Finalists for BBC Food & Farming Awards announced

Date: 01.10.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.51
Category: Radio 4
The schoolgirl Martha Payne, who became an internet sensation after a council banned her from posting photos of her school meals online, has been named as one of this year’s BBC Food & Farming Awards finalists.

The impact she and her blog, Neverseconds, has had on the debate over the quality of school food is being recognised by her inclusion in the Derek Cooper Award category. The category, named after the BBC’s pioneering food journalist, recognises the work of individuals and organisations who have helped promote good, healthy and delicious food.

Martha is one of a line-up of 28 finalists that includes a London brewery founded by a cheese expert, a farmers’ market set up by students on a university campus and a baker who sells traditional puddings from a van parked next to a train station.

This year’s finalists are featured in a special edition of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme, presented by Valentine Warner, broadcast on Sunday 30 September at 12.30pm.

Each year the BBC Food & Farming Awards celebrate the people and organisations behind the best of British food. All the finalists started off as a nomination sent in by a member of the public. A team of judges, including some of the UK’s best known chefs and food writers, then selected them in one of nine categories, including Best Food Market, Best Drinks Producer, Best Food Producer and Best Takeaway.

Winners will be announced at the Food & Farming Awards ceremony held on November 28th at the NEC, Birmingham. Members of the public can attend the awards by going to bbc.co.uk/foodawards.

Chef and restaurateur Angela Hartnett chairs this year’s panel of judges, which includes farmer and Countryfile presenter Adam Henson, restaurateur and broadcaster Arthur Potts-Dawson and food writer Charles Campion.

Chair of judges Angela Hartnett said: "I’ve judged these awards before but I’ve never come across a range of such fantastic food stories. I can’t wait to hear more about the likes of Sutton Bonington farmers’ market – dreamt up in a pub by four PhD students, and then there’s this year’s Best Street Food / Takeaway finalists, ranging from traditional Moroccan food to traditional British puddings being served from a van. When you also add in stories like the cheese expert who became a brewer, the first new distillery on the Isle of Islay for more than a hundred years and the man who’s transforming hospital meals… how can you not be excited and optimistic about food in Britain?”

The awards will take place on the afternoon of Wednesday 28 November at the BBC Good Food Show, NEC, Birmingham, and will be hosted by Sheila Dillon, presenter of The Food Programme and Valentine Warner.

She will be joined by some of the biggest names in the food world including Raymond Blanc and Paul Hollywood.

The finalists for this year's awards are as follows:

BEST DRINKS PRODUCER

- Kilchoman Distillery, Isle of Islay, Scotland, a company taking distilling back to its roots by setting up on a farm, growing its own barley, malting it and producing the whiskey all on site.

- Kernel Brewery, London – founded by Evin O’Riordain, this brewery is inspired by the American brewing scene and by London's brewing past, bottling India Pale Ales and old school London Porters and Stouts.

- Once Upon a Tree, Ledbury, a team that draws on winemaking skills to capture the true characters of home-grown apples in a range of ciders and perry as well as apple and pear juice.

BEST STREET FOOD / TAKEAWAY

- Inders, Cambridge, an Indian takeaway using local suppliers to source responsibly farmed meat, fish and fresh seasonal produce to bring out the authenticity, flavour and aroma of traditional Indian home cooking.

- The Pudding Stop, St Albans City Train Station, a mobile van selling handmade puddings made with ingredients from local suppliers and farms, freshly baked in a proper old-fashioned bakery.

- Moroccan Soup Stand, Golborne Road, London, freshly cooked, affordable soups and traditional Moroccan street food like fish tagine, all topped off with a mint tea.

BEST FOOD PRODUCER

- Deli Farm Charcuterie, Delabole, Cornwall, a food producer based in North Cornwall making traditionally air-dried salami and ham with carefully sourced local ingredients.

- Westcombe Dairy, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, one of a small number of producers of traditional, unpasteurised, clothbound cheddar. Cheesemaker Tom Calver links the science of soil and grass with the quality of the food he’s making.

- Porthgain Shellfish, Porthgain, Pembrokeshire, a small, family business selling crab, lobster, spider crab and whelks.

- Pump Street Bakery, Orford, Suffolk, a family-owned bakery and café. All bread and pastries are made daily in the village, including popular sourdough breads.

BEST FOOD MARKET

- Edinburgh Farmers’ Market, Edinburgh, a market held every Saturday against the dramatic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, offering a great choice of local produce and ingredients from around Scotland.

- Sutton Bonnington Farmers’ Market, near Loughborough, a monthly farmers' market set up by students on a university campus selling everything from rare breed lamb and pigs trotters to Thai and Caribbean food.

- Melton Mowbray Farmers’ Market, Melton Mowbray, an opportunity for local producers to sell fresh quality produce to local consumers on the site of a traditional livestock market. Pheasants, rabbit, hare and mushrooms foraged from the area all feature.

BEST PUBLIC CATERER (BEST DINNER LADY/MAN)

- Anni Cockell – Beach House Care Home, Brighton, a respite centre for adults with learning disabilities in Brighton. A tight budget hasn’t stopped Anni from offering residents delicious and varied menus.

- Lyndsey Anderson – Excelsior Academy, Newcastle – a mixed community school serving the Benwell and Scotswood area of Newcastle upon Tyne. Lyndsey’s cooking relies on careful sourcing and the meals are seen as part of the children’s education.

- Jane Harrison – Red Hen Nursery, Louth, a private day nursery that also provides after-school and holiday childcare for local school children. Jane’s approach has been to make it feel like having a meal at home with Mum and Dad.

THE YOU & YOURS BEST LOCAL FOOD RETAILER

- Cross Lanes Organic Farm Shop, Barnard Castle, a joint organic farm shop and café, pioneering environmentally friendly ways to sell food. Meals are also cooked on site in a wood burning oven.

- Eurospar, Dolgellau, North Wales, an independently run store with an emphasis on sourcing the best quality food Wales has to offer.

- The Real Food Store, Exeter, a shop owned by community shareholders, providing locally grown and produced quality food.

THE BEST BIG FOOD IDEA

- Cornish Food Market, Falmouth, a home delivery service sourcing superb fresh seasonal food from local growers and producers making high street shopping available online.

- Sainsbury’s & Fareshare, a partnership between a major retailer and a charity, aimed at linking people in the supply chain and customers with the mission to reduce food waste.

- Growing Communities, London, a community scheme which has been running a successful box scheme in Hackney for 18 years and is now showing other parts of the UK how to follow its lead.

THE DEREK COOPER AWARD

- Martha Payne, Scotland – this nine-year-old schoolgirl’s food blog, Never Seconds, and her pictures and reviews of her school lunch are now being read all over the world, fuelling debate about how we feed our children.

- The Real Bread Campaign, a membership organisation bringing together bakers and cereal growers, researchers, activists and everyone else who cares about the state of bread in Britain.

- Mike Duckett, former head of catering at the Royal Brompton hospital where every meal is cooked on the premises. Mike has led the way in improving the quality of public catering across the UK, and his work is now followed by governments throughout Europe.

BBC FARMING TODAY FARMER OF THE YEAR

- Guy Watson, Riverford Organic Farms, Totnes, Devon started growing organic veg in 1986 on his family farm and set up a veg box scheme in 1993, delivering to 20 local friends and families. Now he’s a pioneer in box schemes and farming champion, working with many local growers.

- Henry Edmunds, Cholderton Estate, Salisbury – Passionate about wildlife and farming, Henry has recreated habitats and arable seed banks. He’s regarded as expert by the RSPB, providing regular talks, and he recently won the RSPB 2012 Nature of Farming Award.

- Tom Rawson, Thornhill Hall Farm, Dewsbury, Yorkshire – he is recognised as an innovator in the dairy industry, from expanding the family farm from 50 to 300 cows, to selling shares to young managers and renting out cows.

Notes to Editors

The Food & Farming Awards will be held at the NEC, Birmingham on Wednesday 28 November. They will be broadcast on Friday 30 November at 12.05pm in special awards edition of The Food Programme.

The finalists in the Farmer of the Year category will all feature in upcoming editions of BBC Radio 4’s On Your Farm and will also feature on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today and BBC One’s Countryfile programme.

The Food Programme is on Radio 4 every Sunday at 12.30pm, repeated on Mondays at 3.30pm. Farming Today is on Radio 4 every weekday morning at 5.45am and on Saturdays at 6.35am. You can listen again online at bbc.co.uk/radio4.

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