WEST COUNTRY FOOD & DRINK CHAMPIONS ANNOUNCED
Brinkworth Dairy are delighted to announce that their lovely cheese, Brinkworth Blue has been awarded Champion Cheese at the Taste of the West Awards 2016.
The Champions in the 2016 Taste of the West Product Awards were announced this Tuesday at a prestigious ceremony held at Exeter Cathedral.
The Awards, now in their 23rd year, celebrate the best food and drink across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire and are a benchmark for excellence across the region. In 2016, 1,200 products and over 300 hospitality and retail establishments entered the awards, with the highest standard ever being set for judges to select winners from. At today’s ceremony, the overall winners of each of the Hospitality & Retail classes were announced, followed by the Champions of each Product Category.
Three generations from Brinkworth Dairy were at the ceremony to accept the award; Farmer, Joe Collingborn with his daughter, cheesemaker Ceri Cryer and her son, the future, 10 month old Eric. The Champion cheese award, won by Brinkworth Dairy for their Brinkworth Blue, which were described by the judges as “ an incredibly complex, charismatic and dense cheese that punches well above its weight…”
The ceremony was attended by over 400 people, with representatives from award winning producers, hospitality establishments, retailers, top chefs, food writers and others involved with and supporting the industry. With a lunch menu specially created using Taste of the West Award winning products from across the region, the event was a culinary feast and a great celebration of the quality of food and drink in the South West and the passion of those who produce, serve or sell it.
Ceri Cryer of Brinkworth Dairy said, “Brinkworth Blue has been slowly working its way up the prize leaderboard. It’s first ever award was bronze at the British Cheese awards. \everyone on the farm cares about the cheese and works hard to get it right. It starts with Steve spreading the muck on the fields and feeding the cows making sure he balances their diet so the milk has the right constituents for us. Ro selects bulls to breed with our cows to make healthy long living cows. Joe, Danny and Alex milk the cows calmly and keep the cows healthy to give us clean milk. Our cheesemaker, Lewis, works hard to consistently produce this excellent fruity tasting cheese all year round. Lewis even works during nights to ensure a continuous supply of cheese even in the school holidays when childcare comes first”.
Mike Anderson of Hale Events, organisers of The Source Trade Show and sponsors of the Awards said “The venue was stunning, and the food as always was amazing. I always come away really pleased to have tasted so many award winning products. It’s something we talk about all the time both to colleagues, and also friends, to share the story of the region’s amazing produce.”
John Sheaves, Chief Executive of Taste of the West, announced the winners who were presented with their awards by BBC Spotlight presenter – Victoria Graham.
John Sheaves said, “We are absolutely delighted with the response by industry to our awards programme this year. With over 1200 products entered, and over 60% of these receiving an award, we are justly proud of our record for driving excellence based on our core values of Quality, Integrity and Provenance. These awards announced today underpin those values and strengthen our regional brand, a brand which is attracting considerable interest from new markets – both nationally and internationally, and is now opening up new opportunities for the region’s foodie sector. There is a real energy and excitement about our group now which is very gratifying.”