Meet Our Judges 2024

Please find below our current list of confirmed judges for the 2024 awards – more to be added in due course!

Amanda Ludlow – IWSC Judge

Amanda Ludlow is a member of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, a Freeman of the City of London and IWSC Judge.

Amanda has worked in hospitality / drinks sector for over 20 years. Starting her career in London at the Ritz and Les Ambassadeurs Casinos as a chef, returning to her home in Northern Ireland to work front of house in Ireland first Michelin starred restaurant Roscoffs. Amanda as worked in Australia in Cafe Sydney and set up a group of bars for Diageo. In UK Amanda has held management and leadership roles for both Brakes and United Biscuits . In addition to co-founding the Whisky Lounge with her husband, renowned whisky writer and whisky expert Eddie Ludlow, Amanda has consulted for LVHM, Berry Brothers&Rudd, Beam Edrington Suntory and Karuizawa Distiller Inc.

Amanda Owen

Amanda is a well-known icon in the farming industry. Shepherdess, hill farmer and public speaker. Amanda lives a busy and fufilling life with her family in Swaledale.

She is also an author with 5 best selling books including her latest cook book ‘Celebrating the Seasons with the Yorkshire Shepherdess‘.

Amanda Peberdy – Subrosa

Amanda Peberdy has over 30 years’ experience within the food and retail industry having previously worked as a food buyer and then co-founding Subrosa Ltd in 2008.

Her ‘in-depth’ know how as to how retailers work, combined with the breadth of knowledge of the wider Subrosa team, provides both strategic expertise and ‘hands on’ support across commercial, marketing and operational functions helping food & drink brands achieve their potential. 

Amanda loves judging our DY awards, if only to indulge in a day of pork pie eating and sipping Yorkshire beer!

Carla Mills – Booths

Category Buying Manager for Fruit & Veg, Meat & Fish, Horticulture, Chilled Free From & Vegetarian and Dairy (Excl. Cheese)

Catherine Scott – The Yorkshire Post

Catherine Scott is The Yorkshire Post’s Magazine Editor which champions the best of Yorkshire especially when it comes to what the county has to offer in terms of food and drink –  from  restaurant reviews to producers’ stories, recipes, wine and pubs.

She has been a journalist in Yorkshire for almost 20 years covering a wide variety of stories.

Passionate about all things Yorkshire , especially  food and drink, Catherine has been a DY judge for a number of years and finds it a privilege to be able to sample the wide variety of produce from across the county

Elaine Lemm Taste Awards judge

Elaine Lemm

Elaine is an award winning food writer, former chef and cookery school owner. For over 20 years she has been a restaurant critic at the Yorkshire Post and a freelance food and recipe writer for many leading magazines and online, including Waitrose Food Illustrated, National Geographic Food, Olive and BBC Good Food, and is a member of the Guild of Food Writers. 

She is also the author of 4 food books including the acclaimed Great Book of Yorkshire Pudding (now in its 3rd Edition), and her new book, More Than Yorkshire Puddings took second place for Best Regional Cookbook at the World Gourmand Book Awards in Sweden. 

John Gill – Booths

John has been involved in selecting, procuring and retailing great food and drink for 15 years with Booths.

In this time John has experienced the arrival and emergence of some wonderful food and drink brands and is always keen to support and encourage new and exciting products to market.

With a wealth of experience in food and drink awards judging, John can’t wait to get involved again in judging for the Deliciously Yorkshire Awards.

Lee Jones – Hedonist Drinks

A seasoned and respected member of the northern bar scene with over 16 years of experience in the hospitality sector. Lee joined Studio Events in 2021 and brings with him an excellent knowledge of the UK drinks industry and enthusiasm for engaging consumer events. Passionate about cocktails, spirits, bar standards and operations Lee also works as a consultant and trainer for independent businesses.

As the Head of Studio Events, Lee leads all tastings, digital events and brand collaborations; delivering high-quality experiences that combine education and enjoyment.

Winning Finalist for the 2022 Whistle Pig ‘No History, No Rules’, competition, Lee excels in brand advocacy and event execution. Following his global competition win, Lee worked as an ambassador for Southern Comfort in 2019, delivering masterclasses and representing the brand at events such as Meatopia, Imbibe and Class Awards. He has also spoken knowledgeably and passionately about gin brands on weekly Gin Journey tours across the North since 2018.

Lisa Bennison – Bettys

Lisa Bennison is Catering and Cookery School Innovation Manager at Bettys and has worked with the family business since 1986, after first visiting on work placement from college. Her many roles in the business have included: waitressing, kitchen assistant, catering manager, front of house manager, deputy branch manager and training manger. She has been a central part of Bettys Cookery School where she worked as a senior tutor for 14 years, during which time the Cookery School won a series of nationally recognised awards. 

Lisa regularly visits France where her parents have a summer home, and where she delights in French cuisine particularly seafood. Her philosophy is one of simplicity as she believes good quality ingredients should be able to speak for themselves.

Nigel Barden

Nigel is one the busiest food and drink hosts in the industry and is Chairman of Judges for the Great Taste, World Cheese Awards and Farm Shop & Deli Awards. He judges & hosts the Deliciously Yorkshire Awards and as a huge fan of seafood was delighted to host the National Fish & Chip Awards for 4 years running.

He is a keen supporter of Action Against Hunger. 

Nigel champions local, artisan food and drink producers from all over the UK. Growing up on a farm he has great respect and understanding of the farming community and to those who sell their home crafted produce at farm doors, markets and farm shops.​

Steph Moon

Steph is delighted to be back hosting this years DY awards with her mate Nige!

Some of this years highlights for Steph have been… helping many food and drink businesses across Yorkshire with their fascinating and varied food challenges as a self employed Chef Consultant now in her 13th year, and winning the Harrogate Ambassador from the Harrogate Food and Drink Awards 2023.

Steph is regularly to be found cooking in or hosting food theatres around Yorkshire and beyond. She loves helping the next generation of Chefs reach their full potential and does a lot of work encouraging students and mentoring young chefs in the trade. Steph is a judge for The Yorkshire Tourism awards, The Yorkshire Evening Post’s Olivers, Yorkshire life, Craft Guild of Chefs, Saint Aidans School, and the UK Frozen Food Federation Awards.

Steph loves a challenge and this year has been working with a Four Red star hotel, a Coffee shop, a farm shop and a Pie factory to name a few highlights – she likes to keep busy!

Will Woodhouse-Banks – Taylor’s of Harrogate

Will has worked in coffee since 2011 in various roles including Café Manager, Head Roaster and Head of Quality. He currently works at Taylor’s of Harrogate as Operations Developer for their Discovery brand. 

Will is a certified Q Grader (the highest tasting qualification in coffee) and he took 2nd place in the 2022 U.K. Barista Championship. 

He is excited to be judging the coffee for the Deliciously Yorkshire Taste Awards for the 4th year in a row. 

Valerie Aston – Proudfoot

Buying and Distribution Director for Proudfoot Supermarkets, based in Scarborough, North Yorkshire

44 years’ experience in all areas of FMCG and Trustee on the Boards of two charities; Making A Difference Locally and Helmsley Walled Garden