Devon’s world-class food and drink scene was celebrated at Food Drink Devon’s Virtual Awards on Thursday 12th November. The county’s finest food and drink producers, hospitality businesses and speciality retailers were recognised at Food Drink Devon’s first ever virtual awards which were announced online by Devon food and drink champion Kerry White and board member Tom Chartres-Moore of Stephens Scown.
Food Drink Devon is a not for profit organisation, run by its members, which champions the county’s food and drink industry. Unable to hold its annual awards, due to coronavirus restrictions, Food Drink Devon wanted to highlight businesses who had continued to demonstrate quality, sustainability and provenance by working hard to adapt during this difficult year. The virtual awards, which were open to members and non-members, focussed on six core categories: Food Product of the Year, Drink Product of the Year, Eatery of the Year, Retailer of the Year, Employee of the Year and Business of the Year. In addition to selecting a winner of each category, the independent judging panel recognised a select number of outstanding entries with a Gold or Silver Award.
Barbara King, chair of Food Drink Devon, commented: “Each year we’re increasingly impressed with the quality of entries to our awards. This year was no exception. Even in the face of unprecedented challenges for our industry, Devon’s inspiring food and drink producers and hospitality and retail establishments have excelled. We are delighted that, in spite of restrictions, we have still been able to recognise these achievements and champion these outstanding businesses in what would have been the tenth anniversary year for our awards. I would like to congratulate all those who won and were shortlisted and thank all our sponsors and those who helped make these important awards possible.”
Over-viewing the judging of the six core categories, Stuart Elford, Chief Executive of Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, commented: “I was amazed and humbled by the lengths people have gone to, how they have adapted so impressively and how passionate they are to deliver a quality and dependable service in these unprecedented times. I truly commend all the entrants.”
As a judge of the drinks category, Adrian Tierney-Jones, award-winning beer, food and travel journalist commented: “My fellow judges and I blind-tasted a variety of alcoholic beverages and we were all impressed with the quality of the products, the flavours, aromatics and appearances. With such a wide breadth of excellent drinks, all I can say is — lucky old Devon!”
The 2020 Food Drink Devon Award Results
Food Product of the Year: Sabine Macarons’ Blackberry & White Chocolate Ganache Macarons
Judges said the skill shown was exceptional with a great combination of flavours and textures. These macarons were absolutely delicious.
Drink Product of the Year: Powderkeg Brewery’s Green Light
Judges said this beer had good body, a long finish and was a very exciting low alcohol beer.
Eatery of the Year: The Globe Inn, Beaford
This village pub showed exceptional dedication and support to the community in these unpredictable and unprecedented times. The pub became the central hub for organising support in the village and offered takeaway and delivery services, free meals for village residents over the age of 70, prescription and grocery deliveries.
Retailer of the Year: Veyseys Butchers, Cullompton
The butchers worked tirelessly when lockdown was announced to immediately create a home delivery service by investing in additional local staff and equipment to provide customers with an excellent level of service and high quality produce from local farmers.
Employee of the Year: Sandra Lambert, Carters Deli, Tavistock
Sandra is well known and valued by generations of customers, holding different positions and responsibilities over her 56 years of service, what an achievement! During lockdown she worked over her employed hours and helped deliver goods on foot to the local community. Her employers hold her in very high esteem.
Business of the Year: The Postal Pantry Co.
This family run business started during lockdown in an effort to support local businesses. They set up an online delivery service of pantry essentials and local, fresh produce with an emphasis on stocking products which are packaged in recyclable or biodegradable packaging. They also encouraged elderly and vulnerable people to telephone for support and a chat.
Gold and Silver Award Winners
A full list of these winners can be found here.
A special thank you goes to sponsors of the awards Peplows, Stephens Scown, Kamado Joe and Inkreadible Labels and media partners Taste Buds.
For more information about Food Drink Devon, the awards and to sign up to their monthly newsletters which feature events, offers and competitions, please visit www.fooddrinkdevon.co.uk, follow @FoodDrinkDevon on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.