2013 Yorkshire Life Food & Drink Awards - Rudding Park, Harrogate
PUBLISHED: 00:00 30 October 2013 | UPDATED: 20:35 06 May 2014
We celebrate the crème de le crème of Yorkshire with our Food & Drink Awards 2013
In a year when the industry has endured more than its fair share of turmoil, our annual Food & Drink Awards are a chance for the cream to rise to the top.
Every single one of our nominees has proved they are worthy of a place at the top table of Yorkshire’s food, drink and hospitality industry, while our category champions have raised the bar even further, proving once and for all that quality and authenticity will always win out.
‘There’s never been a better year to showcase the best of the county’s locally-produced food and drink, its artisan producers and its best hostelries and eateries,’ said chairman of the judges Annie Stirk.
‘Earlier this year, the horsemeat scandal highlighted just how complicated – some might say messy – the supply chains in the global food industry have become, and how some of the food suppliers we thought we could trust were no longer credible.
‘But this also had a positive effect. It made consumers ask, often for the first time, where their food was made, how it was made and what exactly went into it.
‘The Yorkshire Life Food & Drink Awards celebrate authentic food and hospitality businesses; veracious companies that are proud to create products with first-class ingredients, serve meals with true provenance and pass on their hard-earned food skills. Above all, the businesses we prize most are those that take pride and passion in showcasing what Yorkshire is all about: good, honest food.’
Annie led a crack team of hard-working judges this year, including food writers Jill Turton and Amanda Wragg, wine guru John Moorhouse of Hallgarten Druitt (which supplied all the drinks for the reception and lunch), food development chef Robert Ramsden of Delifresh, wild food fan and TV chef Stephanie Moon, and Neil Nugent, executive chef of food development for Morrisons.
They joined our nominees, winners and honoured guests – including guest speaker Simon Rhatigan, managing director of the Devonshire Hotels group – at a celebratory lunch at Rudding Park near Harrogate, itself a previous Yorkshire Life award-winner and recently voted the UK’s top hotel at TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards.
Guests were treated to poached and smoked Kilnsey Park trout with lemon sorrel and a crispy quail egg in a lemon emulsion, followed by Sykes House Farm pork fillet with chicken and apricot mousse, fondant potato, morel mushrooms and braised baby gem. Pudding was a seasonal taste of Ampleforth apples served with Hills Fine Foods ice cream. And last but not least, for those with a little room left, came a Yorkshire cheeseboard, again supplied by Hills Fine Foods.
While the hospitality enjoyed by all was a vital ingredient in making our ceremony an event to remember, it was the announcement of the awards themselves that got pulses really racing.
Among the major winners this year, each of whom was presented with a magnum of Moet Imperial Blanc courtesy of Moet Hennessey, was Matthew Benson Smith, director of The Cooking School at Dean Clough, who picked up our Education Award. He’s cooked in some of the UK’s best restaurants and hotels during his double-decade career and now dedicates his time to enthusing and informing the next generation.
‘His passion for back-to-basics skills and local seasonal produce knows no bounds,’ said Annie. ‘As well as being committed to promoting and facilitating healthy eating in schools, he has helped set up and run a ground-breaking apprenticeship scheme for 16-24 year olds. His tireless work has enabled hundreds to forge a bright future in the restaurant industry.’
We thought long and hard about renaming our hard-fought Chef of the Year title for 2013 as it actually went to two chefs – Minal and Kaushy Patel, the mother and daughter-in-law team from Prashad in Bradford, where they’ve taken cooking from the heart to new levels of skill and precision.
‘They offer exquisite, traditional Gujarati and Punjabi vegetarian cuisine, which has gained them many awards and a place in the final of Channel Four’s Ramsay’s Best Restaurants,’ said Annie. ‘Their fuss-free and fun approach to cookery has deservedly garnered a loyal and growing following in both Yorkshire and across the UK.’
And finally, our Special Award, which celebrates those who go above and beyond to ensure Yorkshire retains its place as a premier destination for food, drink and hospitality, went to Michael Ibbotson and Chris Blundell of Provenance Inns, the dynamic pub company that’s become industry shorthand for somewhere great to eat, meet and sleep.
‘By pulling together a portfolio of Yorkshire inns and dining pubs that have a strong connection with place – in terms of their food, community involvement and all-round hospitality – this business has set the bar very high, helping to raise standards across the industry,’ said Annie.
‘Their focus is on food-driven village inns, not restaurants in pubs, that champion local producers and suppliers, employ local people and ensure a friendly and welcoming environment for all.’
Poached and smoked Kilnsey Trout, lemon sorrel, crispy quails egg and lemon emulsion
Pork fillet with chicken and apricot mousse, fondant potato, morel mushrooms, baby gem and jus
Taste of Ampleforth apples.
Trout supplied by Kilnsey Park Estate
Pork from Sykes House Farm
Ice cream and cheese supplied by Hill’s Fine Foods
Venison for canapés supplied by Holme Farm Venison
Wines by Hallgarten Druitt
The winners of the Yorkshire Life Food & Drink Awards 2013
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Eat Me Cafe, Scarborough
‘For the business that’s made a real statement in its first two years of trading, bringing something new, exciting and different to the industry table.’
NEIGHBOURHOOD RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
‘For that familiar place, friendly rather than fancy, offering good food at a good price with a passion for local produce and people.’
SMALL BUT SPECIAL ACCOMODATION OF THE YEAR
Yorebridge House, Askrigg
‘We’re famous for our warm Yorkshire welcome, but this business goes that extra mile, providing exceptional touches that make your stay that little bit special.’
PUB OF THE YEAR
Friends of Ham, Leeds
‘A good pub is so much more than its bar and beer; this is for the hostelry that offers innovative food, first-class facilities and friendship by the barrel.’
LOCAL PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
B Tomlinson & Son, Pudsey
‘For the producer who celebrates Yorkshire’s finest foods and the people that work so hard to make them, pioneering innovation while keeping ancient skills, family recipes and artisan techniques alive.’
FOOD DESTINATION OF THE YEAR
‘For an institution in its own right, offering more than just good food and drink but a place to shop, let off steam and socialise.’
DINING PUB OF THE YEAR
Reliance, North Street, Leeds
‘For a ground-breaking inn pushing the boundaries of pub food with sensational seasonal menus and well kept ales, bringing the best of fine dining into the friendly and informal pub environment.’
HOTEL OF THE YEAR
Cedar Court Grand Hotel, York
‘There’s no room for improvement here, with a classy winner bringing fantastic food, luxurious rooms and exceptional service to Yorkshire’s hotel scene.’
RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
The Design House, Halifax
‘Setting the trends rather than following them, this restaurant offers seriously good cooking in stunning surroundings, making it a permanent fixture on diners’ must-visit lists.’
Matthew Benson Smith, director of The Cooking School at Dean Clough
CHEF OF THE YEAR AWARD
Minal and Kaushy Patel from Prashad
The Provenance Inn team: Michael Ibbotson and Chris Blundell