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‘Spring in our step to really push our products’. The celebrations begin in Northamptonshire’s Food & Drink Awards

THE FIRST three winners in this year’s Weetabix Northamptonshire food & Drink Awards are celebrating after receiving their accolades at a mini-ceremony.

The winners of the Artisan Local Product, Artisan Local Vegetarian/Vegan and Artisan Local Drink categories have been announced ahead of the other winners in order that the finalists can capitalise on the summer boom in food festivals and other events giving opportunity for them to sell their wares.

They will join the other winners at the annual awards dinner to be held at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton on October 12. But the winners are already planning how to promote their success at the forthcoming Food and Drink Festivals across the county and country.

Gold winners, as well as receiving mentoring support, will be entered into the Guild of Fine Foods Great Taste Awards for 2023.

Oinkin’ Patties from The Curious Vegan pictured above took the Gold award in the Artisan Local Vegetarian/Vegan Product of the Year, sponsored by health food co-operative Daily Bread which also hosted the awards ceremony.

The Curious Vegan founder Paul Hunt said: “We are absolutely thrilled to bits to win Gold for our Oinkin’ Pattie. It’s credence to what we do. We strive to be the best and it’s really such a big team effort and I’m so proud of everyone back at the farm.

“We will keep striving to make products better, more accessible and we are now taking it to market into wholesale and into retail early next year. This award will give us the spring in our step to really push our products.”

Gold in the Artisan Local Product of the Year 2022/23, sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed, went to Naked Dairy Gelato from Rocky’s gelato and three businesses raised a glass to their triumph in the Artisan Local Drink of the Year 2022/23, Blue Aurora English Blueberry Ice Wine from Lutton Farm, Wharf Distillery’s Lactodorum Towcester Gin and Stonyfield English Quality Sparkling Wine 2018 Rose from Stonyfield Vineyardeach receiving a Gold award.

The Weetabix Northamptonshire Food & Drink Awards is now in its 14th year and is a celebration of all that is great about Northamptonshire produce and drink. Radio and TV presenter Reverend Kate Bottley pictured joined finalists in all three categories with sponsors, patrons, judges and press to announce the winners for 2022.   A former Celebrity Masterchef contestant in 2017 and known to undertake the odd cookery demonstration here and there, Kate brought a sense of joy to the occasion as she made her announcements.

Awards director Rachel Mallows said: “On a very warm summer’s day, we presented a superb range of finalist produce and drink from some pretty amazing businesses.  To have Kate help us with this was the icing on the cake.”

Judging involved a two stage tasting process with local and then external judges across a number of months.  This year there was resounding support for the county’s producers with one second stage judge commenting that the “category products and drinks were world class; exceptional. Any county would be proud of all these products”.

Awards director Rachel Mallows.

THE AWARD WINNERS

Artisan Local Vegetarian/Vegan Product of the Year 2022/23

Sponsored by Daily Bread

Bronze Almond & Coconut Granola By Salma Shah; Cucumber & Dill Sauerkraut from Millie Pickles; Vegan Fizzy Blue Raspberry Bottles from The Sweet Lounge.

Silver Spiced Rhubarb Chutney from The Food Library; Tongue Taster from Northampton Cheese Company.

Gold Oinkin’ Patties from The Curious Vegan.

Artisan Local Product of the Year 2022/23

Sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed

Bronze Elderflower Sorbet from Your Cool; Garlic and Fennel Salami from Northampton Charcuterie Company; Tomato & Chilli Chutney from Green Kitchen Preserves.

Silver Blueberry & Lavender Jam from Mee Farmers; Northamptonshire Blue from Hamm Tun Fine Foods; White Sourdough from Whittlebury Bakery.

Gold Naked Dairy Gelato from Rocky’s Gelato

Artisan Local Drink of the Year 2022/23

Sponsored by Whitworth’s

Bronze Solstice Single Malt Whisky from Wharf Distillery.

Silver Heidrun session NEIPA from Three Hills Brewing; Oat Drink from Wild & Furrow.

Gold Blue Aurora English Blueberry Ice Wine from Lutton Farm; Lactodorum Towcester Gin from Wharf Distillery; Stonyfield English Quality Sparkling Wine 2018 Rose from Stonyfield Vineyard

The remaining categories will be announced at the annual Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards ceremony, to be held on October 12 at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate.  For more details of this year’s competition, or for tickets, call Sophie Smith on 01933 664437 or email

Follow the Awards on Twitter and Instagram at @foodawardsHQ or on Facebook at @foodawards or LinkedIn at @weetabixnfadawards using the hashtag #WFDA22.

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