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Probably the Finest Culinary Competition in the World is Back

Posted: 23/03/16 by The Mallows Company Limited

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 the 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!”

Guests also heard from some of the competition’s reigning champions, including Simon Williams from the Evergreen Art Café in Daventry which won the ‘Independent Café /Tea Room of the Year’ category. Simon revealed what their success had meant to the business; “The impact of the awards has been amazing, thanks to the publicity that our win brought and the increase in custom we’ve seen as a result” explained Simon.

“Indeed I’d been thinking about a major investment project for the venue for the last couple of years and our victory was the catalyst I needed to finally take the plunge, so it’s been a very exciting few months!”

Those were sentiments echoed by Dan Coshan of Tap and Kitchen in Oundle, which holds the ‘Restaurant of the Year’ title; “We’re really proud to show off our winner’s logo and we know that our success has certainly attracted more diners from further afield who are keen to try us out” said Dan.

“Most of all it’s been a real buzz for all the staff who quite rightly feel proud of their achievement, knowing that their efforts are recognised in such a positive, public way” he enthused.

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 its Formula 1 power units are designed, manufactured and tested.

For more details on all of the categories in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2016/17, including downloading entry forms, making 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 the Awards’ website at www.northamptonshirefoodanddrink.co.uk or contact Rachel Mallows on 01933 664437 or email rachel@rachelmallows.com

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

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