Gifts Today magazine

West Country food & drink champions announced

The champions of the 2015 Taste of the West Product Awards and the winners of the 2015 Taste of the West Hospitality & Retail Awards have been announced at a ceremony held at the Somerset CCC ground in Taunton, Somerset.

The Awards, now in their 22nd year, celebrate the best food and drink across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire and are a benchmark for excellence across the region.

In 2015, nearly 1,000 products and more than 300 hospitality and retail establishments entered the awards, with an incredibly high standard being set for judges from which to select winners.

At the ceremony, the overall winners of each of the Hospitality & Retail classes were announced, followed by the Champions of each Product Category. Also announced were the winners of the Local Food in Schools & Colleges and the winner of the Carol Trewin Producer of the Year award.

The ceremony culminated in the announcement of the coveted Supreme Champion award, won by Favis of Salcombe for their White Crab Meat, which was described by the judges as “An outstandingly high quality product, which sums up the best of South West produce.”

The ceremony was attended by over 300 people, with representatives from award winning producers, hospitality establishments, retailers, top chefs, food writers and others involved with and supporting the industry.

With a lunch menu specially created using Taste of the West Award winning products from across the region, the event was a culinary feast and a great celebration of the quality of food and drink in the South West and the passion of those who produce, serve or sell it.

John Sheaves, Chief Executive of Taste of the West, announced the winners who were presented with their awards by consultant chef and champion judge Peter Gorton.

John Sheaves said, “Our goal as the Regional Food Group for this region, is to build our collaborative brand based on our core values – Quality, Integrity and Provenance. These awards announced today underpin those values and strengthen the 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. I am delighted with the standard this year, as we seek investment through our Share Issue which is currently live, to grow the organisation to take advantage of these new opportunities. There is a real energy and excitement about our group now which is very gratifying.”

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