The county’s top chefs are sharpening their knives becase the Carlsberg Food and Drink Awards was launched today.
The farm base of Warner’s the gin maker was chosen to start the hunt for the best of the best in Northamptonshire’s food and drink sector.
Previous winners, sponsors and local dignitaries gathered to hear presentations from the High Sheriff of Northamptonshire James Saunders Watson, awards organiser Rachel Mallows MBE, Tom Warner of Warners, Maria O’Brian from Carlsberg and awards patron William Sitwell.
Maria said: “We are really proud that we have been sponsoring these awards for ten years and now we are entering our second decade with the 11th awards, what a fantastic milestone.”
Iona Campbell from the Watermill Tea Rooms at Ringstead which won Cafe of the Year last year described how they got involved with entering the awards and how it boosted the business when they won.
“We had been doing better than we expected so we thought let’s go for it. All of the passion that goes into it from the staff – it has been really great to have that recognised. The effect on the business has been extraordinary. We have hired eight new members of staff and are opening another tea room. Our customers tell us they have heard about us through the awards,” she said.
Ms Mallows said: “If you are a winner you have access to some pretty remarkable brains from our sponsors who offer mentoring and that really helps to set the awards apart.”
Guest were treated to a tour of Warners, tasting gin and viewing the distillery.
The food and drink sector also features as the Britain’s Best Surprise campaign this year, aiming to encourage people outside the county to sample Northamptonshire’s delights.
The eleventh CNFDA Awards Dinner will take place on November 14.