Best of the West awards prove Devon and Cornwall are foodies' paradise
A coveted badge of honour has been awarded to the Westcountry’s most scrumptious food and drink.
The Taste of the West Product Awards were today unveiled and proved once more that Devon and Cornwall is home to some of the best food in the world.
John Sheaves, chief executive of the Taste of the West, said it was a reflection of the fantastic work going on that so many gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded in the two counties.
“We continue to be astounded by the quality of the produce coming out of the Westcountry.
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“There is no surprise that the region is increasingly being recognised internationally as a key player in terms of food and drink.
“These awards reflect this and give the top products the recognition they deserve.”
The awards were judged by a panel of independent industry experts including chefs, food writers, food buyers and other food professionals.
There are up of 25 classes with judges evaluating each product individually to assess 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.
Out of an impressive 1,040 products entered into the scheme, 166 won a Gold Award, 216 were awarded a Silver Award and 213 were given a Bronze Award.
Mr Sheaves said a highly impressive 59 of the Gold Award winning products were from Devon and included, Clinton Venison, Lovaton Farm, Partridge Farm Meats, Pitmans Farm, R D Johns Foodservice Ltd and The Well Hung Meat Company in the meat category.
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 the top accolade.
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.
Celebrity chef Mitch Tonks, owner of RockFish and Dartmouth’s The Seahorse will be sampling the 22 winners to find this year’s Champion product.
Mr Tonks will also be presenting the awards at the awards’ ceremony lunch next month.
Taste of the West has also unveiled some of its Hospitality and Retail Awards winners.
To date there have been eight Gold Awards handed over in Devon, including Tea and Tittle Tattle at Budleigh Salterton and Hedgehog Corner at Axminster.
The judges’ criteria included looking at the extent of local sourcing, quality and speed of service, quality of meal, atmosphere and value for money.