After months of blind tasting, deliberation and judging, the shortlist of finalists for the 2018 Food Drink Devon Awards have been announced.
The winners will be revealed at a ceremony at Highbullen Hotel Golf & Country Club on Monday 8th October hosted by food and drink broadcaster, Nigel Barden.
Entries from across the county included 250 products, 63 producers, 75 hospitality and 28 retail establishments judged by experts from the industry.
Barbara King, chair of Food Drink Devon since 2016, is thrilled with the quality of food and drink brought to the judging table. Barbara says: “We champion Devon’s producers and food and drink industry, and this year in particular the competition has been extremely tight with standards greatly increased. As a county we have so much outstanding produce on offer and the quality of hospitality across the board is second to none.”
In celebration of Devon’s best produce, Platinum awards will be given to any of the 250 products tasted which were given a perfect score of 100%, Gold awards go to products achieving 90-99%, and Silver to those scoring 85-89%. Awards will also be given to the ‘Best Overall Producer’ and a new award for 2018, ‘Best Brand’.
Barbara adds: “As customers get all the more discerning, choosing provenance and traceability over mass-produced food and drink, our independent shops and businesses can really shine. Ultimately that is why it is so important we all support our local fishermen, farmers, delis, cafes, chefs and artisans.”
Producers on the ‘Taste of Devon Product’ 2018 shortlist include a huge variety of delicious delights from across the region and include BAM Food, Dartmoor Chilli Farm, Figgy’s Christmas Puddings, JB Preserves, Luscombe Drinks, Littlestone Coffee, Sharpham Wine & Cheese, Barnaby’s Brewhouse and Chunk of Devon, to name just a few.
In the ‘Taste of Devon Retail’ shortlist, entries have been whittled down to just two for the ‘Best Community Shop’ award, Broadhempston Community Shop and Nature’s Nutrition in Bideford. In the hotly contested ‘Best Online Retailer’ category, Devon Hampers take on Eversfield Organic and Pretty Local, whilst the accolade of ‘Best Retailer’ will be awarded to one of GT Orsman, Marshford Organic Foods or The Cheese Press. Other categories in the ‘Taste of Devon Retail’ awards include ‘Best Training School’ and ‘Best Farmers’ Market’.
Establishments on the ‘Taste of Devon Hospitality’ shortlist include Boringdon Hall, The Salutation Inn and Thomas Carr @ The Olive Room in the ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurant’ category. Vying for ‘Best Restaurant’ status is Bayards Cove Inn, The Fig Tree @ 36 and Two Bridges on Dartmoor. Other categories in the ‘Taste of Devon Hospitality’ awards include ‘Best Hotel Restaurant’, ‘Pub Restaurant’, ‘Pub’, ‘Bistro’ and ‘Best Café’.
The movers and makers of Devon’s food and drink industry will attend the black tie awards ceremony to find out who the winners are for each category. The evening includes a drinks reception, a three-course meal created using produce from Food Drink Devon members and presentation of the awards, followed by an ‘after show’ party in the bar area with cheese and biscuits for all those wanting to stay a little while longer!
This year’s Food Drink Devon Awards are kindly sponsored by Stephens Scown LLP, Peplows, RAW Food and Drink PR, M C Kelly, Black & White Asset Finance, WestCountry Fruit Sales, Taste Buds, inkREADible Labels Limited and Hedgerow Print.
Award ceremony tickets cost £60 per person and are on sale until 5pm on Friday 21st September. To book, please contact Ali Neagle on 07789 666064 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please visit www.fooddrinkdevon.co.uk and follow @FoodDrinkDevon on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.