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 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 (Chronicle & Echo and Northants 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 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 yesterday (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 2018 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 the Awards’ website – www.northamptonshirefoodanddrink.co.uk

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

Posted by: The Mallows Company (Bozeat) Limited

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