The Winners 2014/2015

The Winners 2014/2015


Jason Atherton celebrates Northamptonshire’s finest food and drink!

After much anticipation and a great deal of excitement, the winners of the 17 categories in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2014/15 are finally celebrating being named the best of the county’s best!


The competition, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), is now in its sixth year and is again aimed at celebrating 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 results were announced at a glittering Awards Dinner (Thurs 16th October) staged at Royal & Derngate in Northampton and watched by the evening’s special guest, Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton. Those were (in presentation order):


Community Pub of the Year – Town

(sponsored by Pidy UK)


Winner: The Malt Shovel Tavern, Northampton

Runner-up: The Golden Horse, Northampton


Community Pub of the Year – Rural

(sponsored by Pidy UK)


Winner: The Sun Inn, Hardingstone

Runner-up: The Sun Inn, Kislingbury


Young Chef of the Year

(sponsored by Booker)


Winner: Tom Croxford from Thrapston

Runner-up: Sophie Fountain of Brasserie 23 at The Kings Head, Spratton



(l-r): Jason Atherton, Isabella Jewry from category sponsor Whitco with Brasserie 23’s Natalie Tompkins, Sophie Fountain and Katie Kennedy


Chef of the Year


Winner: Carl Long – formerly of Oundle Mill, Oundle

Runners-up: James Ingram of Mercedes AMG, Brixworth and:

Harvey Lockwood of Murrays at Whittlebury Hall, Whittlebury


F&B Entrepreneur of the Year

(sponsored by Steven Saunders VIP Hospitality)


Winner: Tom Hewer of Tom Hewer Enterprises, Northampton

Runner-up: Alaric Neville of Phipps NBC, Northampton


Local Food Hero of the Year

(sponsored by Weetabix)


Winner: Waterloo Cottage Farm, Great Oxendon
Runners-up: Hamm Tun Fine Foods, Northampton and:

Squisito Butchers and Provisions, Yelvertoft


Healthy Eating Workplace of the Year – Health & Education

(sponsored by Northamptonshire County Council)


Winner: Corby Business Academy, Corby

Runner-up: Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Kettering


Healthy Eating Workplace of the Year – Private Sector

(sponsored by Northamptonshire County Council)


Winner: Avon Cosmetics, Northampton

Runner-up: Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, Brixworth


Spice Restaurant of the Year

(sponsored by British Pepper & Spice)


Winner: Exotic Dining, Kettering

Runners-up: Bengal Brasserie, Thrapston and: The Raj, Kettering


Booker Food Pub of the Year

(sponsored by Booker)


Winner: The Walnut Tree Inn, Blisworth

Runner-up: The Hopping Hare, Northampton


Restaurant of the Year

(sponsored by Whitco)


Winner: Brasserie 23 at The Kings Head, Spratton

Runner-up: Franks Steakhouse, Northampton


Independent Café / Tea Room of the Year

(sponsored by Explore Communications)


Winner: Ria’s Rosy Lee Tearoom, Wellingborough

Runner-up: Dreams Coffee Lounge, Northampton

(l-r): Jason Atherton, Ria Chambers and Rob Purdie from category sponsors Explore Communications.


New Local Product of the Year

(Whitworth Bros. Ltd)


Winner: Cobblers Nibble – Hamm Tun Fine Foods, Northampton

Runner-up: Incredible Onion and Seeds Loaf – Incredible Bakery Company, Warkton


New Local Drink of the Year


Winner: Rose Hill – Vale of Welton Cider, Welton

Runner-up: Big Bang Theory – Nene Valley Brewery, Oundle


Artisan Local Savoury Product of the Year

(Sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed)


Winner: Brixworth Pâté – Brixworth Foods, Brixworth

Runner-up: Potato, Leek and Stilton Pie – The Moulton Pie Company, Moulton


Artisan Local Sweet Product of the Year

(sponsored by Moulton College)


Winner: Honeyed Damson Preserve – Nature’s Fayre, Thrapston

Runner-up: Dark Chocolate with Chilli – Belflair Chocolates, Thrapston


Artisan Local Drink of the Year


Winner: Harrington Sloe Gin – Warner Edwards Distillery, Harrington

Runner-up: Booze Hound – Gun Dog Ales, Woodford Halse


Jason, who as Patron of the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation kindly donated his appearance fee to aid the charity in its funding of research into finding a cure for spinal injury, revealed how impressed he was to have watched the competition go from strength to strength over recent years; “I had the pleasure of being at the dinner in 2010 and it’s quite incredible to see how the awards have grown in stature and the prestige that they now command.


“It’s been amazing to come back to Northamptonshire and to witness first hand the passion that the county’s producers, restaurant owners, chefs and all those here tonight have for the work that they do and I can only say well done to them all. They should feel very proud!” he added.


Among the victors was Ria Chambers from Ria’s Rosy Lee Tearoom in Wellingborough which was named ‘Independent Café / Tea Room of the Year’ after she impressed the panel of judges at a Great British Bake Off-style cook-off against five other cafés at Northampton College; “I just couldn’t believe it when our name was announced,” explained Ria “and I was really shaking as I made my way up to the stage to collect my award from Jason!


“The experience of the whole competition has just been amazing and winning has topped it all so I really hope that there’ll be lots of new customers wanting to come in to enjoy our wonderful home-baked treats and join our celebrations!” she giggled.


Meanwhile the night brought double success for staff at Brasserie 23 at The Kings Head, Spratton with the venue itself not only winning the title of ‘Restaurant of the Year’ but its 19 year old chef Sophie Fountain being named runner-up in the ‘Young Chef of the Year’ category for the second year running. The pub is owned by two couples, Katie and Duncan Kennedy and Natalie and Daniel Tompkins, the latter couple being manageress and chef respectively and to whom Katie paid her tribute; “Natalie and Daniel have worked tirelessly over the last year to create the perfect dining venue with everything from a great atmosphere and wonderful service to delicious food, all cooked on site using fresh, local ingredients” she enthused.


“With Sophie also doing so well again, the whole team is feeling really chuffed and we shall certainly be displaying our trophy and certificates with great pride!” she added.


The winners were each presented with a ceramic plate, beautifully created and hand-painted by Rob Bibby of Woodnewton Pottery, and those presentations were made by Jason and the categories’ respective sponsors as well as Awards Patrons William Sitwell and Steven Saunders from Steven Saunders VIP Hospitality.


It was Steven’s Executive Chef, Lee Scott, who prepared a wonderful three course menu for the guests made up of entrants, judges, sponsors, media partners and supporters. They were treated to a starter of heritage beetroot with goat cheese from finalist NeneView Dairy at Stanwick, main course of beef provided by Booker and a chocolate delice for dessert, the chocolate coming from finalist Belflair Chocolates in Brackley and served with salted caramel ice cream from Gallones in Northampton.


Guests were welcomed to the event by the competition’s Director, Rachel Mallows of The Mallows Company and Jo Lappin, NEP Chief Executive, who outlined the importance of the food and drink sector to Northamptonshire’s economy and thanked all of those involved in supporting the event to make it such a fantastic celebration of the county’s food and drink industry; “Tonight is a celebration of everything that is fabulous about Northamptonshire’s food and drink sector industry – its vibrancy, creativity and sheer breadth of operations. The industry is worth £1.5 billion to our economy and employs some 46,000 people across Northamptonshire, bucking national trends by actually growing jobs over the past few years. It is therefore an absolute privilege to be here this evening to recognise the leading lights in the industry who make the sector such a success.  The Awards have gone from strength to strength, with this year seeing a record number of nominations and entries from across Northamptonshire.

“NEP has sponsored these awards since 2009, and I am delighted that they continue to play such an important role in a sector of which Northamptonshire should be extremely proud,” she added.


If you are an organisation, business or individual interested in taking part in, or supporting, next year’s Awards, please contact Rachel at The Mallows Company on 01933 664437.



Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards

The Mallows Company (07103621)

A Celebration and Recognition of Excellence within

Northamptonshire's Food and Drink Sector

The Winners 2014/2015

Weetabix Northamptonshire

Food and Drink Awards

The Mallows Company (07103621)

A Celebration and Recognition of Excellence within

Northamptonshire's Food and Drink Sector