A passion for produce, a taste for the very best in fine food and a deep-rooted desire for delicious drinks – Northampton College is on the hunt for the county’s Food Hero of 2020.
The college has teamed up with the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards to sponsor this coveted category at the annual celebration, which champions 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.
It is the first time Northampton College has sponsored this award and staff from the much-respected catering department are looking forward to seeing who is crowned this year’s winner. Head of Catering and Hospitality, Phil Martin, said: “Northamptonshire is home to some incredible food and drink producers and the industry is absolutely buzzing at the minute, with an emerging pool of supremely talented chefs and innovative restaurateurs really putting the county on the culinary map.
“We are fortunate to have a network of people who are so passionate about local food and drink, they champion our county and the work done by all those in the profession. There are some amazing projects popping up all over the county and people are really stepping up to the plate. “The Food Hero award is open to anyone and it promises to be extremely competitive. I’m expecting to see a lot of entries and a lot of deserving winners. As the ‘college in the community’ it seems a natural fit to be sponsoring this award this year. It’s going to be fascinating to see who comes out on top.”
College students are normally heavily involved in the service of the meal dished up at the awards ceremony but the event is likely to be very different this year, with COVID-19 restrictions potentially meaning the annual celebration could be held remotely for the first time. Students will definitely be competing for the title of Food and Drink College Student of the Year – a new award that will celebrate college students from across Northamptonshire who have demonstrated exceptional skills development throughout their learning and who are proud young ambassadors for the sector.
A former Northampton College student, Danny Tompkins, was last year named the winner of the coveted Chef of the Year award after fending off the challenge of five other finalists at the cook-off at Booth Lane. Having spent the first months of lockdown helping to create more than 11,000 meals for NHS staff, Danny has now returned to his role as a private chef, offering to cater for dinner parties in clients’ homes, as well as supplying weekend meat and cheese boxes to order.