The overall winners of this year’s Taste of the West Awards were announced today at a prestigious ceremony held in The Great Hall at Exeter University, attracting an audience of over 400 fanatic foodies. With the help of BBC television and radio presenters Victoria Graham and David Fitzgerald, a staggering 40 awards were given out to 35 South West food & drink businesses.
The Taste of the West Awards have been running for 25 years and the annual programme rewards the very best food and drink from across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. They truly are regarded as a benchmark for excellence across the whole South West region. This year just over 1,000 products and almost 350 hospitality and retail establishments entered the awards. At today’s ceremony, the overall winners of each of the 12 hospitality and retail classes were announced, followed by the champion products from each of the 23 product categories. Winners of additional awards were also revealed: Taste of the West’s Producer of the Year (sponsored by Porter Dodson) was awarded to The Traditional Free Range Egg Company from Somerset; the Best Newcomer Award (sponsored by Tracklements) was won by Devon producer Happy Butter for their Organic Golden Turmeric Ghee; and the South West Food & Drink Innovation Award (sponsored by Grant Thornton) went to Cornish Edible Insects.
The ceremony culminated in the announcement of the coveted Supreme Champion Product Award, which this year was presented to Sharpham Partnership (Totnes, Devon) for their outstanding Sharpham Cremet cheese. Taste of the West’s No 1 Place to Go for 2017 was awarded to the Victoria Inn in Salcombe, Devon.
The ceremony was attended by over 400 guests, with representatives from award-winning producers, hospitality establishments, retailers, top chefs, food writers and many others involved with and actively supporting the South West’s food and drink scene. With a stunning 5-course lunch menu imaginatively created using Taste of the West award-winning products from across the region, the event really was a culinary feast to truly celebrate the fantastic quality of food and drink from the West Country, as well as the passion of those who produce, serve and sell it.
Phil Mills, food & drink specialist at Old Mill Accountants and Financial Planners - title sponsors of the Taste of the West Awards 2017 - commented: “These awards cement my belief that the food and drink industry in the South West leads the way for the rest of the UK. The awards ceremony is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the endeavours of all entrants and the culmination of the hard work, passion and dedication needed for success. Working with Taste of the West has been brilliant as we share a vision for supporting the food and drink industry in the South West.”
John Sheaves, Chief Executive of Taste of the West, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the response from the South West’s food and drink industry to our awards programme this year. These awards underpin our core values and strengthen our regional brand, a brand which is attracting considerable interest from new markets – both nationally and internationally, and is now opening up new opportunities for the region’s foodie sector. Our sincere congratulations to all the finalists and overall winners, and to all of our valued sponsors and partners who continue to support us.”
A full list of all 40 champion award winners is available on the Taste of the West website: https://www.tasteofthewest.co.uk/awards. Please also see full list attached.
Entries into the Taste of the West Awards 2017/2018 for all hospitality and retail establishments are now open. Visit the Taste of the West website to find out how you can enter your business: https://www.tasteofthewest.co.uk/business/awards
Entry forms to enter food & drink products into the Taste of the West Awards 2018 will be available on the Taste of the West website from mid-October.