IT IS a proud fact that Yorkshire now boasts the largest number of Michelin starred restaurants of any county in England outside of London but this is by no means not the be all and end all of the county’s culinary might.
Right across the Broadacres there is an ever expanding network of innovative food and drink enterprises, run by industrious and imaginative minds – from small-scale family concerns to industry heavyweights supplying the country’s biggest retailers – all of whom contributed to the record £103bn generated by the food chain in the UK last year.
These businesses provide thousands of jobs in Yorkshire and across Britain one in eight people is employed in food and farming, making it the country’s biggest manufacturing sector.
The food and drink industry is vital to the region’s economy and one of the reasons why it plays such an important part is the ability of local producers to deliver products that not only sell well but taste great, many going on to feature on the menus of those much-hailed Michelin starred eateries.
It is for all these reasons that The Yorkshire Post and regional food group Deliciouslyorkshire are teaming up, in association with leading retail chain Asda, for this year’s Taste Awards.
The annual celebration of local food and drink sees the region’s producers recognised across, this year, 22 different award categories.
Entries are now open for the 2015 Awards, with a panel of food and drink industry judges lined up to pick out the very best examples of innovation and success in the region.
Judy Bell, chairman of Deliciouslyorkshire, said: “This year’s awards are going to be bigger and better than ever before and we hope we can attract even more entries than last year.
“These are not just awards for members of Deliciouslyorkshire but a great shop window for people’s produce.
“The awards attract some very talented judges who will be looking at the entries in great detail and giving valuable feedback so this is something that shouldn’t be missed.
“I would encourage as many food and drink enterprises as possible to get involved in something that will raise their profile and invites them to be part of a prestigious awards ceremony in Harrogate in the autumn.”
Nicola Furbisher, managing editor of Yorkshire Post Newspapers, said: “Last year’s awards were a huge success and we know that local producers will benefit from the exposure they will get from being a part of this grand celebration of such an important industry in our region.
“These annual awards, in partnership with Deliciouslyorkshire and Asda, are at the heart of The Yorkshire Post’s year-round commitment to support and campaign for local food and local producers, with the launch of these awards coming hot on the heels of The Yorkshire Post Food and Drink Show held in Leeds’ Millennium Square earlier this month.
“The Taste Awards will play a vital role in creating a climate of opinion where buying locally produced food is seen as an integral part of Yorkshire’s continued business growth and development, and celebrates just how good it tastes.
“Some of our smaller producers may be hard pressed to spread the word about the fine products made in their kitchens and on their farms, but the Taste Awards will do precisely that.”
The high-profile panel of judges who will be running the rule over the entries include highly respected chefs, retail experts, food writers and industry experts, such as Radio 2 food journalist Nigel Barden, former Rudding Park chef now chef consultant Stephanie Moon and culinary coach and chef Matthew Benson Smith.
The deadline for entries across the award categories is July 30.
A shortlist of producers in the running for the prizes will be announced in August and the winners will be unveiled at a grand awards ceremony held at the Pavilions of Harrogate on Wednesday, October 21 and will be hosted by Radio 2’s Mr Barden and Deliciouslyorkshire’s Judy Bell.
For full details on how to enter visit www.deliciouslyorkshire.co.uk/awards
Have you checked out Yorkshire’s new dedicated food and drink website?