Wednesday 2nd November saw the culmintation of months of planning, judging, tasting and shortlisting when the Taste Awards finally arrived and our 24 category winners were announced!
300 people from the Yorkshire food and drink industry sat down to a delicious 4 course locally sourced meal at the Pavilions of Harrogate before BBC Radio 2’s Nigel Barden and Sue Nelson from Yorkshire Food Finder got the awards ceremony underway.
A huge congratulations to all of our 2016 winning and shortlisted businesses – a fantastic achievement!
Best Bakery Product
Winner: Just Desserts – Salted Caramel Cake
Sponsor: ARC Retail Consultancy
Based in the heart of West Yorkshire, Just Desserts are a family run business specialising in baking a range of high quality, handmade desserts, cakes and quiche for the food service industry.
Provide a consistent and dependable service and supported by a talented team of bakers, a knowledgeable and friendly office team and a dedicated team of delivery drivers, Just Desserts range of over 130 products can be round in restaurants throughout Yorkshire and Lancashire.
Their Salted Caramel Cake was a stand out in this year’s Bakery category with the judges describing it as “a real feast for the eyes!” and complimented is exquisite balance and combination of flavours.
Best Fresh Produce
Winner: Herbs unlimited – Oxtails
Sponsor: Ibbotsons Produce
Specialising in high quality, fresh cut herbs and baby salads as well as an extensive range of speciality herbs and edible flowers in the summer season, Herbs Unlimited based near Thirsk in North Yorkshire certainly wowed the judges with their winning entry.
Founder, Alison Dodd had been working as a cordon blue chef for 20 years in her family restaurant and realised that she couldn’t always get the great quality and variety of herbs she needed, and Herbs Unlimited was born!
Since then the businesses has grown and a new site developed in the village of Sandhutton where the company now grow their extensive range across a 90 acre site.
The judges described their Oxtails as “visually spectacular, with a subtle and very different flavour. It’s like nothing you’ll of tasted before and would grace the tables of any top restaurant in the land.”
Best Fresh Meat
Winner: Anna’s Happy Trotters – Yorkshire Pulled Ham
Sponsor: Verner Wheelock
“A product to be proud of” was how the judges described this year’s Fresh Meat category winner courtesy of East Yorkshire based family business Anna’s Happy Trotters.
The judges went on to say that “This piece of meat looks so appetising and smelt so good – we couldn’t wait to dive in! It screams quality throughout.”
The Longthorp family, who have been farming for 4 generations near Howden are no strangers to winning awards having won the Best Prepared Meat category at last year’s Taste Awards. Originally a purely arable farm growing crops, the family decided to make better use of the pigs by selling to butchers and farm shops in 2008, and Anna’s Happy Trotters was born.
Anna’s Happy Trotters now produce Red Tractor Assured and Freedom Foods accredited from their range of both Free Range and Outdoor Bred pigs throughout Yorkshire and beyond.
Best Prepared Meat
Winner: The British Premium Sausage Company – Harrogate Brat Hot Dog Sausage
Sponsor: York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP
With over 40 years combined experience within the meat industry, the team at The British Premium Sausage Co certainly know a thing or two about the great British banger!
Specialising in making and delivering the traditional British sausage, the Bradford based firm supplying well known Hotel groups, Food service companies and Quality Catering Butchers throughout the UK and Europe.
It’s fair to say that this judges were bowled over by this banger in both looks and taste commenting that: “this product was truly delicious, with great caramelisation and subtle balanced flavours and textures. This product wouldn’t be out of place on even the most ardent of foodies table.”
Best Yorkshire Pork Pie
Winner: BW & DJ Glaves and Sons
Sponsor: Aura Facilities
Returning for a second year to scoop the coveted Best Yorkshire Pork Pie award, it’s safe to say that this family run company know a thing or two about pies!
Established in 1973, the butchers shop, which is situated between Scarborough and Pickering in North Yorkshire sell beef, lamb, pork and poultry as well as award winning pies and sausages using only locally sourced produce as well as home reared meat from their own farm.
With a judging panel full of ardent pie enthusiasts, the winning pie certainly stood out made an impression and was described as “fresh and appealing, the way a great pork pie should! With crisp pastry, a beautifully glazed top and a delicious and moist filling, this pie was a stand out in its field.”
Best Fish and Seafood
Winner: Kilnsey Park Estate – Smoked Trout Pate
Sponsor: Yorkshire Bank
Set in the heart of spectacular Wharfedale, Kilnsey Park Estate have produced their famous rainbow trout since 1978 as well as their award-winning smokehouse.
Producing their fish the old-fashioned way, from lake to plate, the fresh fish are gutted and filleted by hand before being soaked in brine placed in the smokehouse ovens. The hot smoke from smouldering oak sawdust cooks the fish traditionally to produce a delicately flavoured naturally succulent smoked trout.
Currently supplying a number of leading restaurants and pubs across Yorkshire as well as their own café Estate shop, the judging panel described the winning product as “rich and delectable, with a luxurious taste and lovely flavour combinations – a real pleasure to eat.”
Best Ready to Eat Product
Winner: The Topping Pie Company – Game Pie
A family run business spanning 3 generations of Toppings family, The Topping Pie Company began their traditional butchers and baking business more than 50 years ago.
Making top quality British pies and quiche is at the heart of the company and the Topping family continue to source and use only the very best locally sourced British Red Tractor pork meat and ingredients.
The company has now transformed from a small family butchers to a multi-award winning speciality pie business supplying a wide range of handcrafted products to retail, independent, wholesale and export customers – but still retains its traditional family roots and the original butchers shop.
“This is sophisticated comfort food at its absolute best!” commented the judges, “It looks beautiful and artisan with a lovely combination of meat encased in a delicious jelly and superb pastry – a pie that Yorkshire should be proud of!”
Best Yorkshire Cheese
Winner: Yorkshire Dama Cheese – Halloumi with Chilli
Sponsor: Yorkshire Agricultural Society
Razan Alsous, founder of multi-award winning Yorkshire Dama Cheese came to the UK from Syria in 2012 due to the war. Having lost almost everything, she settled in Yorkshire with her husband and three young children, and initially began to look for work linked to her pharmacy degree.
Being surrounded by quality British milk and unable to find halloumi in supermarkets that could match that she had eaten in Syria, Razan set about creating her own and Yorkshire Dama Cheese was born.
After just four months of production the company won the World Cheese Award Bronze Prize in 2014/15, highlighting the true quality of the product and a raft of awards and nominations have followed since.
Of this year’s winning cheese the judges said: “Traditional with a kick! This product provided the succulent and nutty flavours with a decidedly pleasant edge. A very modern cheese and the perfect accompaniment too many a meal. We want seconds!”
Best Yorkshire Ice cream
Winner: Yummy Yorkshire – Liquorice and Blackcurrant
Sponsor: Welcome to Yorkshire
Nestled in the heart of the Pennine Yorkshire countryside, the Holmes family had farmed in the area for generations before Yummy Yorkshire was born in 2007 and the family started to make delicious artisan ice cream using milk from their own dairy farm.
Having gone from strength to strength since, Yummy Yorkshire have collected many awards and accolades along the way for their innovative ice-cream and the winner of this category was no different.
The judging panel were bowled over by the combination of liquorice and blackcurrant, commenting that “with nearly 30 entries into this one category, the winner really had to stand out from the crowd and this one certainly did! With a quirky combination of flavours this ice cream shouldn’t work – but it absolutely does! We adored the contrast in salty and sweet flavours, and chunks of ingredients combined with luxuriously delicate ice cream – a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds!”
Best Yorkshire Beer
Winner: BAD Company Brewery – Dazed and Confused
Sponsor: Shepherds Purse Cheeses
Head Brewer, Paul Holden-Ridgway perfected his knowledge on what makes a great craft brew during numerous trips to the great breweries of the USA. Bringing his skills back to North Yorkshire he began a microbrewery to test his concoctions before teaming up with local businessman, David Brown, to turn BAD Co. into a fully operational brewery.
Now based at premises in Dishforth the duo set about making a range of beers for local bars, pubs and restaurants before expanding further and now have the capacity to bottle 2,800 bottles of BAD Co. beer every hour.
In an ever strong category of Yorkshire beers and up again from stiff competition from well-known breweries in the county, Bad Cos winning beer shone through as this year’s winner. “This beer delivers on all levels. Rich, intense and creamy, with delicious mocha and charcoal notes, the taste is a refreshing surprise and certainly lives up to its name.”
Best Yorkshire Wine
Winner: Ryedale Vineyards – The Dalesman White Sparkling
Sponsor: Shepherds Purse Cheeses
Britain’s most northerly commercial vineyard, Ryedale Vineyard is set on south facing slopes at the foot of the picturesque Yorkshire Wolds.
Run by Stuart and Elizabeth Smith, the first vines were planted in 2006, with the first bottles of wine produced in 2009. A family run business with four generations involved in the work in both the vineyard and in the winery, it had always been Stuart’s ambition to produce his own wine, having supplied top quality grafted vines to the industry for over 20 years.
The first year that this category has been included in the Taste Awards and highlighting the regard in which locally produced wines are now held, the judges said, “with peachy notes and punchy bubbles, this wine smells fresh and enticing! Clean and refreshing it’s certainly very drinkable and a real treat!
Best Yorkshire Spirit
Winner: York Brewery – Elysian Spirit
Sponsor: York, North Yorkshire and East Ridings LEP
Passionate producers of handcrafted real ales since opening their doors in 1996, York Brewery have recently made a departure into spirits in spectacular fashion!
Distilled from their award winning Centurion’s Ghost Ale in small batches and using traditional copper pot stills, Elysian Spirit is reminiscent of a lowland malt whisky with a fruity nose and hints of honey and caramel.
The judges certainly enjoyed judging this category, but of this year’s winner said, “This drink is visually stunning. With mellow and honey and caramel notes it screams quality – we will definitely be buying a bottle of this!
Best Yorkshire Beverage
Winner: Manor Farm Jerseys – Many Farm Jersey Milk
Sponsor: Yorkshire Agricultural Society
No stranger to awards this year having won the Best Channel Island milk competition and Best Liquid Milk at the Great Yorkshire Show, you could say the Dickenson family Scaftworth, near Bawtry were on something of a roll.
After installing a milk vending machine at the end of the farm lane which allows the public to buy direct from the farm gate rather that a retailer, the move proved so popular that the family who have farmed in the area for 5 generations are now producing 1 litre Manor Farm Jerseys glass bottles which can be taken home and then refilled on the next visit.
In a broad category that covers a variety of drinks, the Manor Farm Jersey milk stood out to the judges as being: “the taste of our childhood! Creamy, rich and delicious, a fantastic product and one to be very proud of.”
Best Savoury Condiment
Winner: Bessie’s Yorkshire Preserves – Fig and Balsamic Chutney
Sponsor: Farm Shop and Deli Show
Based in York, Bessie’s Yorkshire Preserves specialise in making homemade chutneys, jams and relishes.
Using the traditional open pan methods, their products are made in small batches, using high quality produce including fruit and vegetables sourced from Yorkshire and the surrounding areas.
The judges said of this winning product, “this preserve feels fresh and innovative and would be great with either a savoury pie or ice cream alike! With great textures, an interesting artisan appearance and beautifully balanced flavours, this product is a store cupboard essential!”
Best Sweet Preserve
Winner: Peckish Kitchen Company – Pink Grapefruit and Prosecco Chutney
Established in 2015, the family run Peckish Kitchen creates delicious chutneys and preserves from their base near Holmfirth.
Striving to be distinctive in the recipes and flavour combinations while still creating hearty preserves all their products are handmade in small batches using quality natural ingredients, their inning product; Pink Grapefruit and Prosecco Chutney, certainly delivered a punch of flavour to the judging panel. “The flavours in this preserve work so well and the soft chunky texture make it a luxurious addition to any breakfast table. The flavour combinations are unusual but delicious with a lovely booziness coming through at the end – possibly one for the weekend rather than a work day breakfast!”
Winner: Ye Olde Sun Inn – Gin Infused Chocolates
Nestled in the village of Colton near Tadcaster, the popular Ye Olde Sun Inn run by Ashley and Kelly McCarthy have already scooped a number of awards for their innovative menus and on site deli. The addition of a chocolate room, producing bespoke hand-made confectionery for guests as well as corporate commissions.
The beautifully elegant Gin Infused chocolates entered into this year’s awards wowed the judges with both their unusual appearance and hit of gin flavour and said: “Very clever chocolates! Delectable soft filling encased in a beautiful chocolate casing – these really are a work of art!”
Best ‘Free From Product’
Winner: The Hull Pie – Gluten Free Succulent Steak Pie
Sponsor: Ulrick and Short
The Hull Pie, set up by Hull based chef and entrepreneur Matt Cunnah, prides itself on making exceedingly good pies and has collected a raft of awards since the company started 5 years ago. Gaining a great reputation in the Hull area for their products thanks to their loyal customer base, the company are now regular attendees at food shows and events throughout the region and have moved into outside catering for wedding and corporate events.
In a category covering a number of areas and with a very varied spread of entries, The Hull Pie’s Gluten Free Succulent Steak Pie was a stand-out product for the judges. “Well baked and inviting, this product would stand up against even a non-free from product! We loved the balanced seasoning and succulent meat filling as well as the subtle sweetness in the sauce – a very worthy winner!
Best Yorkshire Breakfast
Winner: Cambridge House, Reeth
Sponsor: Welcome to Yorkshire
Food is taken very seriously by Robert & Sheila Mitchell, owners of the award winning Cambridge House Bed and Breakfast. Located in stunning Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales, the 5 star accommodation in Reeth offers quality accommodation and famous hearty breakfasts.
Dedicated to supporting sustainable and locally based producers, it’s fair to say that guests not only eat healthy and ‘Fair-Trade’ produce, but have also actively contributed to the local community by doing so, having sourced their ingredients from farms and butchers within the local area.
The judges said after their mystery visit: “We thoroughly enjoyed our breakfast and were made to feel so welcome throughout. The quality of the food was excellent and it was great to know that so much of it had been sourced locally from the Dales area. The lovely surroundings and spectacular views of the countryside added to our experience. We will certainly be recommending this business to friends and family.”
Best Use of Local Produce on a Menu
Winner: Yorebridge House, Bainbridge
A luxury boutique hotel and restaurant, Yorebridge House, located in the Yorkshire Dales village of Bainbridge, is spoilt for choice when it comes to using produce from their own doorstep.
Having restored the historic building in 2006, owners David and Charlotte Reilly, and their team were awarded 3AA rosettes in 2014 for their inspiring and innovative menus and have continued to win awards for their food and hospitality.
This year’s Taste Award judges had the tough job of wading through a record number of entries for this category, each bringing something slightly different to the table. They were ultimately impressed with the innovative use of local produce, the teams strive for perfection in every area of their business and their obvious dedication to the local area, its producers and to keeping every aspect as truly “Yorkshire” as possible attracting both local customers as well as those from further afield looking for a true taste of the region.
Best Afternoon Tea
Winner: Jervaulx Abbey Tearooms
Sponsor: Townends Accountants
Set in the midst of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, Jervaulx Abbey’s beauty has won the hearts of many of its visitors.
The Burdon family opened the Tea Room and Visitor Centre in 1994 to cater for an increasing number of visitors and enthusiasts exploring the local area. With recent expansion and new family members joining the businesses, the busy tearooms now pride themselves on sourcing all of their produce from the county and produce a range of homemade treats including their ever popular afternoon tea.
The judges were impressed with the quality and presentation of the winning afternoon tea, commenting that: “the food was excellent and the team members were friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable making our visit a very memorable one and making us feel valued as customers. We’ll definitely recommend to others and we’ll definitely be back!”
Best Independent Retailer
Winner: Bert’s Barrow
Sponsor: Engine Room
Winners of the 2015 Best Fresh Produce category for their vegetable boxes, Bert’s Barrow returned for a second year to the Taste Awards to scoop the Best Independent Retailer accolade in style.
A small family-run farm spanning across generations in the small village of Hillam in North Yorkshire, the farm shop stated life as a cart on the roadside selling farm produce with an honesty box system set up by farmers Marlene and Ian (Bert) Thompson in aid of the village defibrillator fund.
Fast forward several year’s and the business is now a thriving farm shop run by son Jason and wife Charlotte, supplying the local area with fresh and local produce.
The glowing report from the mystery shoppers said: “The visit was positive from start to finish. An extremely well stocked shop full of fresh looking and smelling products with a clear emphasis on local and ethical food. The team were helpful, happy and positive throughout our visit and a real asset to this wonderful business.
Best Wholesale / Distributor
Winner: Class One
Having started out life as a market stall on Skipton High Street in 1990, Class One has certainly grown over the last 25 years but owner Diane’s original ethos of quality at the right price is still at the heart of the business today.
Having run the stall and wholesale business simultaneously for a number of years, Diane decided to concentrate on the wholesale side as the way forward and husband Chris and later son Ben, a trained chef, both joined the team.
Since then the business has steadily grown, gradually expanding their supply areas to include Lancashire, The Lake District and Harrogate amongst others, and winning a gold standard in recognition of the highest level of traceability, cleanliness, training and welfare of staff and product quality.
This year’s judging panel were impressed with the firms very clear USP and ethos, saying: “We loved their company ethos of ‘big enough to get the best supply, small enough to care for customers’. It was clear that the local and traceable elements of their supply chain were at the heart of the business as well as the care in which they looked after their customers’ needs. A very impressive entry all round!”
Best New Business
Winner: Miss Friday
Sponsor: Engine Room
Having won last year’s Best Bakery Award in her first year of business, Miss Friday’s Lois Macdonald followed it up in spectacular fashion by returning to take home the Best New Business 2016 trophy.
Since graduating from Harper Adams University, York based Lois has turned her passion for baking into a thriving business, converting her parents garage into a bakery and providing local farm shops and restaurants with her delicious baked treats as well as developing her pop up dessert bar which are now in high demand at events and weddings throughout the region.
Amongst a host of strong contenders for this year’s award, Miss Friday’s entry stood out with the judges saying: “What a great story this business has – and one that has been very well planned, with a simple, no nonsense mission statement and great innovation throughout. The tremendous passion came through in spades and quite frankly I am desperate to try your frangipane tarte after reading the description!”
Yorkshire Food Hero 2016
Winner: Sue Nelson – Yorkshire Food Finder
Sponsor: River Street Events
Nominated by Yorkshire food and drink producers themselves, the Yorkshire food Hero accolade is the industry’s choice of champion for their dedication to the county’s industry.
Known as the Flat Cap Cook, former journalist Sue Nelson is a worthy winner, having turned her passion for food and for Yorkshire into the thriving Yorkshire Food Finder business, which champions the regions producers far and wide.
Working to link food lovers from around the world with the county’s finest artisan food producers and restaurants, Yorkshire Food Finder provide a gourmet food trails, exploring the regions finest food and drink.
No stranger to the spot light, Sue has a weekly spot on BBC Radio York championing local producers as well as being a regular at food events and festivals throughout the year doing cookery demonstrations and pop up restaurants.
The panel of judges said: “Sue is a true champion of Yorkshire Food and drink and a very worthy winner of this year’s award.”
Supreme Product 2016
Winner: Ryedale Vineyards – The Dalesman White Sparkling
Quite simply the champion of champions, the Supreme Product award is picked from amongst the winners of each of this year’s categories as our panel of judges stand out product for the year.
With English wines enjoying something on a renaissance over recent times, it is perhaps fitting that Ryedale Vineyards, Britain’s most northerly commercial vineyard set at the foot of the picturesque Yorkshire Wolds should claim this year’s top spot, amongst a host of worthy contenders.
Having produced award winning wines since 2009 Stuart and Elizabeth Smith have combined their passion for the wine making and the industry into a thriving family businesses which employs four generations.
The first year that a Best Yorkshire Wine category has been included in the Taste Awards, this product swept to victory with the judges lording its “peachy notes, punchy bubbles and fresh and enticing taste. A real Yorkshire treat!”