Food Drink Devon 2022 Awards announce finalists
With just over a month until the 11th Food Drink Devon Awards, the finalists, which include many of the region'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 sampled, tasted and scored over 270 products, visited 80 hospitality establishments and scrutinised 30 retail outlets across Devon to select the finest.
This year also saw the launch of their Sustainability Pioneer Award, designed to celebrate and promote sustainability, and shine a light on businesses going that extra mile in their endeavours to be environmentally friendly.
Winners will be announced during the organisation's glittering black tie award ceremony on Monday 3rd October at the Crowne Plaza, Plymouth, overlooking Plymouth Hoe's beautiful coastline. The deserving winners will be announced by Tony Hawks, Devon-based comedian and author who regularly appears on BBC Radio Four panel shows Have I Got News For You, Just A Minute and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue.
Commenting on the finalists, Food Drink Devon board director and award-winning Masterchef of Great Britain, Peter Gorton, said: "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."
Shortlisted 'Taste of Devon Product' producers cover 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 Food Product and Drink Product of the Year include Baked to Taste, Blakewell Smokehouse, Devon Sea Salt, Owens Coffee, Sandridge Barton Wines, Stone's Honey, Huxbear Vineyard, Torbay Distilling Company and WILD Gelato as well as others.
In celebration of Devon's best produce, Platinum awards will be presented to any of the 270 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 categories, entries have been whittled down for the Best Retailer and Best Online Retailer to 12, from top-end delicatessens to village stores. Finalists include Ashburton Delicatessen, Aune Valley Meat (Loddiswell and Modbury), Devon Farm Kitchen (Torquay), Eversfield Organic (Totnes and Bratton Clovelly), Ilfracombe Chocolate Emporium, Shaldon Village Store, The Kitchen @25 (Crediton), The Postal Pantry Co (Ashburton), Salcombe Meat Co. and Veyseys Butchers (Cullompton).
The hospitality section of the awards sees establishments fighting it out in five fiercely contested categories including Best Fine Dining Restaurant, Best Restaurant, Best Pub, Best Café and Best Takeaway. Shortlisted establishments in the fine dining, restaurant and pub categories include Bayards Cove Inn (Dartmouth), Coljan (Ashburton), Samphire 21 (Exmouth), Two Bridges Hotel (Dartmoor), Offshore Bar & Restaurant (Torquay), The Fig Tree @ 36 (Plymouth), Pattard Restaurant (Hartland) and The NightJar inn (Aylesbeare) as well as others. With finalists in the café and takeaway awards including The Bucket & Spade (Shaldon), Valley View Cafe (Kingsbridge), Lynmouth Bay Café (Lynmouth), Heron Farm (Honiton) and Tambapanni (Braunton) as well as others.
Receiving a staggering 27 entries, finalists for Food Drink Devon's new Sustainability Pioneer Award include Langage Farm (Smithaleigh), Otter Brewery (Honiton), Salcombe Dairy (Salcombe), Sandridge Barton (Stoke Gabriel), The Bull Inn (Totnes) and The Curator (Totnes).
Food Drink Devon chair, Greg Parsons, added: "When you look at a large fertile county like Devon which is hugely popular with visitors - a county which has two sea-coasts, two national parks and several Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty - you'd expect it to be a place which both produces and serves fantastic food and drink. But the proof is always in the pudding, as they say - which means we cannot rest on our laurels when it comes to our food and drink offer."
He continues, "Year after year, the Food Drink Devon Awards act as living, breathing proof that we never take anything for granted. The producers and retailers, along with the tourism providers and those working within the hospitality sector, really do have a passion for making this one of the best places to eat and drink in the UK - and these awards provide the county with an extremely high benchmark as well as a shop-window for the rest of the world."
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, along with the presentation of the awards, attendees will enjoy a drinks reception, a three-course meal created using produce from Food Drink Devon members with all the fruit and vegetables provided by awards sponsor West Country Fruit Sales. A special thank you goes to sponsors of the awards Partners&, M&B Edible Oils, Bays Brewery, Caterfood, West Country Fruit Sales, Bishop Fleming, Impact Design & Marketing, Vale Labels, Stephens Scown, inkREADible Labels and Hedgerow Print with the staging being provided by PL1 Events.
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, and 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 350 producers and businesses across Devon.
For a full list of shortlisted producers please see below or visit www.fooddrinkdevon.co.uk/awards/ or see below. For more information on Food Drink Devon please visit www.fooddrinkdevon.co.uk and follow @FoodDrinkDevon on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.