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Raise a glass to the winners at Food & Drink Awards

The Folly in Towcester walked away with two awards; Restaurant of the Year and the Great Service Award.

In a new award for 2017, Towcester Mill Brewery were joint winners in the One to Watch category sponsored by Whitworth Bros Ltd where judges were looking for young businesses that were demonstrating passion, commitment and were contributing towards growth in the county’s food and drink sector.

  • Pictured: The Folly owner Robert Jackson and head chef David Horak receive their award from food critics William Sitwell and Sophie Grigson.

Cllr Stephen Clarke, South Northamptonshire Council’s portfolio holder for economic growth, regeneration and housing, said: “SNC is doing all it can to support economic growth by attracting inward investment and by building productive relationships with existing businesses.

"I’d like to congratulate and thank those to businesses which contribute to such events as it helps to enhance the district’s good reputation.”

Now in its ninth year the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards are an annual celebration of local produce and service excellence in the county.

The winners were announced during a glittering awards ceremony last week at Northampton’s Royal and Derngate, which was led by food celebrities William Sitwell and Sophie Grigson.

For the team at The Hopping Hare in Northampton, the evening was double cause for celebration. Notonly was 23-year-old Arturs Dzerins named runner-up in the Booker Young Chef of the Year category but the venue also took the ‘Booker Food Pub of the Year’ title.

Owner David George said: “At the start of the year we set out to secure 2 AA Rosettes and win this title and we couldn’t be more delighted to have now achieved both.
“The trophy will be put on pride of place behind the bar for not only our customers to see but also those newcomers whom we know will now be wanting to visit, thanks to this accolade.”

There was a note of sadness at the evening after the death of chef Antonio Carluccio, whose death was announced just a week before being due to follow in the footsteps of chefs Marcus Wareing, Jason Atherton and Michel Roux OBE as the evening’s special guest.

It was appropriate that the event began with a toast to the man known as the ‘Godfather of Italian cooking’ led by his good friend William Sitwell before the formal welcomes from awards director Rachel Mallows, of The Mallows Company, Carlsberg’s vice president global government relations and UK corporate affairs Bruce Ray and Stephen Catchpole, chief executive of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.


Artisan Local Drink of the Year

Winner Triple ‘F’ Pure Apple Juice – Floyers’ Fruit Farm, Flore
Runner-up: Bell Ringer – Towcester Mill Brewery, Towcester

New Local Drink of the Year

Winners Burnt Ox Blood – Nobby’s Brewing Company, Thrapston; Dream Catcher – Tea Lab Company, Northampton

Artisan Local Savoury Product of the Year

Winner Northamptonshire Blue – Hamm Tun Fine Foods, Hannington
Runner-up: Phipps Firkin – Neneview Dairy, Stanwick

Artisan Local Sweet Product of the Year

Winner Honey, Lemon and Ginger Marmalade – Nature’s Fayre, Thrapston
Runner-up: Dark Espresso Chocolate – Seed and Bean, Corby
Runner-up: Gooseberry and Elderflower Gelato – Ganders Goat, Cottingham

One To Watch

Winners Ganders Goat, Cottingham; Towcester Mill Brewery, Towcester

Farming Innovation Award

Winner Mee Farmers, Nassington
Runner-up: Courteenhall Farms, Courteenhall

Healthy Eating Workplace of the Year

Winner Weatherbys Ltd, Wellingborough
Runner-up: John Lewis Plc, Northampton
Runner-up: Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, Brixworth

Independent Café / Tea Room of the Year

Winner Workbridge Coffee Shop, Northampton
Runner-up: The Bread & Butter Factory, Northampton

Spice Restaurant of the Year

Winner The Exotic Dining, Kettering
Runner-up: Taste of Spice, Northampton

Restaurant of the Year

Winner The Folly, Towcester
Runner-up: Tap and Kitchen, Oundle

Booker Food Pub of the Year

Winner The Hopping Hare, Northampton
Runner-up: The Wheatsheaf Pub & DIning Room, Northampton

Great Service Award

Winner The Folly, Towcester

Chef of the Year

Winner Richard Walker – Fawsley Hall Hotel, Fawsley
Runner-up James Peck (Freelance Chef)

Booker Young Chef of the Year

Winner Victoria Austin – Highgate House, Creaton
Runner-up: Arturs Dzerins – The Hopping Hare, Northampton

Community Pub of the Year

Winner The Dukes Arms, Woodford
Runner-up: The Sun Inn, Kislingbury

Weetabix Local Food Hero of the Year

Winner Steve Reid of Friars Farm, Northampton
Runner-up: The Good Loaf, Northampton

F&B Achiever of the Year

Winner Tom Warner and Christina Warner-Keogh – Warner Edwards, Harrington

Chairman’s Award

Winner Alaric Neville – Phipps NBC, Northampton 

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