The Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards is back for its fifteenth year with another sensational set of categories and sponsors.
The Awards are a celebration and recognition of excellence within the Northamptonshire food and drink sector. It is a toast to all that is great about local produce and drink and rewarding those who work so hard to achieve the best within the culinary sector.
The team behind the Awards are delighted to announce eighteen fantastic categories this year, which includes the introduction of a debut category: Event Venue of the year and with that, welcomes a fresh sponsor, the Hilton Garden Inn, Silverstone. New sponsors also joining the competition this year are, Greedy Gordons (Restaurant of the Year), University of Northampton (Food and Drink College Student of the year) and new Associate sponsor, Bedford College.
New sponsor Greedy Gordons Pub Group, winner of Booker Dining Venue for the Snooty Fox at Lowick last year, is now sponsoring Restaurant of the Year. Richard Gordon said ‘we have had huge success over the last five years in this great competition and it’s time to make way for others to take these accolades and all the glory that goes with it. We could not be more thrilled to sponsor this fantastic category and are excited and looking forward to this year’s events.’
Thanks to ongoing support from headline sponsor, Weetabix has committed to another three years with the competition representing the Burton Latimer company’s commitment to the county’s hard working food and drink sector. The breakfast giant will once again be joined by existing category sponsors All things Business, Booker, Daily Bread, Delapre Abbey, Whitco, Heygates Flour and Animal Feed, Howes Percival LLP, Moulton College and Whitworth Bros Ltd Flour Millers.
Stuart Branch, Group People and Technology Director at Weetabix said ‘We’re thrilled and proud to be headline sponsor to the Awards for a fourth year. Being directly involved with the judging process, seeing first-hand the impact these awards can have on local businesses growth and development is an honour. We are proud to see the vast range of venues, producers, chefs, businesses and organisations that these prestigious Awards support and celebrate.
The full details of the latest competition were revealed by Awards Director, Rachel Mallows MBE, at the launch which took place at Silverstone Circuit, Silver Award Winners of the Healthy Food and Wellbeing Award 2022.
Rachel set off the Awards launch with: “Super close to the country’s iconic starting line, the county’s foods and drink and hospitality sector gets ready to be nominated, entered, judged, and have the chance to win and celebrate their achievements. I want to highlight the Importance of recognition through the Awards, so I start here today thinking about last year, hoping the launch of 2023 is going to be about moving into prosperity after Brexit, Covid and cost of living. We can’t kick off this competition without mentioning the hard work of this sector, the hundreds if not thousands of individuals who work so hard in Food and Drink and in hospitality. We not only nourish ourselves through food and drink consumption, but we also build friendships, we enjoy our family’s and communities through this sector, through our home cooking to eating out. Let’s see what 2023 will bring!’
Rachel also revealed an exciting change to the dining categories. Booker will now sponsor both the Young Chef of the Year and revised category ‘Gastro Pub of the Year’.
This year’s launch also revealed new Awards Patron, David Foskett MBE, member of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Craft Guild of Chefs and a fellow of the Institute of Hospitality. He’s also been voted one of the most influential people in the hospitality public sector. The Awards team are very excited to have David on board.
Previous Award winners like John Folliot-Vaughn, Artisan Local Drink, Gold Award winner 2022/23 Stonyfield Wine were able to reflect on their successes of the competition since winning: “You don’t realise until afterwards how much difference it can make to your business.”
Katie Steele from the Towcester Community Larder, who won Gold in the Local Food Hero category last year said: “Our success in the Awards has been fantastic for our profile and making ourselves visible to not just businesses within the community but also to users of our service. Having this acknowledgement that we are open to everyone, and our purpose is about saving food from waste and getting it out to the communities was invaluable.”
The free-to-enter categories in this year’s Awards (with their respective sponsors) are:
Artisan Local Drink of the Year
Artisan Local Product of the Year (Heygates Flour and Animal Feed)
Artisan Local Vegetarian / Vegan Product of the Year (Daily Bread)
Booker Gastro of the Year (Booker)
Booker Young Chef of the Year (Booker)
Community Café of the Year (Supported by The Good Loaf)
Event Venue of the Year (Hilton Garden Inn)
Farming Environment Award (Weetabix Growers Group)
F&B Achiever of the Year (Howes Percival LLP)
Food and Drink College Student of the Year (University of Northampton)
Healthy Food and Wellbeing Award (Delapré Abbey)
Local Food Hero of the Year (Moulton College)
One To Watch (Whitworth Bros. Ltd Flour Millers)
Outstanding Contribution to Food & Drink (All Things Business)
Restaurant of the Year (Greedy Gordons)
Weetabix Sustainability Award (Weetabix)
Whitco Chef of the Year (Whitco)
World Cuisine Restaurant of the Year
The results of the competition, which will again see finalists awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze, will be announced at the Awards celebrations taking place on 1st November 2023 at The Royal & Derngate Theatre, supported again by caterers Portfolio Events.
For more details on all the categories in the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2023/24, including entry and nomination forms, please visit the Awards’ website – www.northamptonshirefoodanddrink.co.uk – or call Sophie on 01933 664437 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow the Awards on Facebook at @foodawards or Twitter and Instagram at @foodawardsHQ or on LinkedIn at @weetabixnfadawards