Taste Awards 2015 – The Results!

An all-round delicious evening celebrating Yorkshire’s Food and Drink!

This year’s Deliciouslyorkshire and Yorkshire Post Taste Awards have been our biggest and best yet, attracting over 300 entries from food and drink producers and businesses throughout the whole of Yorkshire.

The Deliciously Yorkshire-Yorkshire Post Taste Awards 2015.  Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross

The team of judges made up of local chefs, supermarket buyers and retail experts came together back in August to judge the huge quantity of entries and determine who would be crowned this year’s champions.

The winners were announced on Wednesday 21st October at a glittering awards ceremony at the Pavilions of Harrogate where 300 guests dined on a delicious, locally sourced menu made using a number of shortlisted products from this year’s entrants.

Heading up the evening was Delicouslyorkshire Chairwoman and founder of Shepherds Purse Cheeses Judy Bell along with Radio 2’s resident foodie Nigel Barden.

Judy Bell said:  “This year’s award ceremony has been by far our best yet.  The quality of the produce and standard of the businesses that entered the categories this year has without a doubt been of the highest standard so far – truly outstanding.

“The number of entries has increased incredibly on previous year’s and is a real testament

The Deliciously Yorkshire-Yorkshire Post Taste Awards 2015. Host, Radio 2 resident foodie, Nigel Barden. Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross

to the high regard in which local food and drink businesses now hold the Taste Awards in.  It’s fantastic that local producers are so enthusiastic to get involved with awards and support the work of deliciouslyorkshire.  It’s also so great to see how much being shortlisted and indeed winning means to these hard working and innovative local businesses.

“We work hard at deliciouslyorkshire to make the awards something special for businesses to be involved in which means that we get the best judges and experts involved at all stages and along with our fantastic sponsors and the support from the Yorkshire Post, make a real splash about the wonderful products and excellent achievements made by our producers.

IMG_1512“We are absolutely thrilled by the response from local producers for this year awards and will be building on this achievement for next year, making them even bigger and even better in 2016.”

And the winners are….

Best Bakery – Kindly sponsored by The Co-operative

Winner: Miss Friday: Peanut Butter and Caramel Chocolate Brownie

High praise indeed for this brownie which stood out amongst some strong competition.  Entered by Lois Macdonald who runs Miss Friday from Wistow in North Yorkshire who specialise in gourmet brownies, meringues and cakes, the judges commented that the product was “disgustingly delicious and had the perfect combination of sweet and salts flavours – very modern and a really treat.  Hats off to this producer!”

Best Fresh Produce – Kindly sponsored by Ibbotsons

Winner: Bert’s Barrow: Fruit, Veg and Salad Box

Family run farm shop Bert’s Barrow, based in the small village of Hillam in North Yorkshire was originally started by Marlene and Ian (Bert) Thompson with a cart at the side of the road and an honesty box where they sold locally sourced seasonal vegetables to raise money for the village defibrillator fund.  Now some 15 years on with son Jason and his wife Charlotte at the helm the business has grown and gone from strength to strength – all the while keeping things local as a top priority.

As well as being impressed with the company’s dedication to working with local producers, the judges loved the vast selection and quality of produce in the box including various varieties of heritage tomatoes which made for an unusual display.

The Deliciously Yorkshire-Yorkshire Post Taste Awards 2015. Host, chairwoman of Deliciously Yorkshire, Judy Bell. Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross

Best Fresh Meat – Kindly sponsored by Verner Wheelock Associates

Winner: Mainsgill Farm Shop – Rack of Lamb

Located 4 miles from Scotch Corner, heading west on the A66 in North Yorkshire, Mainsgill Farmshop & Tearoom, run by Andrew and Maria Henshaw is popular with local residents and passing travellers alike.  The family run business which is based on a working farm has built a reputation over recent years for solely selling their own traditionally home reared meats.

Mainsgill’s entry into this year’s Taste Awards was no exception with the judging panel bowled over by the quality, appearance and taste of the rack of lamb commenting on its “outstanding texture flavour and tenderness, this piece of meat has been beautifully butchered, is appealing to look at and a pleasure to eat”

Best Prepared Meat – Kindly sponsored by Needlers

Winner: Anna’s Happy Trotters: Yorkshire Free Range Pancetta

With over 40 entries into the Prepared Meat category, this year’s winner had to fight off some serious competition to be crowned champion.  Run by the Howden in East Yorkshire based Longthorpe family, Anna’s Happy Trotters produce 100% free range pigs from start to finish, and their now award winning pancetta was used as part of the main course at this year’s Taste Awards ceremony dinner.  #

The judges were impressed by the pancetta’s balance of meat and fat as well as its golden colour and above all superb flavour commenting that; “this product is salty with a lovely sweetness in the fat – absolutely delicious!”

The Deliciously Yorkshire-Yorkshire Post Taste Awards 2015.  Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross

Best Yorkshire Pork Pie –Kindly sponsored by Celsius Projects

Winner: BW & DJ Glaves and Sons Ltd

The coveted title of Best Yorkshire Pork Pie is always one of the most anticipated awards from the evening.  This year’s champion came from BW & DJ Glaves and Sons Ltd, a family run business between Scarborough and Pickering established in 1973 selling locally sourced meat and poultry, as well as meat from their own farm.

The judging panel were impressed with the look of the pie and its rustic, chunky filling, commenting that “this pie had a great crunch but above all fantastic texture and flavour – a perfect pork pie!”

Best Fish and Seafood

Winner: Staal Smokehouse: Cold Smoked Haddock

Since the opening of Staal smokehouse in 2011, Justin Staal and his wife Georgina have been producing delicious cured meats using traditional methods from their base in East Yorkshire.

The culmination of their joint experiences in in farming and fishing combined with a passion for excellent quality, great tasting food, this year’s winning product, delighted the judges with perfect flake and deliciously subtle smokey flavour.  “This product us so appealing to look at with a great naturel colour and shape.  It has a lovely butter flavour which is absolutely delicious.”

Best Ready to Eat – Kindly sponsored by The Co-operative

Winner: AJ Pies and Pastries: Pork and Yorkshire Blue Pie

Our Ready to Eat Category always attracts a wide variety of entries and this year was no exception.  The winning product from Andrew Jones Pies really delivered on flavour and certainly made an impression on our judges who said “small but perfectly formed, this pie has a great balance of flavours with a real hit of delicious blue cheese.”

Stocked throughout the UK in a number of supermarkets the business started in the back of a butchers shop in 1988.  The firm now make over 30,000 pies by hand each week and focus on producing old fashioned favourites using quality local meat and ingredients.

IMG_1488Best Cheese – Kindly sponsored by The Yorkshire Agricultural Society

Winner: Shepherds Purse Cheese: Bluemin White

Yorkshire is now synonymous with fantastic locally made cheeses – with companies from across the county producing world famous flavours.  The year’s winner comes from Shepherds Purse Cheeses, founded by Judy Bell from her farm near Thirsk in North Yorkshire.  Bluemin White, a blue mould ripened cow’s milk cheese delighted the judges with its “beautifully creamy and unctuous flavour.”  They commented that “As well as being visually striking, the cheese has a distinctive nutty, farmyard flavour and is quirky and sophisticated, we just love it!”

Best Ice Cream, Sorbet and Yoghurt – Kindly sponsored by Reed Boardall

Winner: Hesper Farm Skyr: Blueberry Skyr

For the first time in the Taste Awards history, this category was won by Yoghurt producer.  Coming from a long line of dairy farmers in the Yorkshire Dales, Sam Moorhouse identified the need to diversify his families business and after discovering the popularity of Skyr (pronounced skeer) across Iceland and Scandanavian countries set about researching and perfecting the recipe for this naturally fat-free, high protein product.

After many research trips to Reykjavik to learn and perfect the process of this ancient product, Hesper Farm Skyr was born and now produces a variety of flavours from their purpose built dairy using milk from the family’s pedigree herd.  As well as a fantastic natural colour and creamy thick texture, the judges were impressed by the products flavours and fruit.  “A fantastic product all round!”

Best Drink – Beer – Kindly sponsored by Arc Retail Consultancy

Winner: Hambleton Ales – Thoroughbred

Perhaps not surprisingly, one of our more popular categories with our judges, the number of entries into this year’s Beer category is perhaps not surprising given the ever increasing number of fantastic Yorkshire Breweries.

This year’s winner came from Ripon based Hambleton Ales which was established in 1991 by Nick Stafford and now produces award winning beers, stocked throughout Yorkshire in shops and pubs.  The judging team described Thoroughbred as “Lively and summery with a great smell.  This beer has a hoppy and distinctive flavour with a great body – it’s a beer that delivers on all levels!”

Best Drink – Spirit – kindly sponsored by Arc Retail Consultancy

Winner: Masons Vodka

Gin enthusiasts Karl and Cathy Mason were always partial to a gin and tonic on a Friday night but decided to turn their passion into a business when they launched Masons Yorkshire Gin in June 2013.  Now two years on their gin which is available throughout the UK has gained a faithful following and now, it would seem their new vodka has too.

Made in small batches from their based in Bedale, North Yorkshire the judges complimented the vodka on its creamy smell and interesting flavours saying; “This vodka is distinctive and different.  There are some complex and interesting flavours going on as well as plenty of ‘oomph’!  A great product all round!”

Best Drink – Beverage – kindly sponsored by Arc Retail Consultancy

Winner: York Cocoa House – Classic Hot Chocolate

York Cocoa House founded Sophie Jewett dreamt of creating a home for true chocolate lovers and now openly admits that her passion for chocolate has now turned into a true obsession.  Opening in 2011, York Cocoa House Chocolate Emporium now offers a shop, café and chocolate workshops from their base on Blake Street in York.  This year’s winning product comes in the form of their Classic Hot Chocolate, a rich and indulgent drink which impressed the judges with it creamy texture and indulgent flavour commenting that is was “simply delicious and a real treat.”

Best Savoury Condiment

Winner: Charlie & Ivy – Smoked Garlic and Black Peppercorn Bread Dipper

Made by the Palmer family on their farm on the edge of the picturesque Yorkshire Wolds this innovative product impressed the judges with modern and interesting appearance and flavours.

After starting their businesses selling cold pressed rapeseed oil at local farmers markets in 2008, Adam and Jennie Palmer have expanded their product range and now produces a wide range of flavoured oils, dressings and mayonnaise – all pressed, bottled and blended on the farm using their own farm kitchen developed recipes and sourcing as many ingredients as possible from other local producers.

Now available throughout the UK and online, the judges loved the “creative and balanced blend of flavour and the products great clarity and depth of colour.  Really appealing and absolutely delicious – a stand out product.”

Best Sweet Preserve

Winner: Black Sheep Brewery – Mash Tun Marmalade

Synonymous with creating their famous and much loved ales from their brewery in the small North Yorkshire market town of Masham, the Black Sheep Brewery are perhaps less well known for their range of condiments.  This didn’t however, stop their entry into this year’s Sweet Preserve category knocking the judge’s socks off with their Mash Tun Marmalade.

A collaboration between themselves and fellow Masham based business Rosebud Preserves, the marmalade was applauded by the judges who said: “This product is certainly something for other producers to look up to.  It’s rustic in appearance and has a great caramel colour.  Beautiful and innovative as well as utterly delicious, this should be on every Yorkshire breakfast table”
Best Confectionery

Winner: Kacao Chocolaterie – Luxury Mocha Bar

For Richmond based Kelsey Anderson the last year has proven to be a bit of a whirlwind.  From her base in the picturesque Sedbury Hall Stables just of the A66, Kelsey creates bespoke and innovate fresh chocolates which she sells across Yorkshire and online through her website.

This year’s winning product, the Luxury Mocha Bar impressed the judges with its contracting textures and flavours described it as a “classic with an exciting underside!”  Seeing off some stiff competition from a number of well-established and award winning companies, Kacao’s winning entry was applauded for it’s grown up, subtle flavours with the judges going back for seconds and thirds! 

Best ‘Free From’ Product – Kindly sponsored by Ulrick and Short

Winner: Burtree Puddings – Sticky Toffee Pudding with Sticky Toffee Sauce

Robert and Lea Darling have been making their award winning luxury puddings from their house near Darlington for many year’s catering for their client’s sweet tooth with their delicious home made products.

New for the 2015 Taste Awards, the ‘Free From’ category attracted a vast array of entries catering for specialist dietary needs such as gluten free and dairy free etc.

The judges were blown away by Burtree’s Sticky Toffee Pudding with Sticky Toffee Sauce noting that its lovely rich and treacly texture and fantastic balance of flavours made the product a stand out in the category.  They said: “this product is truly delicious and indulgent.  A perfect balance of light sponge and sauce – this is a pudding and a half!”

Best Yorkshire Breakfast – Kindly sponsored by Yorkshire Bank

Winner: Lister’s Farm Shop

A great Yorkshire breakfast using local products is a joy to behold and Lister’s Farm Shop delivered on all levels said the judges of this year’s hot contended Best Yorkshire Breakfast Category.

Scoring 96% overall and a stunning 100% for customer service, the judges were certainly impressed with the Boroughbridge based family run business.  Founded in 2006 as a partnership between J.C Lister Farms’ and Compton Farms (Newby Hall Estate) to showcase Lister’s own home bred produce, the business has gone from strength to strength and now offers a huge range of local, seasonal food to customers from far and wide.

The judges who shortlisted the category from a written submission before mystery shopping each business said: “The food was of an extremely high quality which showed through in both the flavour and presentation.  We loved the attention to detail of everything including the layout of the tables and the lovely helpful staff – A real treat to eat here and we will definitely come again soon.”

Best Use of Local Produce on a Menu – Kindly sponsored by Campden BRI

Winner: Lockwoods

Ripon based Lockwoods pride themselves on two things, classic seasonal dishes and their strong Yorkshire roots.

Located in centre of the picturesque cathedral city, the family run restaurant has been established for over ten years and provide a relaxed atmosphere and offer a seasonal menu of modern European dishes focusing on flavour local produce.

This year’s judges were certainly impressed firstly by the business’ mission statement which was “simple but imaginative and reflective of the fantastic food and passion for what they offer.  We were impressed with the local collaborations to get Yorkshire food on the menu and heritage varieties of produce on offer.  A stand out entry from a fantastic restaurant and a real Yorkshire gem.”

Best Afternoon Tea Kindly sponsored by Townends Accountants

Winner: Lovegrows Tearooms

Nestled in the picturesque town of Hebden Bridge, Lovegrows Tea Room is perhaps a hidden gem.

Husband and wife team Moira and Mike Steadman have been offering Afternoon Teas at Lovegrows for the past 3 years and the judges were impressed with the choice on offer, the couple commitment to sourcing and supporting other local producers and above all the quality of the final product.  They said: “We all thoroughly enjoyed our visit due to the friendly, informative and genuinely welcoming nature of the team members. The quality of the food was fantastic and the fact that much of the food was locally sourced and homemade on the premises added to our enjoyment.  An absolutely wonderful establishment”

Best Independent Retailer – Kindly sponsored by The Proudfoot Group

Winner: Peter Cusworth Craftsman Butcher

With an ever increasing number of fantastic farm shops and other local independent retails in the county, the title for Best Independent Retailer 2015 was always going to be one of the most fought won in the year’s Taste Awards.

This year’s champion comes in the form of Rotherham based Peter Cusworth Craftsman Butchers, specialists suppliers to the catering industry as well as restaurants, bistros and local customers through their impressive shop located in Wickersley.

The judges were delighted to award the business a 100% score for both customer service and local produce on offer saying: “The shop was bright and airy and we were really impressed by the variety and quality of produce on offer. The team members were very helpful and informative and although not local to me, I would happily visit this shop again and would certainly recommend it to others.”

Best New Business – Kindly sponsored by Garbutt and Elliot

Winner: Rounton Coffee Roasters

One word to judges used to describe the winner of this year’s Best New Business awards winner was “Wow!”

Run by David Beattie and partner Tracey Lee, the Artisan Coffee Roastery based in the beautiful village of East Rounton in North Yorkshire describe their mission as a simple one – To ethically source and roast some of the most exclusive coffees from around the world and make their coffee stand out from the rest.

The judges certainly agreed commenting that: “This entry was excellent with a great story behind it.  I really hope this award can help propel this ambitious company to a rewarding future.  Impressive expert product and process knowledge that on paper appears almost far-fetched, until you taste their product… Wow!

Best Wholesaler / Distributer – Kindly sponsored by The York, North Yorkshire & East Ridings LEP

Winner:  Cryer & Stott Cheesemongers Ltd

Returning to the this year’s Taste Awards by popular demand, the Best Wholesaler / Distributer category attracted a huge variety of entrants of all sizes and proved to be a headache for the judges detailed with selecting a winner.

Cryer and Stott, the family run cheesemonger from West Yorkshire came out victorious with the judges commending them on their “clear and strong Yorkshire focus.”  The business which was established over 70 years ago are passionate about supporting artisan producer and stock over 700 British cheeses alone – many of them from local Yorkshire producers.  The judging team commented that “Cryer and Stott showed fantastic evidence of growth as a company, not just through sales and volume but by effectively supporting the local community and their customers.  Their entry was extremely impressive all round!”

Local Food Hero 2015

Winner: Simon Barrett, The Chilli Jam Man

As part of this year’s Taste Awards, each business was asked to nominate someone in the industry who they thought had gone the extra mile in promoting and championing the Yorkshire Food and drink, scene and its producers.

With 46 nominations – this year’s entrants didn’t disappoint.  With an array of familiar faces and many unsung hero’s nominated for this special accolade the competition was fierce and the online poll attracted well over 1000 votes from members of the public.

This year’s Local Food Hero accolade was awarded to Simon Barrett, founder of The Chilli Jam Man and famous wearer of a red top hat as he sells his range of spicy chilli products at shows and markets through the county and beyond.  As well as his award winning range which are now available through his website and widely in shops and delis, Simon has also been instrumental in collaborating with a number of other local producers to create new and innovative products – bringing some warmth and spice most recently to a collaboration with York Brewery to create Mostly Ghostly, a dark brooding ale with a fiery kick!

Supreme Product Award 2015 – Kindly sponsored by ASDA

Winner: Hesper Farm Skyr: Blueberry Skyr

The Supreme Product Award is quite simply the champion of champions.  Selected form the winners of all the other categories the judging team must decide who the outstanding winner will be judging not only on taste and appearance but the packaging and story behind it.

This year’s winning product, Hesper Farm Skyr was felt by the judges to be head and shoulders above its competitors given its overall quality in terms of taste but also its fantastic packaging and inspiring back story.

Created as a farm diversification by Sam Moorhouse for his pedigree dairy herd in the Yorkshire Dales, the judges applauded the brands “fantastic, modern packaging and wonderful brand identity that really reflects what they are trying to achieve.”  They continued: “this product is a stand out amongst its competitors.  A really impressive business that was only launched this year and the passion for the product and the way in which it is produced is evident throughout.  We are absolutely delighted that this product has come out on top and is a fantastic show case for the innovative and creative producers throughout Yorkshire – we think it’s quite simply fantastic.”