With the esteemed Food & Drink Devon award’s ceremony just a month away, the shortlist of the county’s most respected and influential artisan food and drink producers has just been announced.
Judges have tasted 160 products and checked out dozens of farm shops, breweries, restaurants and delis across Devon to select the pick of the crop. BBC Radio 2’s Nigel Barden will announce the winners at a foodie feast at the Deer Park Country House Hotel on Monday 10th October, where the industry’s top players celebrate the best of Devon’s vibrant food, drink and hospitality scene.
Producers on the ‘Taste of Devon Product’ shortlist include a huge variety of delicious delights including sweet and savoury, meat, seafood, preserves and confectionary, as well as many others. Some of those shortlisted from across the region include Favis of Salcombe, Good Game, Riverford Organic Farmers, Chunk of Devon, Okemoor, The Well Hung Meat Company, Verney’s Molton Ice, Goierri Foods and Georgie Porgie’s Puddings. Shortlisted drinks producers include Bays Brewery, New Lion Brewery, Luscombe Drinks, Salcombe Brewery, Hunter’s Brewery, Lyme Bay Winery, South Hams Brewery, Yarde Cider and Hanlons Brewery.
Barbara King, the newly elected chair of Food & Drink Devon, comments on the awards’ shortlist: “The calibre of products and establishments this year has outshone the last. The Food & Drink Devon board and judges have found it an absolute pleasure tasting and experiencing all the entries and, as always, we are proud to have such a wonderful county to shout about. To choose our shortlist this year was a tough decision, but we are confident with our choices.” Barbara continues: “The board of directors and I are looking forward to meeting all the producers and hearing this year’s winners at the awards’ ceremony.”
Of the 43 producers on the shortlist this year, platinum awards will be given to any delicacy that received a flawless 100% score. Gold awards go to samples which achieved 90-99%, and those which scored 85-89% will win silver awards.
Three of the 43 producers who entered the ‘Taste of Devon Product’ awards had such stylish and striking packaging they have been shortlisted for the ‘Best Packaging’ category. These include DAPPA the grape marc spirit by Devon Distillery, Bell & Loxton, for their smart, silver bottles of cold-pressed rapeseed oil and the highly regarded Tom’s Pies and their vast array of tempting flavours.
Whilst in the ‘Taste of Devon Retail’ awards the 14 entries have been whittled down to three in the ‘Best Retailer’ category including previous two time winner Ashburton Delicatessen, volunteer run Broadhempston Community Shop and The Shops at Dartington for their Food Shop. The hotly contested ‘Best Online Retailer’ category is sure to be a close run competition between Devon Hampers based near Lifton and organic produce retailer, Eversfield Organic.
The ‘Taste of Devon Hospitality’ category is always extremely popular with establishments fighting it out in eight fiercely contested categories. A favourite in the awards, this section covers every aspect of eating out, from fine-dining to best takeaway and all manner of cuisines. Finalists from the 44 entries include in the ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurant’ Old Vienna Restaurant, Torquay, The Arundell Arms Hotel, Lifton and The Horn of Plenty, Gulworthy. Other categories include ‘Best Hotel Restaurant’, ‘Best Pub’, ‘Best Café’ and ‘Best Street Food / Takeaway’.
The black tie awards’ ceremony will be held on Monday 10th October 2016 at Deer Park Country House Hotel from 6.45pm. Following a drinks reception and the chance to mingle with the finalists, a delicious three-course meal created from seasonal food produced by Food & Drink Devon members will be served.
Proud sponsors of this year’s awards include M.C Kelly, NatWest, Taste Buds, Stephens Scown, Peplows, The Venus Company and Luscombe Drinks.
Award ceremony tickets cost £50 per person and include a drinks reception, three-course meal and half a bottle of wine. Tickets are on sale until 5pm on Monday 19th September, subject to availability. To book, please contact Ali Neagle at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit and follow @lovetheflavour on Twitter.