2018 Yorkshire Life Food and Drink Awards, Rudding Park, Harrogate

PUBLISHED: 00:00 02 November 2018

Cheers errupt as chef Matt Healy's restauant The Foundry, Leeds is named Newcomer of the Year

Cheers errupt as chef Matt Healy's restauant The Foundry, Leeds is named Newcomer of the Year

Andy Bulmer

The finest talent in Yorkshire’s hospitality industry gathered at Rudding Park for the announcements of the winners.

2018 Yorkshire Life Food & Drink Awards sponsors2018 Yorkshire Life Food & Drink Awards sponsors

It is always with great excitement that we come together for the Yorkshire Life Food & Drink Awards but especially so this year as we returned to an evening event – an awards gala dinner prepared especially for us at the multi award-winning Rudding Park, Harrogate. It was an excuse to dress up and say a glamorous well done to some of the finest talent in Yorkshire’s hospitality industry.

Our judges Claire Gallagher, Gary Smulders and Claire Sawkins, who between them have enormous knowledge of the food, drink and hospitality industries, have been spoiled for choice. Deliberations went on for months but there have been award contenders who have shone through with their talent, innovation, flair, expertise and most of all commitment to customers. The judges’ discussions culminate in our awards which were presented by television journalist and presenter Claire Montgomery.

Our charity this year is the Leeds Community Foundation which works to create positive change in the communities of Leeds that need it most. Their fundraising initiative, The Leeds Fund, helps to do this by tackling the city’s most significant issues via the community groups it supports. The fund helps charities and voluntary organisations across the city make a difference to thousands of people every day. They do this in different ways, such as funding new community centres or with grants and advice. One example is the transformation of a disused fire station into a community hub in Gipton. Their work is different, innovative and life changing for many. We’d like to thank guests who gave generously on the night raising more than £1,000.

We’re grateful too, to our sponsors, in particular our headline sponsor Spire Elland Hospital and Dewsbury Clinic, and our suppliers, without whom we would not be able to celebrate the county’s talent with these awards.

From the menu

Reception drinks

Carpene Malvolti Prosecco supplied by Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Gin cocktails supplied by Slingsby Gin

To start

Yorkshire Seafoods Crab, Sweetcorn & Pea

To continue

Sykes House Roast Chicken with wild mushroom and spinach wellington, carrot, brioche and herb crunch

To finish

Longridge Real Dairy Ice Cream Apple & Blackberry Salted Caramel

A Taste of Wensleydale Cheese

Including Yorkshire Wensleydale, Yorkshire Wensleydale and Cranberry, Yorkshire Cheddar

Tea and coffee served with Whitaker’s chocolate

Wines served

Domaine de Georges Bertrand Blanc, Gerad Bertrand, Corbieres Boutenac 2016

Larry Cherubino ‘Apostrophe Possessive Red’, Frankland River 2015



Family Dining of the Year

In association with Studford Luxury Lodges

Winner: The Tetley Bar and Kitchen, Leeds

The judges said: ‘Good menus for both children and grown-ups at affordable prices; really good value for money. A most relaxing and enjoyable dining experience in a light and airy space. A great place which was very busy with very happy families dining.’

Highly commended:

The Balloon Tree, York

Ira B’s, Leeds


Independent Retailer of the Year

In association with Cuckavalda Gundogs

Winner: The Handmade Bakery, Slaithwaite

The minute you walk through the door of this unbelievably unique bakery, you’re hooked into their heartland. You can feel the energy buzzing from the workforce while taking in the aroma of the fresh bread they are producing and hear the happy café community chatter echoing throughout. Ultimately it makes you feel delightfully uplifted in the knowledge that this thriving co-operative are naturally making a difference.’

Highly commended:

The Cheeseboard, Harrogate

Appleton’s Butchers, York


Coffee Shop/Tea Room of the Year

In association with Studio 35 Luxury Kitchens

Winner: North Star Coffee Shop, Leeds

The judges said: ‘The coffee shop is excellent and serves lovely coffee. They are certainly passionate about what they do and the service is good. They have their own roaster and academy next door and it’s all very state of the art. They sell their brand of coffee to about 100 coffee shops nationwide, about 50 of them in Yorkshire. First and foremost they are coffee roasters and it’s obvious that they are definitely ahead of the game.’

Highly commended;

Laynes Espresso, Leeds

Mrs Athers, Leeds


Newcomer of the Year

In association with Slingsby Gin

Winner: Matt Healy x The Foundry, Leeds

The judges said: ‘We love Matt’s fresh approach to food creating menus that are simple but full of taste. We liked the idea that ingredients didn’t have to be expensive just the very best quality. This is Matt’s first restaurant and we are glad he decided to open it in Leeds and not far from Horsforth where he was born. We believe the restaurant has a very exciting future.’

Highly commended:

Shoot the Bull, Hull

Bad Seed Brewery, Malton


Product of the Year

In association with Leeds Community Foundation

Winner: Roosters Yankee Original Pale Ale

The judges said: ‘Roosters Yankee Pale Ale - a light easy drinking golden pale ale with lovely citrus fruit aroma and light golden hops and malts taste, brewed with soft Yorkshire water - extremely refreshing and eminently drinkable.’

Highly commended:

Longley Farm Fruity Fromage Frais

Wensleydale Creamery Yorkshire Butter


Restaurant with Rooms of the Year

In association with Stay In A Pub

Winner: Yorebridge House, Bainbridge

The judges said: ‘This has been one of the most difficult decisions to make. All three shortlisted are excellent in so many ways. The Yorebridge House just edges ahead – it was the hot tubs in rooms that did it, but only just.’

Highly commended:

Grassington House, Grassington

The Woodman, Huddersfield


Food Hero of the Year

In association with Sykes House Farm

Winner: Katie Taylor, Drewtons Farm Shop, South Cave

The judges said: ‘We got to know this special lady during Hull City of Culture 2017 when she proved to be one of the great supporters of the, to steal a phrase, make Hull great again, movement. She has worked tirelessly promoting Yorkshire food producers at her Drewton’s Farm shop and restaurant in South Cave and initiating community events. We salute her for her hard work and commitment to her business and her community.


Bar of the Year

In association with Adia

Winner: Porco Rosso, Harrogate

The judges said: ‘A quintessentially Italian and unquestionably cool bar, that really rocks. The owners won plenty of plaudits when they opened Stuzzi in 2014 and undeniably they’ve done it again. It’s a bar that beyond all else makes you feel happy. It miraculously makes you feel that you’re hanging out in a bustling bar in Milan when actually you’re still in the heart of Harrogate. Hats off to you guys, we loved it.’

Highly commended:

Neighbourhood Restaurant & Bar, Leeds

Great Gatsby, Sheffield

Don’t Tell the Duke, Wetherby


Customer Service Award of the Year

In association with Bettys

Winner: Liam McDonnell, The Pheasant, Harome

The judges said: ‘Our winner has worked in the hospitality business all his working life including the Black Swan at Helmsley and the Ashmount Country House Hotel in Haworth. He joined the team at the Pheasant Hotel, Harome in June 2016 as assistant restaurant manager and has worked hard, rewarded with becoming the Pheasant’s general manager in July this year.’


Pub of the Year

In association with Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Winner: Craven Arms and Cruck Barn, Appletreewick

The judges said: ‘The ambience, the views, the fine hospitality, the history, the fine ales, the food – the Craven Arms & Cruck Barn has what’s truly special about Yorkshire all wrapped up. A truly, well deserved winner.

Highly commended:

The Gray Ox, Hartshead

Minster Inn, York


Chef of the Year

In association with Total Foodservice

Winner: Neil Bentinck SKOSH, York

The judges said: ‘For some time now Neil has been hailed as one to watch truly a rising star on the Great British culinary map. The calmness, creativeness and relaxed environment experienced when walking into SKOSH is influenced and driven by Neil , his team are a delight and so professional. His ever evolving inspiring flavours ooze with creativity and his culinary skills well, mixing Yorkshire roots with Indian flavours on small plates is just genius. He’s a culinary genius and to top it all off he just a really nice guy.’


Restaurant of the Year

In association with Spire Elland Hospital Dewsbury Clinic

Winner: Jöro, Sheffield

The judges said: ‘Jöro is a food destination, the new style of small plates and tasting menus really seams like the way forward. It offers so much more for the customer and a creative back drop for the chef. The service was impeccable, the surroundings where very creative and comfortable and the food was great – a Michelin Star winner in the making.

Highly commended:

The Restaurant, Moorcock Inn, Sowerby Bridge

Eric’s Restaurant, Huddersfield

The Westwood, Beverley


Meet the judges

Claire Gallagher, chair of judges

She trained as chef in Yorkshire and has worked at the Carlton Highland Hotel, a Michelin starred restaurant in France; Crathorn Hall near Yarm and spent three years as a pastry chef for Raymond Blanc at his two Michelin starred restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and spent several years as head of food and drink innovation at Bettys, Harrogate.

Claire McKenzie

Claire is founder of the British Cookery School Awards. She specialises in consumer marketing, particularly focusing on food, leisure and lifestyle brands. She is also an accomplished writer and enjoyed her time as a columnist for the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Gary Smulders

Gary is regional manager in the North East for wine merchants Hallgarten & Novum Wines and our turn-to wine expert with many years experience travelling the world discovering and bringing back exciting new wines. He lives in Yorkshire and specialises in supplying and advising restaurants and wine stores. He is always on the lookout for the perfect wine list.

The evening’s host

Claire Montgomery

Claire has been a journalist and presenter with ITV News Tyne Tees for more than 20 years, covering major news stories in the North East and North Yorkshire. She is originally from Northern Ireland but has spent most of life in Yorkshire and is proud to call it her home.

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