Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards 2019: Cotswold Food & Drink Hero

PUBLISHED: 10:20 09 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:07 09 July 2019

Julian Dunkerton, winner of Food & Drink Hero at the Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards 2019

Julian Dunkerton, winner of Food & Drink Hero at the Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards 2019


Every year we honour people within the local community who do so much to help producers, restaurateurs, cafes, pubs, chefs and those in the hospitality industry

The Cotswolds has a food scene which is more vibrant than many others across the UK. This category celebrates the individual who has made the most impact on the food community. They will be someone who goes the extra mile to promote the Cotswolds to a wider audience and is passionate about local produce throughout.

Congratulations to our worthy winner of the 'Cotswold Food & Drink Hero Award', sponsored by Hazlewoods.

Our Cotswold Food Hero 2019 is...

Julian Dunkerton, Dunkertons Cider and the Lucky Onion Group

As a teenager, this year's Cotswold Life hero spent a summer holiday working on a blackcurrant farm. "Something like 17 different sprays went on those blackcurrants. The farmer wouldn't let his own children drink the product," he recalls.

These experiences helped to convince him of the importance of organic living. Now running a fine cider company himself, he delights in helping farmers convert their orchards to organic so they can supply his company with fruit - and benefit wildlife, at the same time. "Think about it," he says. "What a wonderful thing to be able to do to the British countryside."

He's also built - and is building - his own group of uniquely stylish Cotswold hotels, pubs and restaurants that do far more than deliver service and food with passion and commitment. Some sites have been chosen by him not just for commercial opportunity but because their communities desperately wanted them to continue.

"Society is incredibly important," he says. "I can't influence everything, but what I can influence I will. If you can put the heart back into a village, that's a great thing to do."

In other words, he not only contributes to the hospitality, food and drink industries; he also uses his commercial acumen to far greater benefit. His enterprises are helping farming, wildlife, the countryside and communities - values Cotswold Life magazine also holds dear.

To find out more about our Cotswold Food and Drink Awards 2019 and our sponsors, visit

Were you at the awards last night? Tweet us your pictures @CotswoldLife and tag us on Instagram @CotswoldLife #CLFDA.

Go back to our list of winners.

Click here to take a look at last year's winners!

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