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Revealed: The Food and Farming Awards 2018 Finalists

Best Food Producer

Ispini Charcuterie (Northern Ireland)

Jonathan Cuddy from Ispini Irish Charcuterie makes artisan salami and charcuterie on his farm in Dungannon. The salami is handcrafted, from mixing to stuffing, then fermented and slowly air dried over a number of weeks until the desired texture and flavour has been reached, using traditional flavours like chorizo, fennel and garlic & black pepper salami.

Country Puddings (Cumbria)

The Country Puddings journey began in November 2000 when farmer’s wife Lynne Mallinson started making Sticky Toffee Pudding from her farmhouse kitchen for the local farm shop in Penrith, Cumbria. As the pudding range grew, a barn on the family farm was converted into a dedicated pudding kitchen and they now have a range of twenty traditional favourite puddings and custards as well as sixteen Great Taste Awards.

Small Food Bakery (Nottingham)

Small Food Bakery is an artisan bakery, based within Primary Studios in Nottingham, started by owner and baker Kimberley Bell. The bakery is focused on small batch, high quality products which use local, seasonal ingredients wherever possible. They support the Real Bread Campaign and their bread carries The Real Bread Loaf Mark; an assurance from the bakery that the loaves are made without artificial additives. Products are also available via Nottingham Food Assembly.

Best Drinks Producer

Moorland Spirit Company/Hepple Gin (Northumberland)

Hepple Gin is the result of a collaboration between chef, Valentine Warner, world-renowned barman, Nick Strangeway, drinks developer, Cairbry Hill, countryman, Walter Riddell, and distiller, Chris Garden. They are based at Hepple in the Northumbrian Moors, one of the most botanically vibrant environments in England, where they pick their own green juniper and other wild aromatic plants

Burning Sky Brewery (East Sussex)

Burning Sky Brewery was founded in the Autumn of 2013 by Mark Tranter. Having been a brewer for many years, Mark wanted to create a brewery that draws parallels between English and Belgian brewing traditions, reinvigorating them for today’s tastes. They are the first brewery in UK to install oak vats, or foeders, alongside an array of wooden barrels for the ageing and maturing of beers.

Big Drop Brewing Co (Maidenhead)

Big Drop Brewing Co. is dedicated exclusively to making the finest <0.5% ABV beer. Founder, Rob Fink identified a lack of choice in low or no alcohol beers and further research revealed a gap in the market for a craft brewery dedicated solely to production of great quality, full-flavoured low alcohol beer. Joining with James Kindred in 2016, they created Big Drop Brewing Co.

Best Street Food and Takeaway

Old Granary Pierogi (Herefordshire)

Old Granary Pierogi has developed from a passion for cooking and eating good wholesome food, embracing British cuisine and infusing it with Polish culinary knowledge and heritage. Pierogi is a traditional, hearty Polish dish which resembles Italian ravioli when boiled or the traditional Cornish pasty when baked. Hand crafted in yeast dough cases, hand rolled and stuffed with a variety of meaty and vegetarian fillings sourced or foraged locally.

The Bees Country Kitchen (Chorley)

The Bees Country Kitchen based in Chorley market, serve up proper wholesome home-made dishes to the people of Chorley. They also supply a great selection of make at home kits with an emphasis on fresh local and seasonal produce being used to create tasty affordable food with a healthy twist.

Manjit's Kitchen (Leeds)

Manjit Kaur was taught to cook Punjabi food from the age of six by her grandmother and in 2010 launched Manjits Kitchen with her husband Michael Jameson. They offer vegetarian Indian streetfood, from the new food hall at Leeds Kirkgate market but also at various events in a bright yellow converted horsebox.

BBC Cook of the Year

Helen Boyce (Northern Ireland)

Helen is a Prison Officer cook who works with a team of inmates working with the Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre (HBW). After instigating an initiative which involved prisoners producing breakfast baps for sale to staff and inmates, HBW applied for and was granted Social Enterprise funding which allowed for the creation of a fully operational 'pop up café' - The Cabin. Helen's team is made up entirely of female prisoners and she runs a very effective, efficient catering operation.

Sam Storey (Newcastle)

Sam is a research chef for people with altered eating difficulties (such as head and neck cancer survivors) working with Newcastle, Northumbria and Durham University researchers and postgraduate students. He is also a community chef for ‘festival of thrift’ and ‘station master’s community wildlife garden" in the North East; and was co-coordinator for Newcastle/Gateshead ‘EAT’ festival.

Rose Dakuo (London)

Rose cooks for her ‘Welcome Kitchen’ West African, and Refugee Cuisine Supper Clubs across London, and for Tottenham based youth centres, advice/soup kitchens, and refugee and migrant projects all over the city. Rose is a talented Ivorian chef highly skilled in West African cuisines ranging from Senegalese to Nigerian to her native Ivorian food - reflecting the ethnic diversity of Ivory coast. Rose's skill is rooted in her upbringing in Ivory Coast, and after seeking refuge in the UK 17 years ago, has dedicated her life to celebrating her culture's food by sharing it with people - particularly those in need.

The Farming Today Future Food Award

Provenance (London)

Provenance is a platform that empowers brands to take steps toward greater transparency by tracing the origins and histories of products. Their technology can easily gather and verify stories, keep them connected to physical things and embed them anywhere online. Powered by mobile, blockchain and open data, the software enables retailers and producers to open product data, track the journey of goods, and empower customers with access to knowledge.

Heritage Harvest (Buckinghamshire)

Heritage Harvest preserve and grow true heritage cereal grains that have been lost as well as growing grains that have a rich nutrient content in a sustainable way. They are working to re-localise cereal production, working across the cereal chain (from farmer to baker) to make it more transparent and sustainable.

Hands Free Hectare (Shropshire)

Hands Free Hectare are aiming to grow crops using only robots and drones. It's a world-first project run by Harper Adams University and Precision Decisions to drill, tend and harvest a crop without operators on the machine and agronomists in the field. They have successfully drilled their second crop; a hectare of winter wheat and are hoping to improve the accuracy of their machinery, and therefore improve the yield at harvest next year.

Best Shop or Market

Peace & Loaf Bakery(Cumbria)

A small family run bakery based in Barrow market, making artisan bread,cakes,pastries,hot food and drinks. In 2017, Peace and Loaf successfully raised funds through kickstarter to secure the business and upgrade.

Severn & Wye Smokery (Gloucestershire)

Recently expanded, the Severn & Wye Smokery Shop - The Barn has been carefully renovated over the last 3 years by a team of artisan craftsmen. As well as a fish market, chef’s larder, gift shop and café there is also an open-plan restaurant and state-of-the-art theatre style kitchen.

The Sussex Peasant (Brighton)

The Sussex Peasant is a mobile farm shop based in the South East of England. Following a desire to change the face of food retail, returning food and drink to what it once was, Ed Johnstone started The Sussex Peasant – working with a community of enterprising Sussex farmers who support the mobile farm shop and a pop up restaurant, selling the finest local produce direct to customers.