The overall winners of this year’s Taste of the West Awards were announced this week at a prestigious ceremony held in The Great Hall at Exeter University. 400 people from the region’s food and drink industry gathered to firstly, show their respect to Her Majesty the Queen’s passing and hail Taste of the West’s Patron – His Majesty King Charles III; and secondly, to celebrate the West Country’s finest food and drink, as well as all the best places to stay, eat and shop for local food & drink in the South West. With the help of BBC television presenter Victoria Graham, a staggering 42 awards were given out to 35 South West food & drink businesses.
The Taste of the West Awards have been running now for 30 years and the annual programme rewards the very best food and drink from across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. They truly are regarded as a benchmark for excellence across the whole South West region. This year over 1,200 products and in excess of 200 hospitality and retail establishments entered the awards. At the ceremony on Tuesday 13 September, the overall winners of each of the 12 hospitality and retail classes were announced, followed by the champion products from each of the 26 product categories.
The ceremony culminated in the announcement of the coveted Supreme Champion Product Award sponsored by Black & White Asset Finance Ltd, which this year was presented to Blakewell Smokehouse (Barnstaple, Devon) for their outstanding Hot Smoked Devon Trout. The Sika Venison Joint made by The Gamekeeper’s Larder (Shepton Beauchamp, Somerset) was awarded the Reserve Supreme Champion Product. Taste of the West’s No 1 Place to Go for 2022, sponsored by Goosemoor Foodservice, was awarded to The Acorn Inn in Evershot, Devon. Taste of the West’s South West Sustainability Award was presented to Langage Farm in Plymouth, Devon.
The ceremony was attended by around 400 guests, with representatives from award-winning producers, hospitality establishments, retailers, top chefs, food writers and many others involved with and actively supporting the South West’s food and drink scene. The day began with a drinks and canape reception, which was followed by a stunning 4-course lunch, the menu of which was imaginatively created using over 70 Taste of the West award-winning products from across the region. The event really was a culinary feast to truly celebrate the fantastic quality of food and drink from the West Country, as well as the passion of those who produce, serve and sell it.
This year’s Awards are title sponsored by Old Mill Financial Experts, who share Taste of the West’s passion for supporting local food and drink businesses from the West Country. Phil Mills, Head of the Food & Drink team at Old Mill commented “Our people are passionate about the South West’s food and drink sector. The strength and resilience of producers across the West Country has further established the region as industry leading, and these awards are fantastic in recognising that. We are delighted to have continued our partnership with Taste of the West through which we can further support the sector as it continues to evolve.”
A full list of all champion award finalists and winners is available on the Taste of the West website: www.tasteofthewest.co.uk/champions.
Entries into the Taste of the West Awards 2022 for all hospitality and retail establishments are still open.
Visit the Taste of the West website to find out how you can enter your business: www.tasteofthewest.co.uk/business/awards
Entries into the Taste of the West Product Awards 2023 will be open soon - visit www.tasteofthewest.co.uk/business/awards to find out more.