RSPCA Good Business finalists announced

Five pubs and four restaurants have been shortlisted as finalists for their animal-friendly practices at the RSPCA Good Business Awards.

Finalists in the pub category include:

Eco Cuisine and the Duke of Cambridge in London

Helen Browning at the Royal Oak Swindon in Wiltshire

the British Larder in Suffolk

the Navigation Inn in Shropshire

The restaurants shortlisted are:

Bordeaux Quay in Bristol

Ethicurean in Bristol

Café Spice Namasté in London

Lussmanns Fish & Grill Restaurants in Hertfordshire.

“From this year’s entries it’s clear that it now makes good business sense to improve animal welfare across the food industry. It makes a real difference in a very competitive marketplace,” said Richard Johnson, food judge and founder of the British Street Food Awards.

Finalists shortlisted in the independent food retailer category are Abel & Cole in London, Edge & Son in Wirral, Samphire in Norfolk and The Bath Pig Company in Somerset.

The winners of RSPCA Good Business Award will be announced on Wednesday 24 October 2012 in London.

Enter South West Chef of the Year!

The South West Chef of the Year competition, staged by Taste of the West and Michael Caines MBE and sponsored by 3663, is now in its ninth year and this year’s competition will be bigger and better than ever.  Five more judges have joined our judging panel so this year will see a rare gathering of some of the South West’s finest chefs creating an extremely esteemed panel of judges.  The panel, headed by Michael Caines MBE, will include Chris and James Tanner, Peter Gorton, Darrin Hosegrove, Simon Hulstone, Ian Webber, Matt Mason, Paul Ainsworth and Neil Haydock.

As ever, there are three classes:

·   Professional                                  Aged 23+

·   Young Professional                       Aged 16-22

·   South West Home Cook                Aged 16+

An additional round has been introduced this year for the two professional classes. Judges will select a group of semi-finalists who will be asked to prepare the two course meal submitted with their entries, using two compulsory main ingredients nominated by our judges. From these a number of finalists will be selected and invited to return for a final when they will be given a mystery box of ingredients with which to prepare a dish in an allotted time.

Entrants in the South West Home Cook of the Year will be selected directly for a final, as in previous years.

The winners of the competition will be announced at a prestigious awards presentation dinner to be held at ABode Exeter.  The dinner will be prepared by three of our judges who are also previous winners of the competition: Simon Hulstone, Ian Webber and Matt Mason. Additional awards will be presented during the evening for Best Menu, Best Presentation, Best Use of Local Produce etc.

For more information about the competition, the judges, the prizes and details of all of our previous winners, visit the South West Chef of the Year website

Entry to the competition is by an online form on the website and the closing date for entries is strictly Wednesday 19th September.

Why not follow @SWChefComp on twitter for regular updates.

More awards for Pipers Farm


It’s not only athletes that win gold! Pipers Farm based in Cullompton, Devon has been awarded a slew of Great Taste Awards. Scooping four Two Star Gold Great Taste Awards for; Green Back Bacon, Lamb Steak, Rump Steak and Saddleback Pork Loin, making Pipers Farm one of the most decorated food producers in the country.

Pipers Farm is a traditional family business run by Peter & Henri Greig, they started the business over twenty years ago with the aim of producing the finest quality, healthy meat for their family to enjoy with complete confidence. Since then Pipers Farm has grown considerably, now sustaining 30 local farming families in Devon & Somerset, picking up a slew of awards including; BBC Food Producer of the Year, The Times Top Ten Butchers, BBC Radio 4 Food & Farming Award, and have even attracted the attention of some of this countries most recognized celebrity chefs including; Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein and Michael Caines.

The Awards’ organiser, the Guild of Fine Food constantly refines the judging mechanics and this year was no exception. Before gold is awarded, a minimum of 20 judges must unanimously agree an entry has achieved absolute perfection. Over 350 experts including key buyers, retailers, chefs and food writers blind tasted entries to ensure they are fairly and independently assessed. Every entry starts with 25 points and marks are deducted when faults are identified and constructive feedback offers suggestions to the producers how entries could be improved.

Pipers Farm Green Back Bacon was awarded two stars, and was described by judges as “Full bodied bacon flavour, very tasty, the judges all wanted more!” and further praise for the popular Saddle Back Pork Loin “Lovely appearance, superb crackling, excellent flavour of professionally produced meat from a very good farm”.

Mr Greig said “We’re particularly proud of the judges comments, it’s great to see the results of all of the hard work and love that goes into producing each product and making it extra special”

Pipers Farm are currently seeking a select group of Chefs to work with. Please contact to enquire.

The Good Food Guide 2012 top 10 announced

The eagerly awaited annual publication of ‘The Good Food Guide 2012’ has issued its pre-emptive list of the top 50 restaurants in the UK ahead of the guide’s publication date on 8th September.

It reveals an emerging market of the new elite, popular Chef mentors and many Gordon Ramsay protégés scoring high such Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social, from formerly Ramsay’s Maze, being named Best New Restaurant and Angela Hartnett being awarded Chef of the Year for her work at Murano which she purchased recently from Ramsay in October 2010. Heston Blumenthal still rules supreme for the 4th year in a row, topping the list as the only restaurant with a perfect 10 out of 10 score. However South West food hero Nathan Outlaw manages to hold onto a place in the top 10.

Elizabeth Carter, Consultant Editor of the Guide, said of the results: ‘Personally I am extremely excited by the surge this collective of chefs is showing on out top 10 rankings – whilst its impossible to pigeonhole them, each is devising quality dishes fusing classical skills and modern methods – it’s the vividness of the imagination they all display which is truly thrilling.’

The UK’s top restaurants including scores (out of 10 shown in brackets next to each entry) according to The Good Food Guide 2012

1. The Fat Duck, Berkshire (10)

2. L’Enclume, Cumbria (9)

3. Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottinghamshire (9)

4. Gordon Ramsay, Royal Hospital Road, London (9)

5. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall (8)

6. Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxfordshire (8)

7. Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, London (8)

8. Pollen Street Social, London (8)

9. Hibiscus, London (8)

10. The Square, London (8)

Congratulations to all who made the list.

Great Taste Awards 2012 announced

After a long wait, finally the winners of the Great Taste Awards 2012 have been announced, and as usual South West producers have picked up a huge haul of awards.

This year had seen more applications for the prestigious foodie awards than ever before;

Total number of products judged – 8807
Total number of companies entered – 1823
Total number of Awards given – 2793
Total number of 3-star Awards – 123
Total number of 2-star Awards – 631
Total number of 1-star Awards – 2039
Total number of judging days – 45

Friends of The Chefs Forum who picked up at least one award included: Hillside Speciality Foods, Pipers Farm, Quickes Traditional Ltd, The Upton Cheyney Chilli Company, Lovely Drinks and Global Harvest Ltd. To see the complete list of winners visit the Great Taste Awards here:

The Great Taste accreditation scheme, run by The Guild of Fine Food, is recognised by both producers and consumers, as a sign of quality.

Judges this year included Masterchef winner and restaurateur Mat Follas, restaurant critic and Masterchef judge Charles Campion, food writers Lucas Hollweg and Xanthe Clay and over 300 food buyers from leading food halls, delicatessens and farm shops, including Harrods, Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason.

Guild of Fine Food chairman Bob Farrand said: ‘To achieve a Great Taste award is a significant achievement and for a product to merit a three star grading involves at least 25 experts unanimously agreeing that the product tastes divine.’

Lovely Drinks celebrate golden award

It’s not only athletes that win gold!  Lovely Drinks based in Barrow Gurney, North Somerset has been awarded Great Taste Award gold stars for the fourth consecutive year. Elderflower Pressé, Apple & Gooseberry and Elderflower & Rose flavours have been officially recognised as some of the finest soft drinks around.

Lovely Drinks is a traditional family business run by Rick Freeman and Victoria Earle. Drinks contain some organic ingredients but quality, freshness and locally sourced ingredients are the backbone of the brand.

Elderflower Pressé was awarded two stars and was described by judges as “first rate” with “a champagne appearance” and “beautiful flowery aroma”.

Rick Freeman said “We’re particularly proud of the judges comments for Elderflower Pressé. Who’d have thought that something that started out in our garden shed just a few years ago would be what it is today? It’s so rewarding to know that every ‘Lovely drink’ out there has been made, bottled, labelled and usually hand delivered by us.

We couldn’t have done it without the huge support we’ve received along the way from family, friends and customers alike.  We’d like to think that all of our drinks could achieve award-winning status one day and look forward to making that dream a reality in years to come.”

Where possible ingredients for Lovely Drinks are sourced within Bristol or Somerset and local suppliers are used for almost all business needs. The drinks contain as little sugar as possible and all are free from preservatives, concentrates and artificial flavourings.

Lovely Drinks can be found at top delectable delis such as Chandos Deli, fabulous cafes such as Spicer and Cole, and top restaurants like The Pony and Trap. They are priced around £1.95 per bottle.

The three drink varieties will now be stamped with the highly regarded Great Taste seal of approval.

For more information visit


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