Finalists bid to be named county’s Local Food Hero at awards

A local farm shop and butchers are among the finalists shortlisted to be named Local Food Hero of the Year in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2012/13.

People were invited to nominate a person, business or organisation which they believed had done more in the last year to promote local food than any other to win the title.

Nominations ranged from bakeries to tea shops, delicatessens to greengrocers across the county.

The six finalists, which have just been shortlisted, are the Dovecote Farm Shop in Newton, Gerald Bailey of Newlands Farm in Hannington, Marriotts Butchers of Woodford Halse, Pudding Pie Cookery School, Middleton Cheney, Sauls of Spratton and Seven Wells Butchers, Oundle.

The Local Food Hero of the Year category is being run in partnership with the Northamptonshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

The Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards was devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) and the event is now in its fourth year.

The aim of the awards is to celebrate all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

The judging panel which chose the finalists in this category included Chairman of the North Northants Development Company, David Reynolds, BBC Radio Northampton news editor Laura Cook and Gareth Fitzpatrick, the Duke of Buccleuch’s Collections, Archives and Research Director.

Mr Fitzpatrick said: “I think this competition is a wonderful idea. It goes to highlight that Northamptonshire is overflowing with people who are passionate about local produce.

“Choosing our finalists was an incredibly difficult task but I’m now looking forward to visiting those venues and shops and I’d encourage everyone to do the same.”

The winner in the Local Food Hero of the Year category will be announced, along with the winners and runners-up in the other 11 categories, at this year’s Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards on November 14 at The Wing, Silverstone.

Tickets are £80 and are available from Rachel Mallows on 01933 664437 or rachel@rachelmallows.com