2019 Taste Award Winners

The annual Deliciouslyorkshire Taste Awards took place this week and as ever it was Yorkshire’s most delicious event!

Some 400 of the county’s finest food and drink producers and businesses attended the sparkling black-tie event which was held on Wednesday evening at the Pavilions of Harrogate.

Hosted by Yorkshire favourites chef Steph Moon and broadcaster Nigel Barden, the 24 awards including those for Best New Business, Best Yorkshire Breakfast and Best Pork Pie were presented around a delicious and locally sourced three course meal which included many of this year’s shortlisted and winning products.

Now in their 16th year, the awards have grown to become the biggest food and drink accolades in the North of England and are held in high regard throughout the county and beyond. 

With a record number of entries, competition as ever was fierce and this year’s panel of judges which included a host of chefs, food writers, critics and buyers had the enviable task of whittling the entries down into the 2019 shortlist across 3 full days of judging in September.

Deliciouslyorkshire Chairman Judy Bell described the evening as a triumph and a real celebration of the county’s thriving industry: “It’s a real pleasure to see the Taste Awards grow and flourish.  Each year the number of entries increases and we always find something new, exciting and innovative.  These awards are a great reflection of Yorkshire’s diverse food and drink scene and really are the ones to win!”

“With so many entries and such a high standard yet again, our judging panel had their work cut out.  We’d like to say a huge thank you all our judges and indeed all our entrants for taking the time to get involved. 

“To win one of our coveted awards is a huge achievement, but to be on the shortlist itself amongst so much tough competition is also fantastic, so a huge congratulations to everyone who made it onto this year’s shortlist.”

And the winners were…

Best Bakery

Sponsored by Crombie Wilkinson

Winner: Toppings Pies – Salmon, Broccoli & Dill Quiche

No stranger to winning awards with over 40 to their name, family run Toppings Pies have been producing their range of speciality pies and quiches from their South Yorkshire base for nearly 60 years.

Using a number of family recipes, their hand finished range has gained a loyal following and the team have stuck to their ethos of sourcing quality locally sourced ingredients to produce products of the highest standard.

Our judging panel loved the flavor combinations and the well-made pastry saying: “the filling is full of flavor, with well balanced and distributed ingredients and perfect seasoning.  A quiche to be proud of!”

Best Fresh Produce

Sponsored by Yorkshire Bank

Winner: Herbs Unlimited – Speciality Baby Salad Box

Specialising in growing high quality, fresh cut herbs, baby salads and edible flowers, the team at Herbs Unlimited based near Thirsk know a thing or two about fresh produce.

The award-winning company who farm 90 acres and supply some of the top restaurants in the country as well as a host of manufacturers, wholesalers and foodservice customers nationwide are previous winners of this category having taken home the accolade for their Oxalis in 2017.

Our judges were impressed with the quality of this stand-out product noting its freshness and vibrancy and the combination of flavours.  “For something so simple to deliver on so many levels was very impressive.” 

Best Fresh Meat

Sponsored by Yorkshire Bank

Winner: British Premium Sausage Company – Bath Pig Traditional Italian Porchetta

Born out of a desire to change the perception of what the British public thought about pork, founder of the British Premium Sausage Company Ian has done just that.

Starting out by manufacturing on a small but perfectly formed scale at their facility in Bradford, their range of products soon gained attention and a number of them are now stocked in national retailers including Waitrose, Ikea and Tesco to name but a few.

Having acquired specialist chorizo producer The Bath Pig, the West Yorkshire producer’s range has recently grown and this year’s winner of our Fresh Meat Category, certainly ticked all the boxes for our judges who described it as “memorable and truly delicious.  All the components came together giving this product a great depth of flavour.  Perfectly moist with impeccable crackling – a superior piece of meat and a joy to eat!”

Best Prepared Meat

Winner: Geo Middlemiss & Son – Yorkshire Biltong

Making somewhat of a habit of winning Taste Awards, the team at Geo Middlemiss and Sons return for another successful year, this time with their Yorkshire Biltong.

The traditional, family run butchers shop in the heart of Otley sells only local meats sourced from trusted nearby farms.  Their Yorkshire Biltong delighted the judges with its complex and perfectly balanced flavours.  “We love the expertly judged heat, sweetness and spice.  Teamed with a great meatiness and the prefect amount of chewiness, this is a product to be proud of and we could happily come back for seconds. Bravo!” 

Best Pork Pie

Winner: J A Mounfield & Son Ltd – 1lb Pork Pie

Based in Bubwith near Selby, family run Mounfield Butchers have been creating award winning products since 1809.

Preparing and selling gourmet meat and home-made pies and bakery goods, the company source locally to ensure the highest standards.

In arguably one of our most fiercely contested categories this year’s winning pie certainly needed to impress our discerning panel.  Giving it an 11/10 for its crisp fresh pastry the judges loved that the pie was “packed with succulent and flavoursome meat with a well-set jelly.” A pie to shout about!       

Best Fish & Seafood

Winner: Noble’s Shellfish & Curing – Whitby Cold Smoked Scottish Salmon

Nobel’s have been curing fish in Whitby for generations since the current owner’s great-grandparents started the business in the 1800’s producing herrings, before opening the first family shop on Sandgate.

Now based in a new modern unit at Sea View Farm, the business still draws on the traditions and skills passed down through the generations.

The judges absolutely loved this year’s winning entry, highlighting the quality of the product with “its sashimi-esque texture, superb fresh taste and skillfully judged balance of smoke and salt.  This product has a sublime rich, unctuous smoky, buttery finish… a product to be proud of!”

Best Ready to Eat

Winner: Saffron Tree – Vegetable Korma

A closely fought category as ever, the top spot for this year’s Best Ready to Eat product went to relatively new Harrogate based business Saffron Tree, for their expertly executed Vegetable Korma.

Aiming to make a range of authentic Indian cuisine inspired by her grandmother’s original recipes, owner Monalisa’s classic dishes were a hit with the judges who loved their vibrant colours and perfectly balanced flavours. “Lovely textures and skillfully balanced spices give a rich and aromatic flavor to this dish.  An all-round artfully conceived and expertly executed product that feels authentic in look and taste.  Your grandmother would be proud!”

Best Cheese

Sponsored by Booths

Winner: Shepherds Purse Cheeses – Buffalo Blue

2019 has already been a busy year for family run Shepherd’s Purse Cheeses.  Celebrating their 30th year in business, the Thirsk based company spent the summer collecting a host of national industry accolades and now have a Taste Award to add to their collection.

The judges were genuinely blown away by the quality of this year’s winning cheese which they described as “fresh and creamy with a luxurious texture and long mellow aftertaste.  A stand-out product that has all the hallmarks of a world class cheese. More please!”

Best Ice Cream/Dairy

Sponsored by Reed Boardall

Winner: Yorvale – Kefir Ice Cream with Sour Cherry

Having produced ice cream on the family farm for almost 30 years, the team at Yorvale certainly know a thing or two about what makes a great product.

Using milk from their own herd their product range has grown over recent years to include not only a range of award-winning ice cream, but also kefir drinking yogurt and frozen kefir.

In an ever popular category this year’s winning product – Kefir Ice Cream with Sour Cherry, blew the judges socks off!  Our panel loved the “fresh but rich taste which was beautifully smooth on the palate and had generous bursts of sour cherry. Innovative, healthy and delicious this exceeded all our expectations and was a real treat to eat.  A well-deserved winner in a closely fought category.”

Best Beverage

Winner: Hollin House Farm – Whole Milk

“The common done uncommonly well” was how this year’s judging panel described the winning product in our Beverage category, which came in the form of whole milk from Hollin House Farm.

A small dairy farm based in West Yorkshire the family run business has diversified over recent years to produce cheese and now, award winning milk sold in glass bottles direct to the consumer.

Described by our panel as “sublime and divine with a super-rich and creamy fresh taste”, this product took our judges back to their childhoods!  “One of life’s simple pleasures and everything you could ask for and more was delivered in spades.”

Best Beer

Winner: BAD Co Brewery – Dark Necessities Milk Stout

Taste 19 Photograph by Richard Walker – www.imagenorth.net

Always a popular category with our judges for obvious reasons, our Best Beer award is also our most entered!

This year’s winner came from Dishforth based BAD Co Brewery, who are previous winners of this accolade on more than one occasion!

Inspired by the American approach to ale production, Bad Co pride themselves on producing craft beers with outstanding flavours and impact and this year’s winning entry provided just that.

The judges said: “this beer delivered on every level. We love its creamy, smooth and velvety texture, its layers of flavor and long lingering finish. Complex and quaffable we love the notes of roasted coffee and almond and tantalizing hits of chocolate and cherry. Milk stout the modern way!”

Best Spirit

Sponsored by Shepherds Purse Cheeses

Winner: Masons Yorkshire Gin – The Original

It’s been a testing year for Bedale based Masons. Having lost their distillery to a devastating fire earlier, the team rallied behind owners Karl and Cathy and were back in production within a matter of days.

In an ever crowded spirits market, this year’s winning product, Masons Original Yorkshire Gin hit the top spot with our panel who loved its “well-judged viscosity and subtle fennel fragrance,” which made it sing out amongst its competitors.  “Satisfyingly complex with layers of flavour expertly balancing citrusy orange and lime with aniseed and cardamom, this gin has a harmonious peppery warmth on the finish and we just love it.”

Best Flavoured Spirit

Sponsored by Shepherds Purse Cheeses

Winner: Isaac Poad Brewing – Damson & Gin

Around the time that the Yorkshire County Cricket Club was formed and Queen Victoria was on the throne, Isaac Poad started in business. Based close to York the company thrived supplying barley to brewers before moving into brewing themselves and more recently into spirits.

In an ever popular category (for obvious reasons!) this year’s judging panel loved Isaac Poad’s Damson and Gin.  “Smooth and well-balanced, we love the warm and comforting mellow richness of this spirit.  A pleasure to drink, it’s crying out for a roaring log fire and great friends.” Cheers!

Best Savoury Condiment

Sponsored by The Speciality and Fine Food Fair

Winner: The Chilli Jam Man – Scotch Bonnet Chilli Jam

As a previous winner of the Yorkshire Food Hero Award, Simon Barrett is no stranger to collecting gongs at the Taste Awards.

His award-winning range of spicy condiments now has another accolade thanks to his Scotch Bonnet Chilli Jam blowing our judges away!  Noting its versatility, depth of colour and lovely glossy appearance, they said: “such a lovely slightly sweet, fresh fruity flavor with a heat that builds beautifully without being too harsh.  Guaranteed to spice up your life!”

Best Sweet Preserve

Winner: Rosalind’s Larder – Blackberry, Rhubarb & Liquorice Jam

A new comer to the Taste Awards, Rosalind’s Larder certainly caused a stir with this year’s judging panel with her now award winning Blackberry, Rhubarb & Liquorice Jam

Using largely home grown produce in her range of artisan, handcrafted preserves, Rosalind is a regular at local food markets and shows throughout the region.  Our impressed judges said: “If you want a taste of Yorkshire on toast then this is it!  Bursting with fruit, with a lovely texture and a great balance of distinctive flavours all perfectly judged to allow each of them to shine equally. A quality grown up jam and a worthy winner!”

Best Confectionery

Sponsored by The Serious Sweet Company

Winner: Crofts Chocolates – Scarborough Salted Caramel Chocolates

Family run Crofts celebrated their 6th year in business this summer and what a way to mark it!  Based in Scarborough their range of delicious treats are made on site by their talented chocolatier.

Another highly anticipated category which often throws up a number of surprises, Crofts Scarborough Salted Caramel Chocolates were stand-out winners in the category with the judges noting their wonderful finish, perfect size and inviting aroma.  “A quality product with super thin chocolate and a great balance of texture and flavor.  They delivered on every level and most importantly taste delicious!” 

Best Free From

Sponsored by Ulrick & Short

Winner: Sugar Therapy – Undeniably Charlotte Chocolate & Raspberry Bombe

With many celebrity commissions, including Her Majesty the Queen, Thirsk based Sugar Therapy certainly know how to impress!

Known as the ‘Damien Hurst of the dessert world’ owner Charlotte announced the launch of the Undeniably Charlotte a brand making premium desserts for supermarkets in August 2015 and moved into larger purpose built premises to keep up with demand.

Our judges had high praise for this innovative winning product saying, “Simple, well executed and totally delicious, it certainly has the wow factor.  This dessert would make it onto our table for a special occasion without hesitation, bravo!”

Best Yorkshire Breakfast

Sponsored by Cranswick

Winner: Newton House, Knaresborough.

Set in a beautiful 300-year-old townhouse in the centre of the charming historic market town of Knaresborough, Newton House offers Georgian elegance along with now Taste Award winning breakfasts!

Our judge was full of praise for this hidden gem noting the welcome and hospitality as much as the delicious food itself.  “Our cooked breakfasts were beautifully presented and of the highest quality.  All the food was fresh, tasty and locally sourced and we were delighted with the friendliness, efficiency and by the lovely atmosphere in the breakfast room. How wonderful to have the opportunity to enjoy home-cooked local produce which was cooked to perfection.”

Best Afternoon Tea

Winner: Farmer Copleys

Owned by husband and wife team Robert and Heather, Farmer Copleys is an award-winning farm shop and café near Pontefract.  The farm has been in the Copley family for over 140 years and started out as a dairy enterprise before moving into arable and then diversifying some 15 years ago into its current successful incarnation, offering their loyal customers base a fantastic butchery, deli and café.

Our judges described this year’s winning afternoon tea experience as ‘standout’ and praised the fantastic food and ambience of the café.  “We thoroughly enjoyed the excellent quality, taste and beautifully presented food.  A perfect balance and variety, everything was fresh and high quality and most importantly thoroughly delicious!”

Best Use of Local Produce on a Menu

Sponsored by YNYER LEP (How’s Business)

Winner: Devonshire Arms Hotel, Bolton Abbey Estate

Combining classical country house style with fresh, exciting and modern British menus, head chef Paul Leonard is one of the country most exciting chefs and his exquisite tasting menus are The Burlington restaurants speciality, with each dish sourced locally including many ingredients from the hotel’s own kitchen garden.

This year’s winning menu was heavily influenced by seasonal availability and took the time to make well known Yorkshire ingredients sing.  Our judge said, “This menu clearly articulates their passion for the local area and local suppliers and featured many innovative and interesting collaborations.” 

Best Wholesaler

Winner: Shepcote

2019 sees Driffield based wholesalers Shepcote celebrating their 50th year in business.

Priding themselves on their wide delivery service, covering areas from Northumberland to south Lincolnshire, the family run firm is built on traditional values of excellent customer service, with their carefully designed business processes aiming to ensure that their customers receive high quality goods as fresh as possible.

A significant employer in the town and very aware of their responsibilities and the welfare of their staff, our judges were impressed that Shepcote were embracing new ways of doing business and investing in the future by improving their recycling processes, using their harvested rainwater supplies and utilizing solar energy. “An impressive entry from an impressive, forward thinking Yorkshire company.  Very well done!”

Best Independent Retailer

Sponsored by Farm Shop & Deli Show

Winner: Cedarbarn Farm Shop

Cedar Barn is run by husband and wife team Karl and Mandy Avison, along with their daughter Chloe and several other family members, with the aim to bring top-quality, fresh food with impeccable provenance to their customers.

Our extremely impressed judge said: “I’m always drawn to the local product section in any business, however I have never visited a shop so thoroughly committed to offering local produce. Not only do Cedar Barn offer the farm’s own homegrown meat and the usual fruit and vegetables but they also stock a wide variety of local beverages and even local tea!  If I lived more locally I would certainly be a regular visitor and I’ll definitely be recommending Cedar Barn to family and friends.

Best New Business

Sponsored by Garbutt & Elliott

Winner: Saffron Tree

Newly launched Saffron Tree are based in Harrogate and offer a range of authentic Indian food based on a collection of classic dishes passed down from owner Monalisa’s family and friends.

Our judges were impressed with the progress made by this new business in a short period of time. “The creation of an efficient production unit, excellent branding and packaging, good early retail distribution and real clarity of the category and consumer need will mean definite future success for the Saffron Tree brand.  A well-structured business and a great entry all round – well done Saffron Tree!”

Local Food Hero

Sponsored by The Yorkshire Agricultural Society

Winner: Nigel Barden

With over 30 years of foodie knowledge and experience Nigel Barden was an obvious choice for this award and an incredibly popular winner! 

Combining a long career at BBC Radio with TV appearances, events and food festivals, not to mention awards judging and hosting around the world, Nigel is Yorkshire born and bred having grown up on a farm in the county before working as a land agent and a wine merchant.

As famous for his fabulous choice of shirts as much as his love of artisan food, Nigel is now based in London and has banged the drum for small producers, particularly those in the North, for many years, championing their products on a national stage through his slots on both Simon Mayo’s and Chris Evans’ award winning Radio 2 shows.

Now hosting a weekly cookery show on new station Scala Radio with Simon, Nigel has become a fixture at many food and drink events around the world, hosting, comparing and judging at a myriad of events including the World Cheese Awards, the Britvic Business Food and Drink Journalist Awards and the Time Out Food and Drink Awards to name but a few.

A fixture on the food and drink scene he is held in high regard and with particular affection by Deliciousyorkshire and its members where he has been involved in all aspects of promoting the county’s food and drink for a number of years.  Congratulations Nigel, you deserve it!

Supreme Champion 2019

Sponsored by Grow Yorkshire

Winner: Hollin House Farm – Whole Milk

“Wow wow wow!” was how our judges described this year’s Supreme Product, curtesy of the team at Hollin House Farm.  Their whole milk evoked such lovely childhood memories across our judging panel that it was a standout winner from the start!

Produced on a small family run dairy farm in the village of Clayton West in West Yorkshire, the creamy, full fat milk was a joy to behold and tasted “exactly like milk should – thick, creamy and full of delicious flavor.”  Third generation dairy farmers, the family recently diversified and have begun selling milk directly to the public in glass bottles as well as producing Hollin House Farm Cheese.

Our judging panel said: “Huge congratulations on this stand out product.  The quality is obvious from the start and the richness of flavor is a joy.  It’s such a pleasure for an everyday product to be produced to such a high standard. Everyone should have access to milk like this – its outstanding!”