THE best of Gloucestershire’s food and drinks industry were celebrated last night at the inaugural Taste of Gloucestershire Food and Farming Awards.
Dozens of the county’s best food businesses, including farms, drink producers, breweries and cafes were shortlisted for 13 awards which were presented at Cheltenham Racecourse.
The awards were presented by Gloucestershire’s first lady of cooking Prue Leith, who recently appeared as a judge on BBC Two’s Great British Menu.
She said: “I am passionate about good food and education but also about good business too.
“In order for Gloucestershire producers to continue to flourish and thrive, and the brand to stay ahead of the game, it will require continued investment into adding value.”
The award winners were Best Restaurant – Allium, Best Pub Food – The Hollow Bottom, Best Independent Cafe, Tearoom and Snack Bar – The Cotswold Food Store and Café, Best Local Food Retailer – Shepherds Farm Shop, Best Farm Shop – Over Farm Market, Best Dairy Farmer – Woefuldane Farm, Best Beef Farmer - Love My Cow, Best Arable Farmer – Calmsden Farms, Best Drinks Producer - Battledown Brewery, Best Food Producer – Cotswold Gold, Best Junior Cook – Hina Kapadia, Food Business of the Year – Soho Coffee Co, Outstanding Contribution to Food and Farming in Gloucestershire – Made in Stroud.
Enjoying the limelight was 15-year-old Hina Kapadia, from Gloucester, who walked away with the title of Best Junior Cook.
The Barnwood Park School pupil won the Rotary Club Young Chef competition earlier this year and lists her favourite dish as gungo peas soaked in coconut milk and smoked coal chutney.
She said: “It’s a traditional thing in our culture and I really love cooking and experimenting with different ingredients.
“My teacher said I should enter the Taste awards and I’m really happy to have won.”
Chris Creed, of sponsors Creed Catering added: “All the winners were really deserving and it’s great to celebrate not just the small producers but the whole spectrum of businesses in Gloucestershire as well.”
The Curry Corner, Cheltenham, a finalist in the best restaurant category at last night's awards, is one of only three finalists in the World Food Awards.
A spread of these pictures will be featured in the November edition of Southwestbusiness magazine.