Daily Bread in Northampton was the venue for the announcement of this year’s Artisan Local Product, Artisan Local Vegetarian/Vegan and Artisan Local Drink winners in the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food & Drink Awards.
Well known on radio and TV for her enthusiasm and passion, the Reverend Kate Bottley joined finalists in all three categories with sponsors, patrons, judges and press to announce the Bronze, Silver and Gold winners for 2022. A Celebrity Masterchef contestant in 2017 and known to undertake the odd cookery demonstration here and there, Kate brought a sense of joy to the occasion as she made the announcements.
The winners will be celebrated at the annual awards dinner in the autumn, but these early accolades can be promoted in forthcoming food and drink festivals across the county and country.
The Gold winners, as well as receiving mentoring support, will be entered into the Guild of Fine Foods Great Taste Awards for 2023.
The winners are:
Artisan Local Vegetarian/Vegan Product of the Year 2022/23, sponsored by Daily Bread
Bronze: Almond & Coconut Granola By Salma Shah; Cucumber & Dill Sauerkraut from Millie Pickles; Vegan Fizzy Blue Raspberry Bottles from The Sweet Lounge
Silver: Spiced Rhubarb Chutney from The Food Library; Tongue Taster from Northampton Cheese Company
Gold: Oinkin’ Patties from The Curious Vegan
Artisan Local Product of the Year 2022/23, sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed
Bronze: Elderflower Sorbet from Your Cool; Garlic and Fennel Salami from Northampton Charcuterie Company; Tomato & Chilli Chutney from Green Kitchen Preserves
Silver: Blueberry & Lavender Jam from Mee Farmers; Northamptonshire Blue from Hamm Tun Fine Foods; White Sourdough from Whittlebury Bakery
Gold: Naked Dairy Gelato from Rocky’s Gelato
Artisan Local Drink of the Year 2022/23
Bronze: Solstice Single Malt Whisky from Wharf Distillery
Silver: Heidrun session NEIPA from Three Hills Brewing; Oat Drink from Wild & Furrow
Gold: Blue Aurora English Blueberry Ice Wine from Lutton Farm; Lactodorum Towcester Gin from Wharf Distillery; Stonyfield English Quality Sparkling Wine 2018 Rose from Stonyfield Vineyard
Post-pandemic, the organisers were thrilled to receive a higher number of entries than previous years and from a range of established and new businesses.
Awards Director Rachel Mallows said
“We are once again thrilled to have the headline sponsorship of Weetabix, and category sponsorship from Daily Bread and Heygates Flour and Animal Feed in these artisan awards. On a very warm summer’s day, we presented a superb range of produce and drink from some pretty amazing businesses. To have Kate help us with this was the icing on the cake!”
The judging involved a two-stage tasting process with local and then external judges across a number of months. This year there was resounding support for the county’s producers with one second stage judge commenting that the ‘category products and drinks were world class; exceptional. Any county would be proud of all these products’.
Daily Bread member John Clarke said:
“We had really wanted Kate to help us celebrate our 40th anniversary two years ago, but with the pandemic we had to cancel. We are over the moon to welcome her to Daily Bread with the awards team and have her congratulations to us all, from what was started by a small group from Weston Favell Church. Daily Bread has a great selection of local producers in the shop and we know our customers love buying local.”
Gold award winner, Curious Vegan Co., a vegan company based between Horton and Brafield, said:
“We are absolutely thrilled to bits to win Gold for our Oinkin’ Pattie. It’s credence to what we do. We strive to be the best and it’s really such a big team effort and I’m so proud of everyone back at the farm. We will keep striving to make products better, more accessible and we are now taking it to market into wholesale and into retail early next year. This award will giveus the spring in our step to really push our products forward.”
Silver award winner, Mee Farmers, who won the award for their Blueberry & Lavender Jam lockdown recipe that uses waste fruit said they added lavender to the product as they wanted to relate it to British products. They said:
“It’s a really exciting time for us, wining this award, as it’s our first time going into products with blueberries (which they sell fresh to Waitrose and M&S). It’s really nice to have our own project that we can take forward. The blueberry and lavender jam was the first product we started working on and its success has now led the way for a new market for us. For it be your own recipe and win something is very special.”
The remaining categories will be announced at the annual Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards ceremony, to be held this year on Wednesday, October 12 at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate.
For more details of this year’s competition, or for tickets, call Sophie Smith on 01933 664437 or email email@example.com
Follow the Awards on Twitter and Instagram at @foodawardsHQ or on Facebook at @foodawards or LinkedIn at @weetabixnfadawards using the hashtag #WFDA22