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Winners of the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food & Drink Awards

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Winners 2016/17

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.

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Winners 2015/16

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.

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Winners 2014/15

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. Those were (in presentation order):

Community Pub of the Year – Town
(sponsored by Pidy UK)

Winner: The Malt Shovel Tavern, Northampton
Runner-up: The Golden Horse, Northampton

Community Pub of the Year – Rural
(sponsored by Pidy UK)

Winner: The Sun Inn, Hardingstone
Runner-up: The Sun Inn, Kislingbury

Young Chef of the Year
(sponsored by Booker)

Winner: Tom Croxford from Thrapston

Runner-up: Sophie Fountain of Brasserie 23 at The Kings Head, Spratton

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(l-r): Jason Atherton, Isabella Jewry from category sponsor Whitco with Brasserie 23’s Natalie Tompkins, Sophie Fountain and Katie Kennedy

Chef of the Year

Winner: Carl Long – formerly of Oundle Mill, Oundle
Runners-up: James Ingram of Mercedes AMG, Brixworth and:
Harvey Lockwood of Murrays at Whittlebury Hall, Whittlebury

F&B Entrepreneur of the Year
(sponsored by Steven Saunders VIP Hospitality)

Winner: Tom Hewer of Tom Hewer Enterprises, Northampton

Runner-up: Alaric Neville of Phipps NBC, Northampton

Local Food Hero of the Year
(sponsored by Weetabix)

Winner: Waterloo Cottage Farm, Great Oxendon

Runners-up: Hamm Tun Fine Foods, Northampton and:
Squisito Butchers and Provisions, Yelvertoft

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

Winner: Corby Business Academy, Corby
Runner-up: Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Kettering

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

Winner: Avon Cosmetics, Northampton

Runner-up: Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, Brixworth

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

Winner: Exotic Dining, Kettering

Runners-up: Bengal Brasserie, Thrapston and: The Raj, Kettering

Booker Food Pub of the Year
(sponsored by Booker)

Winner: The Walnut Tree Inn, Blisworth

Runner-up: The Hopping Hare, Northampton

Restaurant of the Year
(sponsored by Whitco)

Winner: Brasserie 23 at The Kings Head, Spratton

Runner-up: Franks Steakhouse, Northampton

Independent Café / Tea Room of the Year
(sponsored by Explore Communications)

Winner: Ria’s Rosy Lee Tearoom, Wellingborough
Runner-up: Dreams Coffee Lounge, Northampton

(l-r): Jason Atherton, Ria Chambers and Rob Purdie from category sponsors Explore Communications.

(l-r): Jason Atherton, Ria Chambers and Rob Purdie from category sponsors Explore Communications.

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

Winner: Cobblers Nibble – Hamm Tun Fine Foods, Northampton
Runner-up: Incredible Onion and Seeds Loaf – Incredible Bakery Company, Warkton

New Local Drink of the Year

Winner: Rose Hill – Vale of Welton Cider, Welton

Runner-up: Big Bang Theory – Nene Valley Brewery, Oundle

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

Winner: Brixworth Pâté – Brixworth Foods, Brixworth

Runner-up: Potato, Leek and Stilton Pie – The Moulton Pie Company, Moulton

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

Winner: Honeyed Damson Preserve – Nature’s Fayre, Thrapston

Runner-up: Dark Chocolate with Chilli – Belflair Chocolates, Thrapston

Artisan Local Drink of the Year

Winner: Harrington Sloe Gin – Warner Edwards Distillery, Harrington

Runner-up: Booze Hound – Gun Dog Ales, Woodford Halse

ason, 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.

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

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Winners 2013/14

After much anticipation and a great deal of excitement, the winners of the 13 categories in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2013/14 are finally celebrating being named the best of the county’s best!

The competition, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), is now in its fifth 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 17th October) sponsored by Electrolux Professional and staged at Royal & Derngate in Northampton. Those were (in presentation order):

Independent Café / Tea Room of the Year

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

Community Pub of the Year – Town

Winner: The Olde England, Northampton
Runner-up: The Golden Horse, Northampton

Community Pub of the Year – Rural

Winner: The George and Dragon, Chacombe
Runner-up: The Sun Inn, Hardingstone

Booker Food Pub of the Year

Winner: The Rose & Crown, Yardley Hastings
Runner-up: The Hopping Hare, Northampton

Restaurant of the Year

Winner: Oundle Mill, Oundle
Runner-up: The Falcon Inn, Fotheringhay

Artisan Local Product of the Year

Winner: Cold Eating Chicken and Ham Pie – Elliotts Kitchen, Towcester
Runner-up: Sticky Toffee Pudding – Elliotts Kitchen, Towcester

Artisan Local Drink of the Year

Gold: 1833 India Pale Ale – Hart Family Brewers, Wellingborough
Silver: Indian Summer IPA – Hoggleys Brewery, Litchborough
Bronze: Nene Valley Bitter – Nene Valley Brewery, Oundle

New Local Product of the Year

Winner: Farrington’s MELLOW YELLOW Garlic Mayonnaise – Farrington Oils, Hargrave
Runner-up: Blackberry Sorbet – Rossi’s Ice Cream, Kettering

New Local Drink of the Year

Gold: Harrington Dry Gin – Warner Edwards Distillery, Harrington
Silver: Black Jetty – Vale of Welton Cider, Welton
Bronze: Frank’s Steakhouse Ale – Nobby’s Brewery, Guilsborough

Local Food Hero of the Year

Winner: Duncan Farrington of Farrington Oils, Hargrave
Runners-up: Beckworth Emporium, Mears Ashby
and: Waterloo Cottage Farm, Great Oxendon

Spice Chef of the Year

Winner: Nadir Hussain of Sedgebrook Hall, Chapel Brampton
Runner-up: Mohammed Abdul Hye of Saffron, Northampton

Aspire Chef of the Year

Winner: Lee Gaskins of The Terrace Restaurant at Highgate House, Creaton
Runner-up: Gavin Austin of Oundle Mill, Oundle

Young Chef of the Year

Winner: Laura Gibbins of The World’s End, Ecton
Runner-up: Sophie Fountain of The White Swan Inn, Holcot

Among the winners was Laura Gibbins of The World’s End at Ecton who had to wait for the last announcement of the evening made by Stuart Hyslop of category sponsor, Booker, to learn that she had taken the ‘Young Chef of the Year’ title. “I can’t quite believe it!” revealed an almost speechless Laura after receiving her trophy. “It was really exciting just being part of the competition but to win is amazing and I’m sure it’s going to act as a massive springboard for my career so I’m just chuffed to bits!” she enthused.

Meanwhile, the night brought double celebrations for Duncan Farrington of Farrington Oils at Hargrave after his MELLOW YELLOW garlic mayonnaise picked up the ‘New Local Product of the Year’ title, only for him to hear Robert Whittle of category sponsor, Pidy UK, announce that he had been named ‘Local Food Hero of the Year’. “It’s always reassuring to be recognised by the industry for what we believe is a great product so we’re delighted to have won that first award,” explained Duncan, “but winning the Local Food Hero trophy was equally special, particularly as it started with someone having nominated me.

“But while it might seem like a personal award, it’s one that the whole team deserves and we shall certainly be putting both trophies proudly on display in the office for us all to share!” he added.

Those trophies – beautifully handcrafted in etched glass and painted with sheaves of barley and created by Rachael Aldridge of Aldridge Glass in Walgrave – were presented by a selection of this year’s Award judges including TV chef, Sophie Grigson, and the co-founder of ‘Ready Steady Cook’, Steven Saunders from Silverstone Hospitality.

It was Steven’s Executive Chef, Lee Scott, who prepared a wonderful three course menu for the 370 guests made up of entrants, judges, sponsors, media partners and supporters. They were treated to a starter of duck terrine from Pastures Farm Poultry at Yardley Hastings, an assiette of local beef provided by Booker and a dessert of trifle which used apples from New Creation Farm in Nether Heyford, eggs from Station Farm Eggs at Finedon and was served with blackberry sorbet from Rossi’s Ice Cream in Kettering which, earlier in the evening, had been named as runner-up in the ‘Artisan Local Product of the Year’ category.

Guests were welcomed to the event by the competition’s Director, Rachel Mallows of The Mallows Company, and later in the evening, NEP Chairman Paul Southworth thanked them for their support. “As the organisation behind these awards we are delighted that this competition is playing such a valuable role in an increasingly successful sector for the county.

“The food and drink sector is one which continues to include more than twice the national average of producer and numerous manufacturers delivering high end, award-winning specialist products which, combined with the hospitality sector is worth £1.5 billion to our local economy. Northamptonshire should quite rightly feel mightily proud of all those being celebrated here tonight,” he added.
If you are an organisation, business or individual interested in taking part in, or supporting, next year’s Awards, please contact Rachel at The Mallows Company on 01933 664437.

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Winners 2012/13

After much anticipation and a great deal of excitement, the winners of the twelve categories in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2012/13 are finally celebrating being named the best of the county’s best!

The competition, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), is now in its fourth 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 (Weds 14th Nov) sponsored by Electrolux and staged at The Wing, Silverstone courtesy of Silverstone Circuits Ltd. Those were (in order of presentation):

Northamptonshire Jubilee Breakfast: (results announced in June)

Winner: The Church Restaurant, Northampton

Runner-up: Oundle Mill, Oundle

Artisan Local Product/Drink of the Year:

Winner: Home Cured Bacon – Sauls of Spratton, Spratton

Runner-up: Fire Bellied Toad – Frog Island Brewery, Northampton

New Local Product of the Year:

Winner: The Hot Runner – The Pickled Village, Bulwick

Runner-up: Fruity Apple and Plum Chutney – The Village Orchard, Flore

New Local Drink of the Year:

Winner: Golden Russet Apple Juice – The Village Orchard, Flore

Runners-up: Hart No. 1 (4.1%) – Hart Family Brewers, Wellingborough and Hop Trotter – Potbelly Brewery, Kettering 

Local Food Hero of the Year:

Winner: Gerald Bailey of Newlands Farm, Hannington

Runners-up: Pudding Pie Cookery School, Middleton Cheney and Seven Wells Butchers, Oundle

Spice Chef of the Year:

Winner: Bodrul Islam – Saffron, Northampton

Runner-up: Hao Dang – Dang’s, Northampton

Young Chef of the Year:

Winner: William Mountain – The Saracen’s Head, Little Brington

Runner-up: Viktorija Bernataviciute – The Wig and Pen, Northampton

Booker Chef of the Year:

Winner: James Ingram – Mercedes Benz AMG, Brixworth 

Runner-up: Liam Goodwill – Rushton Hall, Rushton

Restaurant of the Year:

Winner: The Exeter Arms, Easton on the Hill

Runners-up: Oundle Mill, Oundle and
The Seafood Café, Northampton

Pub or Bar Restaurant of the Year:

Winner: The Saracen’s Head, Little Brington

Runner-up: The Royal Oak @ Eydon, Eydon

Community Pub of the Year – Town:

Winner: The Swan and Helmet, Northampton

Runner-up: The Lamplighter, Northampton

Community Pub of the Year – Rural:

Winner: The George, Tiffield

Runner-up: The Stag’s Head, Great Doddington

In addition, three chefs were also ‘Commended’ in their category – those being:

Ondine Hartgroves of Dîner Privé Par Ondine, Northampton in the Spice Chef category

Ollie Jaycock of The Red Lion, Culworth in the Young Chef category

Oli Butel of Frank’s Steakhouse, Northampton in the Booker Chef category.

So the night brought double celebrations for Duncan and Sarah Evans of The Saracen’s Head in Little Brington who not only watched their head chef, William Mountain, pick up the ‘Young Chef of the Year’ award but also took the ‘Pub or Bar Restaurant of the Year’ title. “We were already so delighted that Will had won earlier in the evening, but then to hear the venue’s name called out as well was just the icing on the cake,” explained Sarah after the results were announced by Jeff Whitaker of category sponsors Whitco, the specialist catering equipment firm based in Thrapston. “The whole team put their heart and soul into everything that they do and this is real recognition of their wonderful efforts. We are all just chuffed to bits!”

Meanwhile Jonathan Chaplin of The Village Orchard in Flore also came away with two accolades after his Fruity Apple and Plum Chutney was named runner-up in the ‘New Local Product of the Year’ category, only for his Golden Russet Apple Juice to go one better in the ‘New Local Drink of the Year’ category. “We are always so wonderfully surprised and of course thrilled to pick up any award so to come away with a second and a first is fantastic!” enthused Jonathan after hearing the results from David Brown of Beckworth Emporium, the category sponsor. “It’s all the more pleasing that these are two of our newer products and we’ll be displaying our certificates and our winner’s trophy with great pride!” 

Those trophies – beautifully handcrafted in polished stainless steel by Sandwell UK, the shot peening and metal coating specialists based in Towcester – were presented by a selection of this year’s Award judges, including editor and food writer William Sitwell, TV chef Sophie Grigson  and the co-founder of ‘Ready Steady Cook’, Steven Saunders from Aspire Hospitality.

It was his Executive Chef, Lee Scott, who prepared a wonderful three course menu for the 350 guests including entrants, judges, sponsors, media partners and supporters. They were treated to a starter of potted Pitsford trout, a trio of pork from Spinney Barns in Irchester served with apples from New Creation Farm in Nether Heyford which had been caramelized in honey provided by the Northamptonshire Beekeepers’ Association, followed by treacle tart using bread from the Northampton bakery FF Tee and served with dairy vanilla ice cream from Rossi’s Ice Cream in Kettering.

Guests were welcomed to the event by the competition’s co-ordinator, Rachel Mallows of The Mallows Company and later in the evening, NEP’s Chairman Paul Southworth thanked them for their support. “As the organisation behind these awards we are delighted that this competition is playing such a valuable role in this increasingly successful sector for the county. 

“Last year, that was worth £1.5 billion to our local economy and Northamptonshire should quite rightly feel mightily proud of its many nationally-recognised producers, venues and chefs being celebrated tonight,” he added.

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

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Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards ©2016 design by Andy Mac