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Posts Tagged ‘Guild Of Fine Food’

Great Taste Awards 2017

02 Aug

Great Taste organised by the Guild of Fine Food, is the acknowledged benchmark for fine food and drink. It has been described as the ‘Oscars’ of the food world and the ‘epicurean equivalent of the Booker prize’. Quite simply the Great Taste logo is the sign you can trust when buying food and drink in your local, quality retailer. Sadly the Welsh Government dumped our True Taste Awards so Great Taste is how many of our Welsh food and drink producers now try and get some recognition.

The highest award is 3 stars.

Three stars rates: Exquisite. Wow. Taste that.

Two stars rates: Outstanding.

One star rates: Simply delicious.

We are thrilled to its to have three of our Best Of Welsh & Border producers, BOW, get the 3 star award: Welsh Vension Centre, Monty’s Brewery and Miss Daisy’s Kitchen. Plus more of our BOW were successful in attaining one and two stars, a massive achievement in the face of such strong competition.

Here is a selection of our BOW Great Taste Award winners:

 

Product Description Rating Company Name
Rack of Welsh lamb from our own farm in the Brecon Beacons National Park 3 Welsh Venison Centre & Beacons Farm Shop
5.6% Full bodied oatmeal stout. Crafted to remove gluten to less than 20PPM. Certified by Coeliac UK. Bottle conditioned. 3 Monty’s Brewery Ltd
A spicy, dry carrot chutney that’s flavoured with Nigella seeds, Turmeric and Star Anise. Great with curries, poppadoms and cold meat platters. 3 Miss Daisy’s Kitchen
Wholemeal Spelt flour made from organic British grain. Stoneground with No additives and nothing taken away 2 Felin Talgarth Mill Ltd
This is made in small batches using the freshest brown crab from cardigan bay and is 100% brown and white crab meat with no additives. 2 Cardigan Bay Fish
Made in small batches using hand-picked fresh brown crab meat a delicious tasting (not too crabby). 2 Cardigan Bay Fish
Mild soured cream made with Welsh cream 2 Daffodil Foods Ltd.
At 5.2% ABV, this amber IPA has a twist of tangerine and citrus from US and New Zealand hops, balanced on a slightly sweet, malty body. 2 Purple Moose Brewery Ltd
Venison haunch steak cooked medium-rare, lean, low in fat, healthy from our own farm in the Brecon Beacons National Park. 2 Welsh Venison Centre & Beacons Farm Shop
100% juice cider made from single variety Yarlington Mill bittersweet apples, lightly sparkling, cold fermentation using winemakers yeast. 6.0% 2 Apple County Cider Co
Organic botanical gin. 2 Da Mhile Distillery
3.9% Alc. A chestnut coloured traditional style malty bitter. Bottle conditioned beer may have sediment. Pour gently 2 Monty’s Brewery Ltd
Raspberry preserve with crushed cardamom seeds 2 Radnor Preserves
5.0% abv. A complex red-hued IPA – Crystal and Rye malts provide the canvas for an array of US hops 2 Brecon Brewing
Raw milk washed-rind cheese. 2 Caws Teifi Cheese
Organic spread made with crunchy tigernuts, real coconut, roasted cashew nuts and sea salt. For toast, sandwiches or cooking. 1 Bim’s Kitchen
A sweet, savoury syrup made with Welsh Denbigh plums, baobab and a hint of cinnamon. For toast, ice cream, pancakes, fruit or baking 1 Bim’s Kitchen
A fiery, aromatic relish\stir-fry ingredient for seafood, meat & vegetables made with coconut, chillies and spices. 1 Bim’s Kitchen
A dark red chutney with pieces of crushed chillies and chopped tomatoes.Sweet apples blend with the spice for a chutney of medium heat. 1 Welsh Lady Preserves
Artisan gluten free hand made bread with a moist texture having sunflower and other seeds added giving a slight nutty taste 1 Welsh Gluten Free Bakery Products
Everything needed to make a delicious wholemeal loaf from flour milled at our water mill using locally grown wheat 1 Felin Talgarth Mill Ltd
Smooth mackerel pate made in small batches using fresh chives and spring onion,soft cheese great served on crackers. 1 Cardigan Bay Fish
A moist cake filled with tangy orange pieces and sweet honey to give a citrus burst to a traditional welsh cake 1 Tan Y Castell Foods Ltd
This 24 month old cheddar is made at a dairy on the Llyn Peninsula then matured 500ft underground in a slate mine – giving it great depth of flavour. 1 South Caernarfon Creameries
A smooth, soft luxury Fudge with mixed Nuts, Vine Fruits and Christmas Spices. 1 Sarah Bunton Chocolates
Chocolate Ice cream rippled with a peanut crunch paste and a chocolate & Hazelnut sauce 1 Forte’s Ice Cream
Goats’ cheese Ice cream with ginger snap biscuits rippled with Amarena cherries. 1 Forte’s Ice Cream
A traditional Italian style dairy ice cream, made using local organic Welsh dairy produce. 1 Conti’s Ice Cream
Salted Caramel flavour ice cream. A traditional Italian style dairy ice cream, made using local organic Welsh dairy produce. 1 Conti’s Ice Cream
Elderflower Ice Cream. Organic Elderflower cordial is added to traditional Italian style dairy ice cream base, made using local organic Welsh produce. 1 Conti’s Ice Cream
Crunchy honeycomb pieces and a caramel sauce are added to a traditional Italian style dairy ice cream, made using local organic Welsh dairy produce. 1 Conti’s Ice Cream
Strawberry Ice Cream. Frozen whole strawberries added to traditional Italian style dairy ice cream base, made using local organic Welsh dairy produce 1 Conti’s Ice Cream
Raspberry sorbet made using real fruit and organic sugar. 1 Conti’s Ice Cream
Bio-Live Natural Yogurt, using whole cow’s milk and Bio-Live Cultures Lactobasillus Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium with added blossom Honey. 1 Llaeth Y Llan Cyf (t/a Village Dairy)
A smooth, rich, chocolate and vanilla stout with a balanced subtle bitterness. Brewed to 4.5% ABV. 1 Purple Moose Brewery Ltd
Homemade Venison Faggots. Made from our own farmed, red deer within the Brecon Beacons national park. our own recipe. Handmade 1 Welsh Venison Centre & Beacons Farm Shop
100% juice cider made from single variety Michelin bittersweet apples, infused with pure fresh pressed rhubarb juice, lightly sparkling. 4.0% 1 Apple County Cider Co
Chunks of Pork and Chorizo balanced with a vegetable, chickpea, tomato, and cider based broth. 1 Blas ar Fwyd Cyf
A thick, fresh pea soup with coarsely cut home-cooked ham. 1 Blas ar Fwyd Cyf
A couverture chocolate brownie enhanced with molasses undertones, almost fudge like in texture. 1 Blas ar Fwyd Cyf
Banana Cake, filled with pieces of cranberries, dense and flavoursome. 1 Clam’s Handmade Cakes
4.2% Alc. Golden ale with subtle floral and citrus hop characteristic. Bottle conditioned beer may have sediment. Pour gently 1 Monty’s Brewery Ltd
Blackcurrant & Vanilla Preserve 1 Radnor Preserves
Welsh Pinot Noir Précoce 2015 12% Vol 1 White Castle vineyard
3.8% abv dry & bitter golden ale, single hopped with a classic British hop and brewed with our unique Brewer’s yeast 1 Mantle Brewery Limited
The only British organic milk drink of its kind, schools approved, nothing artificial & flavoured with only the best natural vanilla & organic cocoa. 1 Daioni Organic

Showing 1 to 46 of 46 entries

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To see the full list of Welsh winners click here

Great Taste is the largest and most trusted accreditation scheme for fine food and drink. Established in 1994, it encourages and mentors artisan food producers, offering a unique benchmarking and product evaluation service leading to an independent accreditation that enables small food and drink businesses to compete against supermarket premium own label brands. Since 1994 over 110,000 products have been assessed. During 2016, 10,000 products were blind-tasted by panels of specialists: top chefs, cookery writers, food critics, restaurateurs and fine food retailers.

How does it all work?

In 2017 over 500 judges, including specially trained food writers inputting judges’ comments, came together at 62 judging days from March through to early July. This year the Great Taste judging roadshow took a turn at the impressive Llandrillo College, north Wales, as guests of the Welsh Government. As ever we have judged at specialist test centres for tea, filter coffee and espresso with the remainder of the judging days at Guild HQ in Dorset and our new venue and permanent home close to Borough Market, London. The judges, from all corners of the food world, blind-taste in teams of 3 or 4 ensuring we get a balance of expertise, age and gender..

What should buyers look for?

The logo. This is their guarantee a product has been through a rigorous and independent judging process. It’s not about smart packaging or clever marketing – it’s all about taste.

I can only congratulate all our BOW winners – this is proof if further proof were needed that Wales has superb food and drink producers.

 
 

Great Taste Awards, Freedom Question No. 10815

26 Oct

Great Taste Awards are now the leading food awards in Wales following the abandonment of the True Taste Awards, of which much has been posted on this blog.

When wag – in it’s ‘wisdom’ – decided it would drop the True Taste Awards there was huge consternation amongst food and drink producers. The main sticking point was that producers were not allowed any input to wag food before they made their decision. Well let’s be honest, there’s no change there, as wag food do not communicate with producers, a fact we’ve established and tried to change, but to no avail. Our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers are always sent any food press releases I receive but that is very few indeed. But we do send around by email any food and drink related items that we think might be useful to our BOW producers. Anyway back the Great Taste Awards, (GTA). I’ve been asked so many times what is wag’s involvement and what does amuse me is producers think wag food actually tell me. Oh, if only that actually happened, then I wouldn’t have to send through so many Welsh food and drink related questions through the Freedom Of Information, (FOI)  system. But the fact of the matter is we are where we are, wag food don’t talk to me so I have no other option but to use the FOI system. Here’s my latest one and I’ve published this in full apart from the obligatorypiece where wag food tell me if I’m not happy I can ask for a review, which wag food then call a complaint and only if I’m then still not satisfied I can go to the Information Commissioners Office. So here are the questions asked and wag food’s answers:

The information you requested is below.

  1. How much money has the Welsh Government given to the Guild of Fine Food for the years 2015 & 2016?
  2. What proportion of this is targeted specifically at the Great Taste Awards?

The Guild of Fine Food has received £49,080 from the Welsh Government for the years 2015 and 2016 with £4,800 targeted specifically at the Great Taste Awards, see below.

2015/16 £44,280 19/04/15 Hosting Great Taste judging of Welsh entries

2015/16 £ 2,400 29/06/15 Sponsorship for 2015 Awards

2016/17 £ 2,400 08/04/16 Sponsorship for 2016 Awards

In June 2015, the Welsh Government hosted the judging of Welsh entries over a three day period at the St David’s Hotel, Cardiff Bay. The judging, which was arranged and staged by the Guild of Fine Food, hosted up to 70 judges including food writers, bloggers, chefs, producers and buyers.

  1. What were the Welsh Government’s objectives in giving money to the Great Taste Awards?

The overall objective in sponsoring the awards and hosting the judging of the Welsh entries in 2015 was to further raise the profile and awareness of the range of highly innovative, quality and great tasting food and drink produced in Wales.

  1. How were the Welsh Government’s objectives achieved?

Our objectives were achieved by inviting the press and media to the judging; having journalists and food critics visit Wales; undertaking case studies of previous winners; issuing press notices; and through social media, national and regional print.

  1. How were the Welsh Government’s objectives measured?

In supporting the above elements of the Great Taste Awards, we have been able to raise the profile of Welsh successes in the awards. More than 4.5 million people were reached through online and print coverage, measured using print and online circulation figures and radio listening-ship figures.

The Great Taste Awards website, has on average 7,500 visitors per calendar month, and featured our Welsh winners. The Guild of Fine Food promoted the Judging in Wales through their social media channel, @guildoffinefoods with 18,500 followers, and also through press notices.

Yours sincerely

Deputy Director Food Division

Well let me start at the end of my reply from the Deputy Director Food Division, well not signed which I find rather rude, but who is the DDFD? Well waste more time Kath and search Google to find out that this posh title belongs to a Mr. David Morris. But shall I ignore the fact that my reply was only dated as October – with actually no date…………………..

Anyway back to the core of this post. The bonus of sending through an FOI is that I must get a response within 20 days, which to me a long time, but I do appreciate how busy our civil servants are and I do know the timescale. However I’m looking at wag food’s figures and still wondering what this £50k over two years has achieved. To be told wag hosted the judging of Welsh entries in 2015, in Cardiff of course, for up to 70 judges, including food writers, bloggers, chefs, producers and buyers seriously made me chuckle as this is the Welsh government who have told me on a very regular basis that – The Welsh Government doesn’t engage with the blogging community. I can only assume then in this case it was the Great Taste organisers that invited members of the blogging community!

So how were wag food’s objectives achieved? Well inviting the press and media to the judging; having journalists and food critics, undertaking case studies of previous winners; issuing press notices; and through social media, national and regional press. Oh dear, so where does that leaves Welsh Country magazine? www.welshcountry.co.uk. Still out in the cold I can hear you yelling and I would have to agree. In 2015 and 2016 I was not invited to the judging as a member of press, although in 2015 I was invited to judge. I declined that offer as I had always understood GTA judges were top chefs, food critics or expert food and drink producers, so I didn’t think I qualified to judge such an important competition, but that’s another learning curve for me. I’d also like to know in column inches how much national and regional print was achieved. To say more than 4.5 million people reached through online and print coverage is vague to say the least and I’d prefer a more detailed breakdown, but there we are – that’s only my take on it.

 
 

An Invitation To Great Taste Judging In Wales

12 May

A few weeks ago I received an invitation from the Guild Of Fine Food to judge at the Great Taste in Cardiff. The Great Taste Awards are respected world-wide and it is an award that Ian and I always recommend our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers to enter. I’ve always liked their star system. Basically because it was easy to understand and unlike Wales’ True Taste Awards, there isn’t just a first second and third in each category. I’ve never understood how this could be judged. GTA award one, two and three stars to any products that match their high standards. So for example, you could have just two, one star winners – ‘close to perfect’, five, two star winners – ‘faultless’ and seven three star winners – ‘wow you must taste this product’. Anyway I’m getting distracted, but that background is important, so back to my invitation which was to be a judge at these highly regarded top food awards. But I was puzzled asking – why me? But that’s putting it politely as to why on earth I would qualify to be part of the Welsh judging team and judge alongside some dedicated food experts. I never have, and never will, considered myself to be a food expert because quite simply I’m not. I’d always assumed, wrongly now it seems, that the GTA judges would be Michelin chefs and top food hall buyers. So I emailed asking for clarification and was told:

The Guild of Fine Food works really hard to build its judging panel full of chefs, food buyers, restaurateurs, food writers and critics, all of whom bring their own experience, knowledge and palate to provide constructive feedback for the producers. Everyone’s opinion counts around the judging table and judging teams are purposely grouped based on their diverse knowledge and experience, which is why producers value the feedback and shows what a rigorous process it is to awarding those Great Taste stars.

After promoting GTA for so many yeas, I now feel a little disillusioned that the judges aren’t all those with professional palates. So I’ve declined their kind invitation and just hope I’ve made the right decision. Actually, as a foodie journalist I’d think I’d have a much better time and learn much, much more if I could attend the judging but as a fly on the wall. But as it is food being judged, I guess I’d get quickly swatted!!!!!

Great Taste have accepted my decision, but hope Igll do it next year just not sure how anything will change from my side by next year. Anyway GTA have said they’ll send me their winners through, I guess with the hope that I’ll cover it for them. But as regular readers will know, if GTA are not advertising and supporting us, then that will not happen. I’ve still not a VAT number not a charity number!
So good luck to all our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers, showing off the best of Welsh food and drink,  who are entering and don’t forget to let me know your experience and how you got on…………….