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A Taste of Yorkshire on a special occasion

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My first Rollits Food Blog was on corporate insolvencies and the need for tight credit control. My second blog was on Avian Flu and the devastating culling of flocks. I was thinking of making my third blog about the Institute of Grocery Distribution indicating that food inflation will hit 17-19% early next year. Then our Marketing Director suggested that readers can only take so much gloom and we needed something brighter.

So I am delighted to report on the most glitzy evening of the year for Yorkshire food and drink, the Deliciouslyorkshire (DY) Taste Awards. This splendid black-tie dinner took place at The Pavilions at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate on Wednesday, 9 November with over 250 guests.

It has been my privilege to be on the DY board for many years and I never cease to be amazed by the quality of produce coming from “God’s Own County” (to quote the Awards joint-MC [with Steph Moon] and judge Nigel Barden). Yorkshire has so many innovative and inspiring producers, retailers and hospitality providers from North to South and East to West.

The evening started with an emotional tribute to DY’s former Chair, Judy Bell MBE, who died earlier this year. Judy founded Shepherds Purse Cheeses from husband Nigel’s farm near Thirsk and was an original board member of DY’s predecessor, Yorkshire Pantry. She was an extraordinary entrepreneur and supporter of Yorkshire produce. Judy’s family were present and awarded the Best Beer/Cider to Bedale-based Pennine Brewing Company.

At this year’s Awards there were 24 categories from Best Bakery Product sponsored by Cranswick, through to Best Hot (and, separately, Cold) Beverage sponsored by Harrogate’s own The Serious Sweet Company and its owner, Rob Whitehead.

Every product area was covered and I was very pleased to present the Best Confectionery to Florian Poirot for their gorgeous Red Fruit Tea and Chocolate Macaron. Every table enjoyed a beautiful box of colourful macarons available at their patisserie at Talbot Yard Food Court in Malton.

The whole menu featured the best of locally produced food and there was much praise for the team at The Pavilions for the way the courses were speedily served between the various award categories. That was quite an achievement.

The evening culminated in two special awards. The Supreme Product Champion 2022 went to Lishman’s of Ilkley for their York Air Dried Ham. This year’s Yorkshire Food Hero was awarded to the very deserving Tom Mellor of Wold Top Brewery and Spirit of Yorkshire, two successful businesses based at Hunmanby.

From being on the DY board I know what an amazing job is done by Allison Kane throughout the year, with special help for the Awards from Helen Miles, now of Wensleydale Creamery. The evening went off without a hitch and was a brilliant success. Well done too to the current DY Chair, Mark Stoddart of Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS), which sponsored the Best Fresh Meat category won by Soanes Poultry. Through YAS we were very pleased to have on our table Madge Moore, the Chair both of the Yorkshire Food Farming & Rural Network and Grow Yorkshire.

We should not forget that times are tough for so many businesses in the food & drink sector. But, against this backcloth, it was hugely encouraging to recognize the many fine companies and individuals in our region who are creating and marketing such wonderful products.

Rollits are fortunate to work with some very talented people!

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    Written by Julian Wild