Weetabix Food and Drink Awards: First course winners announced

The results were announced at a virtual online awards celebration hosted by Royal and Derngate.

Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 8:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 8:08 pm
Founder of Nakasero, Gita Rakundalia, celebrating her double win at the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2020.
Founder of Nakasero, Gita Rakundalia, celebrating her double win at the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2020.

The first course of categories in the annual Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drinks Awards were announced on Thursday night (November 12) at an online virtual event hosted by Royal & Derngate.

The competition, which is now in its twelfth year, aims to celebrate all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

The awards had to move online this year after being delayed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Founders of Farrington Oils, Duncan and Eli Farrington, celebrating their gold win in the Sustainability Award category.

The results in presentation order are as follows:

Artisan Local Product of the Year (sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed):

GOLD: Giardiniera – Nakasero, Northampton

GOLD: Sweet Potato Pie with Spinach and Tomato – Sol Laug Havens CIC, Moulton

SILVER: Extra Apricot and Pineapple Jam – Green Kitchen Preserves, Northampton

SILVER: Fiorentina Beef Ribs – Squisito Butchers & Provisions, Yelvertoft

BRONZE: Apple and Fig Chutney – Friars Farm, Northampton

BRONZE: Basic [email protected] – Brooklyn Brownie Co, Northampton

BRONZE: Mango Caramel Popcorn – What’s Poppin’, Northampton

BRONZE: Nettle Ice Cream – Ganders Goat, Cottingham

Artisan Local Vegetarian / Vegan Product of the Year (sponsored by Daily Bread):

GOLD: Giardiniera – Nakasero, Northampton

GOLD: Salted Vanilla Popcorn – What’s Poppin’, Northampton

SILVER: Habanero and Red Onion Relish – Bite Me Spices, Northampton

SILVER: Lime Pickle – Papa’s Dhaba, Northampton

SILVER: Savoury Vegetable Pie – Sol Laug Havens CIC, Moulton

BRONZE: Chocolate and Courgette Cake – Sol Laug Havens CIC, Moulton

BRONZE: Matcha Tea Brownies – Pure and Raw Goodies, Northampton

BRONZE: Sara’s Parmigiana – Squisito Butchers & Provisions, Yelvertoft

Founder of double gold and silver winning company Nakasero, Gita Rakundalia, said: “It’s been incredible, watching my vision for the pickle come to life, go into production and then to be sold on farm shop and supermarket shelves in such a short space of time and I’m absolutely elated to be recognised in this way among what are some incredible producers in the county.

“Tonight I am going to toast all of them as well as those who have helped and supported me on my journey so far, while I also dedicate this success to my late grandmother, my beloved Baa, who taught me everything I know!”

Artisan Local Drink of the Year:

GOLD: Blue Aurora Ice – Lutton Farm, Lutton

GOLD: Stonyfield Rosé 2016 – Stonyfield Wine, Blisworth

SILVER: Hogtopus – Hollowild Cider, Hollowell

SILVER: Perfect Pear – Healy’s of Winwick, Winwick

SILVER: Addington Garden Cider – Addington Garden Cider, Great Addington

BRONZE: Blue Aurora Dusk – Lutton Farm, Lutton

BRONZE: Blue Aurora Midnight – Lutton Farm, Lutton

BRONZE: Frogstar – Hollowild Cider, Hollowell

One To Watch (sponsored by Whitworth Bros. Ltd Flour Millers):

GOLD: What’s Poppin’, Northampton

GOLD: Whittlebury Bakery, Whittlebury

SILVER: Brooklyn Brownie Co, Northampton

SILVER: Nakasero, Northampton

BRONZE: Butler’s Pie Company, Brackley

F&B Achiever of the Year (sponsored by Howes Percival):

GOLD: Richard Gordon of The Greedy Gordons, Twywell

SILVER: Laurence Conisbee of Wharf Distillery, Towcester

SILVER: Zoe Mee of Mee Farmers, Nassington

BRONZE: Rachael Bradshaw of Hamm Tun Fine Foods Deli, Long Buckby

BRONZE: Teresa McCarthy of The Swan & Helmet, Northampton

BRONZE: Dennis Willmott of The Bell Inn, Finedon

Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by Howes Percival):

GOLD - Dennis Willmott of The Bell Inn, Finedon

Weetabix Sustainability Award (sponsored by Weetabix):

GOLD: Farrington Oils, Hargrave

SILVER: Blue Skies, Pitsford

SILVER: Waterloo Cottage Farm, Great Oxendon

BRONZE: Ganders Goat, Cottingham

BRONZE: The Good Loaf, Northampton

Co-owner of Farrington Oils, Duncan Farrington, said: “We were incredibly proud that our cold-pressed rapeseed oil, Mellow Yellow, was the world’s first food product to be certified as both carbon and plastic neutral back in January, so what a way to bookend 2020 than by being honoured in this way in our home county.

“We’re a small village firm of only 15 people but, like breakfast giant Weetabix, we are leaders in our brand as well as in national and global sustainability and I truly believe that, by working together to change our habits, we can all make a difference.”

A surprise announcement by the Lord-Lieutenant for Northamptonshire, James Saunders-Watson, saw five gold recipients of the ‘COVID-19 Local Hero of the Year’ award. This category recognised those who have played a vital role in supporting their communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

The winners are as follows:

GOLD: John Brownhill of Food4Heroes

GOLD: Green Acres Rural Enterprises CIC, Staverton

GOLD: Teresa McCarthy of The Swan and Helmet, Northampton

GOLD: The Red Lion, Cranford

GOLD: Wharf Distillery, Towcester

Awards director, Rachel Mallows MBE DL concluded the awards ceremony by offering further congratulations to the Awards recipients and thanking those who enabled to competition to proceed at a time when their support was needed more than ever.

She said: “Given the further pressures that every business has faced over recent months, we are all the more grateful that our sponsors re-pledged their commitment, enabling us to yet again celebrate our fabulous food and drink sector, albeit in a slightly different way this year.

‘We know how vital the impact of success in these annual accolades is, and so to be able to publicly promote those who excel and then encourage the county’s food lovers to go out and support them has been imperative for 2020.

“I now cannot wait for our second course of Awards, when we’ll be revealing the results in our remaining categories, after which I hope we’ll be able to finally go out and celebrate together – safely of course!”

The results of the remaining categories in the hospitality sector will be announced at the second course of the virtual online awards celebration at a later date, following the end of the second lockdown.

For the full list of the first course results and of the remaining category finalists, or for more information on the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2020/21, visit www.northamptonshirefoodanddrink.co.uk or call Rachel Mallows on 01933 664437 or email [email protected]

To watch the video of the first course, search #WNFAD20 on YouTube.Meanwhile for further details on how you can join the second course of the virtual Awards celebration when they are announced, follow the Awards on Facebook at @foodawards or Twitter and Instagram at @foodawardsHQ or on LinkedIn at @weetabixnfadawards.