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Winners of Taste of the West Product Awards announced

PUBLISHED: 11:15 09 September 2013

Chief Executive John Sheaves

Chief Executive John Sheaves

Archant

The results for this year’s Taste of the West Product Awards have just been announced. Out of a hugely impressive 1040 products entered into the awards, 166 won a Gold Award, 216 were awarded a Silver Award and 213 were given a Bronze Award. A highly impressive fifty-nine of these Gold Award winning products were from Devon.

Judging of some sausagesJudging of some sausages

Naming just a few of these Devon based producers, in the ‘Meat’ category Clinton Venison, Lovaton Farm, Partridge Farm Meats, Pitmans Farm, R D Johns Foodservice Ltd and The Well Hung Meat Company were awarded Gold Awards. In the ‘Savoury Bread (other)’ category, Gold Awards went to Delish and Hillside Speciality Foods and in the ‘Sauces and Accompaniments’ category Burts Potato Chips, Hillside Speciality Foods, Ostler’s Cider Mill and Portlebay Popcorn were amongst those which were awarded this accolade.

Taste of the West is renowned for recognising excellence and dedication throughout the food and drink industry. Commenting on behalf of this highly respected organisation, chief executive John Sheaves says: “We continue to be astounded by the quality of the produce coming out of the West Country. There is no surprise that the region is increasingly being recognised internationally as a key player in terms of food and drink.” John continues: “These awards reflect this and give the top products the recognition they deserve.”

These awards were judged in August at Westpoint, the South West’s premier exhibition centre, by a panel of independent industry experts including chefs, food writers, food buyers and other food professionals.

The ‘Product Awards’ were made up of 25 classes. Judges evaluated each product individually, assessing its appearance, aroma, texture, packaging and, most significantly, its taste. Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards were awarded entirely on merit and judges were not limited on the number of awards that could be given.

Products which won Gold Awards were judged a second time by a further panel of judges to identify the winners of 22 ‘Best Of’ category awards including ‘Best Packaging’, ‘Best New Product’ and so forth. Owner of RockFish and Dartmouth’s The Seahorse, fish chef extraordinaire, Mitch Tonks, will be sampling these top 22 products to find this year’s ‘Champion Product’. Mitch will also be presenting the awards at the Awards’ Ceremony lunch on Tuesday 15th October at Gloucestershire County Cricket Club.

In addition, results for the Hospitality and Retail Awards are in the process of being announced. So far to date there have been eight Gold Award winners in Devon including The Millbrook Inn, Tea and Tittle Tattle and Hedgehog Corner. The categories for these included ‘cafés and tea room’, ‘dining pub’, ‘restaurant’, ‘bed & breakfast’ and ‘local food takeaway’. A panel of anonymous, independent expert judges visited all the registered establishments. Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards were awarded on merit, based on a scoring system. The judges’ criteria included looking at the extent of local sourcing, communication of local sourcing in the establishment, quality and speed of service, quality of meal, atmosphere and ambience of the place and value for money.

The breakdown for the retail categories included ‘speciality retailer/delicatessen’, ‘farm shop’, butcher’s shop’, ‘on-line retailer’ and ‘local store’.

In addition to the fore mentioned awards, there is an award for ‘Local Food in Schools and Colleges’ which gives the highest accolade to those teaching establishments which are committed to sourcing and educating pupils about healthy, locally-sourced food. Entry forms can now be downloaded from the Taste of the West website (www.tasteofthewest.co.uk). Completed entry forms should be sent to Taste of the West, Country House Estate, London Road, Whimple, Devon EX5 2NL by Sunday 22nd September 2013. Entry costs £24.

Finally, Taste of the West also runs ‘The Carol Trewin South West Producer of the Year’ award. This recognises an entrepreneurial producer of food and drink with an innovative approach to developing his or her business and markets. Entries have been submitted and are currently being judged.

For further information on all the awards visit Taste of the West’s website: www.tasteofthewest.co.uk; follow @Tasteofthewest on Twitter or ‘like’ Taste of the West on Facebook.

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