-site innovation bakery. Following the speeches, they were also treated to a tour of one of the four mills at the Wellingborough site to watch the milling process from start to finish, everything from the intake of the British-sourced wheat to the milling and grinding, before observing the flour being discharged into the company’s now famous bright yellow tankers!

Awards fever for Northampton food firm!

On the eve of the launch of the prestigious Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards, a further sponsor has stepped up to the plate to share in its culinary glory!

Northampton-based TMI Foods, which supplies cooked ingredients across Europe and is the UK’s leading manufacturer of cooked sausages, bacon and roasted vegetables, is sponsoring the ‘Chef of the Year’ category.

The company joins the likes of Booker, Weetabix, Whitco, Heygates Flour and Animal Feed and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police in supporting the competition devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership which is aimed at celebrating all that is great about the county’s produce and drink, recognising excellence within its dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

TMI Food’s General Manager Declan Kennedy explained why the firm was keen to play its part;

“It is great to be getting involved in the Awards which are so well respected for their support of the food and drink sector in the county and of the local community.

“For TMI Foods it is also a privilege to be able to give something back by sponsoring the prestigious Chef of the Year category” he added.

Full details of the seventh year of the competition were being kept under wraps until the launch (Tuesday 3rd March) being held at the Wellingborough headquarters of flour millers Whitworth Bros. Ltd but ahead of the unveiling the Awards’ Director, Rachel Mallows of The Mallows Company, explained why it is a great boost to have the company’s support;

“We’re thrilled that TMI Foods is joining us to support this year’s Awards. With a longstanding food heritage in the county town of over thirty years and as a key local employer of almost 200 full time local staff, we know that they are very proud of their Northamptonshire roots.

“Getting involved in the competition presents the ideal opportunity for them to demonstrate their commitment to the county and help support the continuing growth and prosperity of the local food and drink sector” she added.

Another major sponsor has stepped up to the plate in support of the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2015/16.

Another major sponsor has stepped up to the plate in support of the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2015/16. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police has joined the likes of Booker, Moulton College and Weetabix in becoming a category sponsor in the competition devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership to celebrate all that is best about the county’s food and drink sector.

The partnership will see the Awards categories of ‘Community Pub of the Year – Town and Rural’ – merge with the existing ‘Best Bar None’ scheme which has previously been operated in the county town by the Police, supported by Northampton Pubwatch and Northampton Community Safety Partnership, and which will now roll out across the county.

The result is that, over the next seven months, not only will the county’s finest restaurants, chefs and producers be battling it out to secure their respective titles, but there will also be the opportunity for pubs and clubs to gain recognition for their efforts in showing that they are well-managed, promote responsible drinking and take customer safety and the prevention of crime and disorder seriously.

Full details were being kept under wraps until the launch (Tuesday 3rd March), but ahead of the unveiling, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Adam Simmonds, explained the decision to get involved;

“I’m thrilled to be joining forces with this prestigious awards scheme. It can only serve to enhance the fantastic work already achieved by Best Bar None in helping make the county a safer place.

“My focus is on involving all agencies and communities in tackling alcohol related crime and getting tough on anti‐social drunken behaviour”.

“The pubs and clubs category will help serve as a catalyst for the successful continued development of high standards in the night-time economy across the county, strengthening the relationship between the licensed trade, police and local authorities” he added.

Meanwhile the Chief Constable, Adrian Lee, said;

“The Best Bar None schemes have demonstrated their value in reducing alcohol-related harms in the night time economy. This development of the scheme in conjunction with the Food and Drink awards will further spread the benefits of Best Bar None across the county so all our towns can benefit.

“The Best Bar None team nationally are looking with interest at this development to see if there is potential for these changes to be rolled out across the country.”

Meanwhile the Awards’ Director, Rachel Mallows of The Mallows Company, revealed some of the benefits that this new partnership will bring;

“We are delighted that Northamptonshire Police is joining us to support this year’s Awards. We know that they are very proud of their achievements through the Best Bar None scheme in Northampton in making pub-going a friendly, safe and enjoyable pastime and we’re very much looking forward to extending that success through our own competition across the county” she enthused.

The addition of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northamptonshire Police means there is an impressive line-up of sponsors lending their weight to this year’s Awards – including Carlsberg UK, Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, British Pepper & Spice, Heygates Flour and Animal Feed, Northamptonshire County Council, Pidy UK, Whitco and Whitworth Bros. Ltd.

 

The 2015/16 Awards will be launched at the home of Wellingborough flour millers Whitworth Bros. Ltd. on Tuesday 3rd March.

News from 2014

Jason Atherton celebrates Northamptonshire’s finest food and drink!

After much anticipation and a great deal of excitement, the winners of the 17 categories in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2014/15 are finally celebrating being named the best of the county’s best!

The competition, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), is now in its sixth year and is again aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

The results were announced at a glittering Awards Dinner (Thurs 16th October) staged at Royal & Derngate in Northampton and watched by the evening’s special guest, Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton.

Jason, who as Patron of the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation kindly donated his appearance fee to aid the charity in its funding of research into finding a cure for spinal injury, revealed how impressed he was to have watched the competition go from strength to strength over recent years; “I had the pleasure of being at the dinner in 2010 and it’s quite incredible to see how the awards have grown in stature and the prestige that they now command”.

“It’s been amazing to come back to Northamptonshire and to witness firsthand the passion that the county’s producers, restaurant owners, chefs and all those here tonight have for the work that they do and I can only say well done to them all. They should feel very proud!” he added.

Among the victors was Ria Chambers from Ria’s Rosy Lee Tearoom in Wellingborough which was named ‘Independent Café / Tea Room of the Year’ after she impressed the panel of judges at a Great British Bake Off-style cook-off against five other cafés at Northampton College; “I just couldn’t believe it when our name was announced,” explained Ria “and I was really shaking as I made my way up to the stage to collect my award from Jason!”

“The experience of the whole competition has just been amazing and winning has topped it all so I really hope that there’ll be lots of new customers wanting to come in to enjoy our wonderful home-baked treats and join our celebrations!” she giggled.

Meanwhile the night brought double success for staff at Brasserie 23 at The Kings Head, Spratton with the venue itself not only winning the title of ‘Restaurant of the Year’ but its 19 year old chef Sophie Fountain being named runner-up in the ‘Young Chef of the Year’ category for the second year running.

The pub is owned by two couples, Katie and Duncan Kennedy and Natalie and Daniel Tompkins, the latter couple being manageress and chef respectively and to whom Katie paid her tribute; “Natalie and Daniel have worked tirelessly over the last year to create the perfect dining venue with everything from a great atmosphere and wonderful service to delicious food, all cooked on site using fresh, local ingredients” she enthused.

“With Sophie also doing so well again, the whole team is feeling really chuffed and we shall certainly be displaying our trophy and certificates with great pride!” she added.

The winners were each presented with a ceramic plate, beautifully created and hand-painted by Rob Bibby of Woodnewton Pottery, and those presentations were made by Jason and the categories’ respective sponsors as well as Awards Patrons William Sitwell and Steven Saunders from Steven Saunders VIP Hospitality.

It was Steven’s Executive Chef, Lee Scott, who prepared a wonderful three course menu for the guests made up of entrants, judges, sponsors, media partners and supporters. They were treated to a starter of heritage beetroot with goat cheese from finalist NeneView Dairy at Stanwick, main course of beef provided by Booker and a chocolate delice for dessert, the chocolate coming from finalist Belflair Chocolates in Brackley and served with salted caramel ice cream from Gallones in Northampton.

Guests were welcomed to the event by the competition’s Director, Rachel Mallows of The Mallows Company and Jo Lappin, NEP Chief Executive, who outlined the importance of the food and drink sector to Northamptonshire’s economy and thanked all of those involved in supporting the event to make it such a fantastic celebration of the county’s food and drink industry; “Tonight is a celebration of everything that is fabulous about Northamptonshire’s food and drink sector industry – its vibrancy, creativity and sheer breadth of operations. The industry is worth £1.5 billion to our economy and employs some 46,000 people across Northamptonshire, bucking national trends by actually growing jobs over the past few years. It is therefore an absolute privilege to be here this evening to recognise the leading lights in the industry who make the sector such a success.  The Awards have gone from strength to strength, with this year seeing a record number of nominations and entries from across Northamptonshire”.
“NEP has sponsored these awards since 2009, and I am delighted that they continue to play such an important role in a sector of which Northamptonshire should be extremely proud,” she added.

Probably the finest food and drink heroes in Northamptonshire!

A delicatessen, a farm and a cheese maker are among the finalists vying to be named ‘Local Food Hero of the Year’ in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2014/15.

The competition, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), is now in its sixth year and is again aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

This category, sponsored by Burton Latimer-based cereal company Weetabix and staged in partnership with the Northamptonshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), invited the public to nominate a person, business or organisation which they believed had done more in the last year to promote local food than any other.

The four finalists are (in alphabetical order):

Green Acres Rural Enterprise Centre, Staverton
Hamm Tun Fine Foods, Northampton
Squisito Butchers and Provisions, Yelvertoft
Waterloo Cottage Farm, Great Oxendon

Among the many new nominees for this year, Green Acres Rural Enterprise Centre at Staverton offers an alternative style of education to young people and their families, giving them the chance to learn about growing their own food, cooking healthy meals and how to make a living, all from a massive converted chicken shed and gardens set on a small former farm. Its Centre Manager, Heather Wilson, says she and her team are thrilled to have been recognised in this way; “We are all delighted at Green Acres not only to have been nominated but also to have reached the final of this award“.

We are always so busy cooking and gardening with our young people that we don’t have time to tell everybody about how hard working they are and hopefully this will show how much we appreciate their efforts and help to raise the profile of our valuable work added Heather.

Meanwhile, as last year’s runner-up, Waterloo Cottage Farm is hoping that they can go one better this year, as co-owner Kirsty Clarke revealed; “Last year’s nomination came completely out of the blue so to do so well and indeed to be shortlisted again this year is absolutely fantastic”.

“Quite often small businesses like ours are so busy ’doing’ that our heads don’t come out of the daily chores but being involved in these awards has opened up a whole new support system and allowed us to see what is going on locally. So, thank you to the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards for helping to put us on the map!” she said.

This year the competition received a record number of more than hundred nominations from all corners of the county for everything from butchers and farm shops to chefs and brewers, presenting something of a challenge to the judging panel which included a former winner of the category, Sheena Harris of ‘Deffinitely Different’, the Development and Education Manager for Northamptonshire CPRE, Sally Hanrahan and Weetabix’s Head of Procurement Anthony Bowdidge; “Weetabix are delighted to be supporting this year’s awards by sponsoring the ‘Local Food Hero’ category because as a local company, we are very proud of our Northamptonshire roots and this presents us with the perfect opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to the county and the depth and prosperity of the sector” explained Anthony.

“The sheer number of those involved in this category alone highlights the huge effort of many individuals and businesses to promote and develop the food and drink sector within Northamptonshire and, with so many heroes out there, choosing a winner was extremely difficult! I am looking forward to celebrating their success at the awards dinner next month” he added.

Those were sentiments echoed by Sally; “I’ve been involved as a judge of this category since its inception and to watch the standard of nominations go up year after year is quite amazing” explained Sally.

“We have an incredible array of amazing people and businesses quietly going about their work and they deserve to be trumpeted, so on behalf of CPRE, may I offer our praise to all who were put forward and good luck to our four finalists whom I’d now encourage the county’s food lovers to seek out and support!” she enthused.
The finalists now have until Thursday 16th October to discover their fate when the winners and runners-up in all 16 categories of this year’s competition will be announced at the Awards Dinner taking place at Royal & Derngate in Northampton.

To see who is vying for those other coveted titles, including ‘New Local Product of the Year’, ‘Booker Food Pub of the Year’ and ‘Chef of the Year’, and to help determine the winners of the ‘Community Pub of the Year’ categories by voting (by the closing date of Tuesday 30th September)

Northamptonshire’s finest venues vie for your votes!

With the glasses sparkling, the tablecloths ironed and the cutlery polished, some of the county’s finest drinking holes and dining venues are now going head to head to see who will pick up four of the prestigious venue titles in this year’s Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards – and YOU can help to decide who wins!

The Awards, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) and now in their sixth year, are aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

Among the titles up for grabs are those of ‘Community Pub of the Year – Town and Rural’ (sponsored by Pidy UK) and, following a record number of entries received from pubs which had first been nominated by the public, the finalists are now hoping for your vote, as votes alone determine the winners!

The finalists in the ‘Community Pub of the Year – Town’ are
(in alphabetical order):

The Golden Horse, Northampton
The Lamplighter, Northampton
The Malt Shovel Tavern, Northampton
The Woolpack, Rothwell

 

While those hoping to take the title of ‘Community Pub of the Year – Rural’ are (in alphabetical order):

The Red Lion, Bozeat
The Sun Inn, Hardingstone
The Sun Inn, Kislingbury
The White Horse, Old

To cast your vote for your favourite in each category, and to be entered into a prize draw to win a set of family tickets to see Peter Pan at Royal & Derngate this Christmas, simply complete a voting form in the venues themselves or clicking on the link above.

Meanwhile the finalists in the dining venue categories are on tenterhooks as two expert Mystery Shoppers will be visiting throughout this month to assess them on everything from knowledge of staff, use of local ingredients, speed of service, and of course the quality of the food itself!

For obvious reason the identities of the Mystery Shoppers are not being revealed at this stage but the happy task has previously been performed by the likes of TV chef Sophie Grigson and the former editor of the Good Food Guide, Jim Ainsworth!

The finalists in the ‘Restaurant of the Year’ category
(sponsored by Whitco) are:

Brasserie 23 at The Kings Head, Spratton
Franks Hamburger House, Billing
Franks Steakhouse, Northampton
The Talbot Hotel, Oundle
The Terrace Restaurant at Highgate House, Creaton

 

While those in the reckoning for the ‘Booker Food Pub of the Year’ title (sponsored by Booker) are:

The George and Dragon, Chacombe
The Hopping Hare, Northampton
The Saracen’s Head, Little Brington
The Walnut Tree Inn, Blisworth

Again, fans of the nine finalists are encouraged to show their support for their favourites by voting (again click on the link at the top of the page) and will also be entered into the prize draw. Voting in all four categories closes on 30th September.

For the Awards’ Director, Rachel Mallows of The Mallows Company, the announcement of these results marks the latest exciting step in the competition; “We see a record number of entries into these categories each year – some being new venues to the competition and others who’ve taken part before – but they’re all driven by the same goal and that is to enjoy the business benefits that success can bring!” explained Rachel.

“So I’d urge all food lovers to show their support not only by visiting the venues for themselves and discover just why they’re deserving of their finalist status but also by casting their votes” she enthused.

The results, along with those of the other twelve categories in the competition, will be announced at the Awards Dinner taking place at Royal & Derngate on Thursday 16th October.

A nervous wait for county’s culinary finest!

With the mixers whirring and rolling pins flying, some of the county’s finest cafés have been battling it out in the hope of winning the title of ‘Independent Café/Tea Room of the Year’ in this year’s Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards!

The competition, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), is now in its sixth year and is again aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

Following a record number of entries to the category, which is sponsored by Explore Communications, a panel of judges was set the tricky task to pore over the entry forms and the reviews provided by a band of Mystery Shoppers, before choosing its six finalists.

The six are (in alphabetical order):

Beckworth Emporium, Mears Ashby
Dreams Coffee Lounge, Northampton
Nanna’s Kitchen, Northampton
Ria’s Rosy Lee Tearoom, Wellingborough
The Courtyard Café, Daventry
Woodford Mill Tearooms, Ringstead

The shortlisted cafés were then invited to take part in a bake-off at Northampton College at which they were asked to prepare, cook and serve a scone, a signature cake or biscuit and a drink to a team of ‘diners’, including the Leader of Northamptonshire County Council, Jim Harker and BBC Radio Northampton presenter, John Griff.

Among the panel of expert judges who watched and scored them on everything from hygiene to organization, service and of course taste were Diana Birch, who is the Vice-Chairman of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, the Executive Chef of The Royal Opera House, Justin Hammett and Deborah Manger who, having competed in the 2013 series of the BBC’s ‘Great British Bake Off’, understood only too well what the contestants were going through; “We had TV cameras watching us at every step as we whisked our eggs or beat in the flour, so I know only too well how tough it must have been for the competitors to be constantly followed by the judges’ beady eyes!” explained Deborah.

“But they all did brilliantly and produced some absolutely delicious cakes and scones that I’m sure Mary Berry would be very proud of!” she added.

The six finalists now have to wait until Thursday 16th October to discover their fate when the winners and runners-up in all 16 categories will be announced at the Awards Dinner taking place at Royal & Derngate in Northampton.

This Years Finalists Are

The oven gloves are now firmly off among some of the county’s finest producers they battle for it out for culinary glory in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards!
The Awards, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) and now in their sixth year, are aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

After much deliberating, cogitating and digesting by two select panels of experts at the recent judging sessions, the shortlisted finalists in the five product and drink categories have been chosen from a record number of entries. They are (in alphabetical order within the category):

 Artisan Local Drink of the Year:

Apple Juice (Cox) – New Creation Farm, Nether Heyford
Booze Hound – Gun Dog Ales, Woodford Halse
Harrington Sloe Gin – Warner Edwards Distillery, Harrington
Poachers – Vale of Welton Cider, Welton
Wild West Ale – Nobby’s Brewery, Guilsborough

 

New Local Drink of the Year:

Big Bang Theory – Nene Valley Brewery, Oundle
Lock, Stock and Barrel 4.0% – Frog Island Brewery, Northampton
Rose Hill – Vale of Welton Cider, Welton
Saxby’s Medium Sparkling Cider – Saxby’s Cider, Irchester
Starless and Bible Black – Nene Valley Brewery, Oundle

 

Artisan Local Savoury Product of the Year: (sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed)

Beetroot Chutney – Limes Farm, Farthinghoe
Brixworth Pâté – Brixworth Foods, Brixworth
Culworth Beef & Silverstone Ale Pie – Limes Farm, Farthinghoe
Potato, Leek and Stilton Pie – The Moulton Pie Company, Moulton
The Mill Race Buffin – The Blakesley Hill Cake Company, Greens Norton

 

Artisan Local Sweet Product of the Year: (sponsored by Moulton College)

Dark Chocolate with Chilli – Belflair Chocolates, Brackley
Double Chocolate Brownie Mix Jar – Doorstep Baking, Mawsley
Gluten Free Caramel & Apple Cupcake – The Blakesley Hill Cake Company, Greens Norton
Honeyed Damson Preserve – Nature’s Fayre, Thrapston
The Marathon Maker Muffin – The Happy Little Cake Company, Gt. Billing

New Local Product of the Year: (sponsored by Whitworth Bros. Ltd)

Clickers Goat Cheese – NeneView Dairy, Stanwick
Cobblers Nibble – Hamm Tun Fine Foods, Dallington
Incredible Onion and Seeds Loaf – Incredible Bakery Company, Warkton
The Marathon Maker Muffin – The Happy Little Cake Company, Gt. Billing
The Spicy Hart Buffin – The Blakesley Hill Cake Company, Greens Norton

Those charged with the difficult but mouth-watering task of choosing their favourites from the record number of entries included Richard Izzard, Product Development Controller at Weetabix, the Principal of Moulton College, Stephen Davies and Mike Coppock, Curriculum Manager of Hospitality and Catering at Northampton College.

Among those celebrating the news of their success is Vicky Robertson of The Happy Little Cake Company at Great Billing, whose gluten-free Marathon Maker Muffin has been shortlisted in two categories; “I’m absolutely thrilled skinny to be a double finalist and to hear the judges’ remarks that they tasted every bit as delicious as regular cakes!” explained Vicky.

“Being a coeliac sufferer myself, I have some exciting growth plans for the company, which include trying to improve the availability of yummy treats for those who are gluten-intolerant who are often faced with little or poor choice when shopping and eating out, and I really hope that this success will help to open a few doors for me!” she added.

The results were announced at the Love Northampton Food and Drink Festival staged at the town’s Guildhall courtyard on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th July, with visitors to the event being invited to sample and score all 25 finalists, as well as tuck into the other tasty offerings being provided by a host of exhibitors representing ‘Made In Northamptonshire’- the networking group set up to offer support to the county’s food and drink sector.

The winners and runners-up in all five categories will be decided by a second panel of judges later in the year and those results, along with those of the other eleven categories in the competition, will be announced at the Awards Dinner taking place at Royal & Derngate on Thursday 16th October.

Weetabix

The details of the new-look competition were revealed at the launch at Weetabix’s Burton Latimer headquarters (Friday 28th Feb) by NEP’s Chief Executive, Jo Lappin. Speaking before an audience made up of last year’s winners, sponsors, judges and competition partners, she explained the importance of the awards in recognising the important role that the sector plays in the county; “The food and drink sector is crucial to Northamptonshire’s economy, contributing £1.5 billion per year and providing employment to over 50,000 people”.

“The Awards provide us with the opportunity to recognise the sector’s contribution by bringing together talented people from a broad range of businesses to celebrate the outstanding achievement that they have made. They also promote the sector as a great place to build a career.”

Meanwhile Weetabix’s Head of Procurement, Anthony Bowdidge, gave an insight into why the company is getting involved; “We are delighted to be supporting this year’s awards and to be hosting the launch. As a company, we are very proud of our Northamptonshire roots and in particular our commitment to sourcing our wheat within 50-miles, thereby supporting our local farmers”.

“These awards present the perfect opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to the county and the depth and prosperity of the sector.”

Among those present was Laura Gibbins of The World’s End at Ecton who won last year’s ‘Young Chef of the Year’ title and, thanks to category sponsor Booker, spent the day alongside her lifelong idol Michel Roux Jnr in the kitchens of his London restaurant.

She spoke of what that day meant to her and for her career; “Going behind the scenes at Le Gavroche was just the most amazing experience and a real dream come true,” revealed Laura.

“My favourite part, aside from meeting Michel himself of course, was watching the chefs in action and seeing how brilliantly they worked as a team to bring everything together to perfection”.

“I also got the opportunity to do a bit of taste-testing, which was pretty special and it’s really opened my eyes to what I might achieve with hard work and dedication! I wouldn’t have experienced any of that without winning the award so it’s been very inspirational.”

Finally, the Awards’ Director, Rachel Mallows of The Mallows Company, thanked those who have enabled the expansion of the competition and revealed how that can only help to further the excellence of the sector; “We’re really excited to be able to update the categories and introduce some new ones this year as we know that means we’ll be able to encourage a greater number and variety of businesses to get involved and give them a chance to share in that success.”

“We’re also very keen to hear from those who want to make their recommendations and nominations, whether it’s for their favourite pub or tea room, or to tell us that they’re workplace has a great healthy eating offering. Indeed anyone can play their part by getting in touch with us and help this to be the best year yet!”

To set taste buds watering, guests were able to tuck into some of the breakfast company’s more traditional cereals including their eponymous biscuit, Weetos and Alpen as well as sample its newest offering, its range of ‘On The Go’ breakfast drinks.
Following the speeches, they were also treated to a tour of one of the Weetabix production facilities to watch the creation of the biscuit from start to finish, everything from seeing it take shape at the moulding tables to being cooked and dried, batched and wrapped and finally making its way to the packaging hall.

News from 2013

With the saucepans bubbling and the frying pans sizzling

With the saucepans bubbling and the frying pans sizzling, some of the county’s finest chefs have been battling it out to win two of the prestigious titles in this year’s Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards.

The competition, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), is now in its seventh year and is again aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

The accolades being vied for were those of ‘Young Chef of the Year’ (sponsored by Booker), for budding culinary stars aged 18-25, and ‘Chef of the Year’ (sponsored by TMI Foods and Cordant People) for those over 25.

Those competing for the senior title were (in alphabetical order):

Adam Church of Franks Steakhouse, Northampton

Lee Gaskins of The Terrace Restaurant at Highgate House, Creaton

David Simms of The Talbot Hotel, Oundle

John Tipson of The George & Dragon, Chacombe

Richard Walker of Fawsley Hall Hotel, Fawsley

The five, shortlisted from a record number of entries, were invited to the impressive kitchens of Northampton College to take part in a ‘Ready Steady Cook’ style challenge to prepare two courses, each being provided with a selection of store cupboard products from Awards sponsors Booker, including a shoulder of lamb, as well as their key Northamptonshire ingredients of rapeseed oil from Farrington Oils at Hargrave, cider from Saxby’s Cider at Irchester and rhubarb gin from Harrington-based Warner Edwards.

They were watched throughout the three-hour process by an expert panel of judges including Chef and Development Manager at category co-sponsor TMI Foods, Aaron Melly, former chef and now Northampton Branch Manager at category co-sponsor Cordant People, Chris Fleming, and Andy Ives, who trained at Tresham College in Corby and who is now Head Chef at Sunningdale Golf Club. Each observed, quizzed and scored the chefs before tucking into their varied dishes including braised lamb shoulder with a vegetable medley, herb-coated lamb with asparagus and tomato tortellini and rhubarb gin pannacotta with a white chocolate parfait.

For Andy, selecting a winner was an incredibly difficult decision; It’s a real privilege to have been invited back to the county and to watch these talented chefs in action he explained.

Using some great local produce, they each demonstrated skills that the top chefs in London would be proud of and having to choose the best was a real challenge! he added.

The second cook-off, also at Northampton College, saw some of the county’s finest up and coming chefs battle it out in the semi-final of the ‘Young Chef of the Year’. Like their senior counterparts, they too were provided with a basket of kitchen ingredients, including chicken legs, by sponsors Booker as well as the local rapeseed oil and rhubarb gin from which they had to create a main course for two people.

Drawing upon their wide variety of cooking talents, they served up a wonderful array of dishes for the judges – everything from ballotine of chicken with a coriander, lemon and thyme stuffing to dry-rubbed curried chicken legs to chicken fricassee with a warm new potato and asparagus salad.

Those contending with the tricky, but enjoyable task of choosing the finalists were Northampton College catering lecturer Richard Curtis, Peter Saunders, who is Catering Development Manager with category sponsor Booker, and Lee Scott, formerly head chef at the Silverstone circuit and now with his own restaurant, La Strada Nouva, in Towcester; It’s really great to see that Northamptonshire is bursting with young culinary talent” explained Lee, “and to watch the chefs turn their ingredients into seven such varied dishes was quite something”

We were all really impressed by the skills they’re showing so early in their careers and I’m only sorry that I can’t be at the final because I know the judges are set for a wonderful morning!”

The five finalists, who now go forward to compete for the ‘Young Chef of the Year’ title in the final cook-off at Tresham College in Corby in August, are (in alphabetical order):

Ceara Campbell from The Manor House, Corby

Tamsin Hamilton-Testrote from Kettering Park Hotel, Kettering

Perry Langley from Nuovo, Northampton

Ben Williams from Franks Steakhouse, Northampton

Christian Young from The Castle Theatre, Wellingborough

All finalists now have until Thursday 15th October to discover their fate when the winners and runners-up in all 18 categories of this year’s Awards will be announced at the Awards Dinner taking place at Royal & Derngate in Northampton.

News from 2012

The oven gloves are now firmly off

The oven gloves are now firmly off among some of the county’s finest producers as they battle for it out for culinary glory in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards.

The Awards, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) and now in their seventh year, are aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

After much deliberating, cogitating and digesting by two select panels of experts at the recent product and drink judging sessions staged at Holdenby House and at the reigning ‘Community Pub of the Year – Town’, The Malt Shovel Tavern in Northampton respectively, the shortlisted finalists in the five categories have been chosen from a record number of entries. They are (in alphabetical order within the category):

Artisan Sweet Product of the Year
(sponsored by Moulton College):

Amaretti Tiffin – The Corner Deli & Sandwich Shop, Kettering
Cornish Sea Salted Caramels – Belflair Chocolates, Brackley 
Fruitilicious Granola with Nuts and Seeds – Most Marvellous Baking, Northampton
Rich Fruit Cake – Elliotts Kitchen Fine Foods, Towcester
Swiss Roll Raspberry Puree Ice Cream Cake – A Rossi and Partners, Kettering

Artisan Savoury Product of the Year
(sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed):

Hobnail Goat Cheese – NeneView Dairy, Stanwick
Nice Try Lamb Pie – Sauls of Spratton, Spratton
Pastrami – Ashley Farm Shop, Ashley
Pork, Apple and Black Pudding Scotch Egg – Elliotts Kitchen Fine Foods, Towcester
Potato, Leek and Stilton Pie – The Moulton Pie Company, Moulton

New Local Product of the Year
(sponsored by Whitworth Bros. Ltd Flour Millers):

Fruitilicious Granola with Nuts and Seeds – Most Marvellous Baking, Northampton
Middle Eastern Marmalade – Friars Farm, Northampton
Rapstick Goat Cheese – NeneView Dairy, Stanwick
Rhubarb and GINger Cake – Most Marvellous Baking, Northampton
Skyver Goat Cheese – NeneView Dairy, Stanwick

Artisan Local Drink of the Year:

Apple Juice – Windmill Orchards, Sulgrave
Becket’s Ale – Phipps NBC, Northampton
Bible Black Porter – Nene Valley Brewery, Oundle
Booze Hound – Gun Dog Ales, Woodford Halse
Northamptonshire Bitter – Hoggley’s Brewery, Northampton

New Local Drink of the Year:

Bell Ringer – Towcester Mill Brewery, Towcester
Founder’s Reserve East India Pale Ale – Phipps NBC, Northampton
Plum Cider – Saxby’s Cider, Irchester
Ratliffe’s Celebrated Stout – Phipps NBC, Northampton

Additionally, while not shortlisted, One Track Mind from Brigstock Brewery at Brigstock was also ‘Commended’ by the judges in the ‘New Local Drink’ category.

Among those new finalists to be celebrating their success is John Evans from Towcester Mill Brewery; “We’re absolutely thrilled that we have been shortlisted, especially as we’ve just marked the first anniversary of the opening of the newly refurbished brewery after we moved into the town from Whittlebury” explained John.

“It’s been a lot of hard work in bringing the old mill back to life but this helps to make all that effort worthwhile and we shall certainly be pulling a few pints in our community tap room to celebrate!” he added.

Those are sentiments echoed by Vicky Robertson of Most Marvellous Baking in Northampton who is a triple finalist across two categories this year with her granola and rhubarb and ginger cake; “The publicity I had from being shortlisted last year brought a real boost to my business so I’m delighted to have been successful again” explained Vicky.

“My cake uses rhubarb gin from one of last year’s winners, Warner Edwards, so here’s hoping that that might be the magic ingredient to take at least one of the titles this year!” she enthused.

The winners and runners-up in all five categories will be decided by a second panel of judges later in the year and the results, along with those of the other thirteen categories in the competition, will be announced at the Awards Dinner taking place at Royal & Derngate in Northampton on Thursday 15th October.

Meanwhile visitors to both the Northamptonshire Food Show at Holdenby on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th September and the Althorp Food Festival on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th September will have chance to sample some of the twenty-four shortlisted products and drinks.

We are most grateful to our sponsors:

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4 days ago
RT @NNBC1069: @foodawardsHQ we are on the look out for a local fish & chip shop for a feature on 'National Fish and Chip Day' - anyone you…
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4 days ago
@NNBC1069 Hello, not personally. I will ask at HQ though & RT this. Hope that helps. LOVE fish and chips, last meal for me :) cheers, Gill
5 days ago
RT @friarsfarm1: @foodawardsHQ @muddynorthants @RockinghamLIVE that's the award winning Northampton marmalade sold out already. Still have…
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British Festival giving UK food and drinks brands wanting to expand overseas opportunity to sell and test products https://t.co/7TVcdlydBe
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RT @elsie_caf: The café in Kettering .....if you live near by offer some help, eat there when they are open, help is always... https://t.co
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Who’s going? Northampton County Beer Festival, Becket’s Park, Friday 2nd, Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th June 2017 @PhippsNBC https://t.co/3Px86oV63e
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RT @NNBC1069: Great to talk to @elsie_caf on the show today! If you missed it we will replay this tonight on #foodhampton #bananas #foodwa…
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RT @PhippsNBC: Today racked 200th anniversary ale Double Century, marking the opening of Phipps' Northampton Brewery in 1817 available at B…
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8 days ago
@richbeeby Hmmmm, bit of a sandwich purist tbh. Love something classic, usually involving cheese
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11 days ago
Public service announcement for #Northamptonshre's wonderful food & drink suppliers :) https://t.co/PaJZcZuOq6
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11 days ago
RT @Love_Daventry: Think your restaurant/pub/eatery has what it takes to be the best? Make sure you enter the #Northamptonshire @foodawards…
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@Love_Daventry Thanks for the shout out! :)
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14 days ago
RT @DanielOwens1979: Just had a sneak preview of the new pomegranate flavour @Jelleys_vodka - based in Brixworth. Delicious. Set to be the…
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14 days ago
Happening tomorrow, loads of lovely Northamptonshire food & drink https://t.co/ufWKpHHa9X
16 days ago
@friarsfarm1 @NN_BestSurprise You won fair & square, and I still have those creme eggs! Unless my son eats them first........
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17 days ago
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