With just over a month until the prestigious 10th Food Drink Devon Awards, the finalists, which include many of the county’s most respected and influential artisan food and drink producers, have been revealed.
Since entries closed in April, the esteemed panel of judges and industry experts have tasted and scored over 250 products, visited 75 hospitality establishments and 30 retail outlets across Devon to select the finest.
Winners will be announced during the organisation’s glittering black tie awards’ ceremony on Monday 4th October at the Grade II listed Victorian, New Continental Hotel in Plymouth. This year’s deserving winners will be announced by one of the world’s leading wine experts, Oz Clarke OBE.
Commenting on the finalists, Food Drink Devon Board Director, Peter Gorton says: “The standard and quantity of products we received for judging this year was amazing. It really is wonderful for us to see such variety and such a consistently high standard of entries.”
Producers on the ‘Taste of Devon Product’ shortlist include a huge variety of delights including sweet and savoury, meat, preserves, jams and chutneys, ales, ciders, wines and confectionery, as well as many others. Finalists, who are also automatically in the running for ‘Product of the Year’, include Andrew King Chocolates, Blakewell Smokehouse, Chunk of Devon, Devon Sea Salt, Owens Coffee, River Teign Shellfish, Sandridge Barton Wines, Sharpham Cheese, Stone’s Honey, Swanaford Estate Wine and The Proper Marmalade Co as well as others. In celebration of Devon’s best produce, Platinum awards will be presented to any of the 250 tasted products given a perfect score of 100%, Gold awards go to products achieving 90-99%, and Silver to those scoring 85-89%.
In the retail category of the awards, entries have been whittled down for the ‘Best Retailer’ and ‘Best Online Retailer’ categories to Ashburton Delicatessen, Aune Valley Meat, Burrow Farm at Courtneys, Carters Deli, Devon Hampers, Eversfield Organic, G.T Orsman, Hamiltons Fish, Shaldon Village Store, Strawberry Fields Farm Shop, The Bear & Blacksmith Butchery, The Postal Pantry Co, The Seed and Veyseys Butchers.
The hospitality section of the awards sees establishments fighting it out in six fiercely contested categories. A favourite in the awards, this section covers every aspect of eating out, from fine-dining and hotel restaurants to cafés and pubs. Categories include ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurant’, ‘Best Restaurant’, ‘Best Pub’, ‘Best Bar’, ‘Best Café’ and ‘Best Takeaway’. Shortlisted establishments include Bayards Cove Inn, Crab Shed, Kitty’s Kitchen, Orestone Manor, The Angel – Taste of Devon and The Bear & Blacksmith among others.
Covering food production, preparation, retailing, cooking and service, the Food Drink Devon Awards honour businesses demonstrating a consistent commitment to quality, sustainability, provenance, excellent customer service and support for their local communities and other local businesses. Each year judging for the awards is carried out by a panel of independent and unbiased experts including a number of celebrated names from the region. All results and winners are verified by an independent adjudicator, with entrants receiving the opportunity to benefit from invaluable product feedback provided by the panel.
During the celebratory evening of Devon’s finest food and drink, attendees will enjoy a drinks reception, three-course meal created using produce from Food Drink Devon members and the presentation of the awards. A special thank you goes to sponsors of the awards Partners &, M&B Edible Oils, Taste Buds, inkREADible Labels, Hedgerow Print, Village Design & Creative Marketing, Stephens Scown and Impact Design & Marketing.
Food Drink Devon is committed to increasing the county’s profile, both nationally and internationally and represents a membership of Devon’s leading food and drink producers, speciality retailers, hospitality and catering businesses. Through working with like-minded businesses, together they showcase Devon as a county where the use of fantastic quality, seasonal and local produce is standard. The organisation and its members share a commitment to enjoy, inspire and discover more about food and drink. Look out for their green heart logo which is carried by over 300 producers and businesses across Devon.
For a full list of shortlisted producers please see below or visit http://www.foodanddrinkdevon.co.uk/awards/. For more information on Food Drink Devon please visit www.foodanddrinkdevon.co.uk and follow @FoodDrinkDevon on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.