Categories for Coltswold Awards, 2009
PUBLISHED: 19:08 29 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:56 20 February 2013
Click here to view the categories for 2009.
Best Independent Retailer of the Year (Sponsored By Gloucestershire First)
Vote for your favourite local food shop in this category. We need to hear about your favourite butcher, baker, corner shop or even large retailer who you think deserves this accolade. Look out for establishments that genuinely supply products produced and grown here in The Cotswolds. This retailer must have a genuine passion for our Cotswold food scene and a dedication to what it means for the local community.
Best Farm Shop
The key to a good farm shop is not only the range of produce or the layout, but the principles that the owner supports as well, for example is the farm shop working as a co operative with other farmers under the same roof, or do they offer a box scheme with a good variety of produce? Is most of the produce grown or raised on that farm, and if not would the owner be able to tell you where it is from? Ultimately though, what are the food and ingredients like? Is the service friendly and do the staff know about the produce in the shop?
Food Product of the Year
Today's Cotswold food culture is a really competitive one with consumers demanding top quality products. This category gives you a chance to nominate a food product made by a Cotswold farmer, producer, retailer or manufacturer that meets the variety of growing food trends. Think about something that offers you extra nutritional health and well being, a product you trust or one whose packaging you value and understand more than any other. These are all demands placed upon our food sector.
Drinks Product of the Year
Like the food category above, this is your opportunity to nominate a drink product made by a Cotswold farmer, producer, retailer or manufacturer that meets the variety of growing food trends. Consider the innovation of the product and think about whether this was achieved without compromising on its taste, indulgence and off course value for money.
Best School Food Award
You may have children or grandchildren at schools in the Cotswolds which have a policy in place that really values the importance of good food. To be able to enter for this award, you need to have a school whose standards in food and vending really celebrate the revolution going on with regards to school meals at the moment. The school must also value food within the curriculum; perhaps offering cookery clubs, farm visits and taster days. The head teacher in partnership with parents, governors, teachers, local businesses and young people should all be involved. Consider the school you work in or where your children or grandchildren are educated.
Most Improved Farmers' Market (Sponsored By Royal Agricultural College)
To judge one farmers' market from another you really need to have visited a couple, especially if you are to decide which one you think has improved in the last year. Look out for overall presentation of the market, the arrangement of stalls and entertainment and whether it has built upon the needs of consumers and the diversity of the region's local food and drink supply chain. It may even be a new market with only a few stalls that has established itself during the last year. We want to know whether you can taste before you buy, and how knowledgeable the stall holders are. Look out for new things that have been put in place to attract more people to this particular market as well as offering better opportunities to the producers.
Pub of the Year
Combining country pubs and dining pubs, the whole eating out experience needs to be taken into account in this category. Judge it on the staff 's customer service, value for money and the quality of the food. How well does the establishment use and name local suppliers and seasonal produce? Do local juices, wines, beers and cheese appear in the menu? Also, note down the quality and speed of the service, the overall atmosphere and ambience, both inside and outside - from cosy lounges with open fires to child-friendly gardens with vegetable patches.
Chef of the Year (Sponsored By Hatherop Castle School)
For this category look at the use of local and seasonal produce and whether this is reflected in the menu? Does the chef come out of the kitchen to talk to you about your food and dining experience? Every chef wants to tantalise your taste buds and maximise flavours on the simplest of ingredients. Tell us if your meal excited you and whether this particular chef had you coming back for more. This category puts the finest Michelin starred chefs against those working in the local bistro. The winner of this isn't based on style, pizzazz and luxury but quality, standards and passion.
Restaurant of the Year
This category can include high street restaurants, workplace canteens or even schools. Look out for any nutritional pledge to customers and knowledge of special diet messages. Judge the restaurant on its quality, the food's value for money, and the use of local produce and beverages on the menu. Is the menu interesting, and how well was the meal cooked? Were the staff and management helpful and knowledgeable, and when asked were they able to answer questions? This category is not just about supporting local, but the overall atmosphere of the establishment as well. Tell us what made this particular establishment memorable.
Hotel Restaurant of the Year
The judges have always found that comparing the merits of a hotel restaurant with a high street restaurant has always been extremely tricky so this year a brand new category has been created. Tell us about your favourite hotel restaurant and why you would go out of your way to eat there, even if you are not staying overnight.
Newcomer of the Year
2009 sees the return of this popular category which is open to anyone in the food or drink business who has started a new venture within the last 18 months. It could be a shop, farm, producer, restaurant, tea shop or caf. We want to know what impact they have made on the local community and whether they have started to achieve any success further afield - helping to promote Cotswold food and drink to a new audience.
Food Personality of the Year
The Cotswolds has a food scene which is more vibrant than many others across the UK. This new category wishes to celebrate the individual who has made the most impact on your food community. It could be a local celebrity, journalist, critic, passionate radio disc jockey or maybe the individual barman at your pub; waiter in your favourite restaurant; or farmer's wife who greets you with a smile at the Farmers' Market. This region is rich in individuals who go the extra mile to make a difference to our lives. Now is your chance to nominate your Cotswold Food Personality of the Year.