The best of Britain's small food producers are toasting their success following this year's national Small Food Awards at the start of May. Open to micro food producers with a maximum of two people in the business, products must be produced in a non-industrial or domestic environment such as a home kitchen to qualify for the awards.
Top prizes were awarded to Juli Farkas of East Sheen Bakery (London) for her sourdough bread; Lisa Wheeler for her Venison and Fennel Salami at the Norfolk Charcuterie (Burnham Thorpe); Wyn Buick at Honeysuckle's Nanodairy (St. Davids, Pembrokeshire) for his 'Retirement' hard cheese made from raw milk; and Isobel Carse for the 'Toasted Madagascar White', she makes at Dormouse Chocolates (Manchester).
An expert panel of judges including Shelly Preston of Ottar Chocolate and David Carter, baking tutor at The School of Artisan Food, assessed dozens of entries in the bread, charcuterie, cheese and chocolate categories on criteria including taste, texture and appearance. Winners were announced at an awards ceremony at The School of Artisan Food, based at the Welbeck Estate near Worksop, Notts, on 3 May.
Run by social enterprise Virtuous Bread and The School of Artisan Food, the awards aim to recognise micro, professional food producers in the UK who are at the forefront of innovation and excellence in the food industry.
"It was great to partner with Jane Mason, the original bread angel and founder of Virtuous Bread, to host the second Small Food Awards. The School of Artisan Food promotes and supports small food as a delicious, sustainable and affordable alternative to 'big' food at every opportunity, so these Awards are a brilliant way of shining a light on these inspiring micro producers." says Julie Byrne, MD of The School of Artisan Food.
"We were absolutely thrilled to win at The Small Food Awards, it's so great to see an award celebrating small producers like ourselves. Winning an award like this spurs us on to keep creating and really helps us to grow our brand. We can't wait to see what happens next!" Isobel Carse, Dormouse Chocolates.
Find out more about the awards in general over on the official website.