Video special: Ice cream makers win big as food heroes taste glory

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THE COUNTDOWN was finally over this week. After 256 product entries were carefully blind tasted by discerning food and drink experts, the very finest products made here in Yorkshire were unveiled at a grand awards ceremony in Harrogate.

The 2014 Taste Awards set out to celebrate the hard work, imagination and business flair of food and drink entrepreneurs, as well as the creative and driven personalities that make these quality products really stand out on shop shelves.

The winners at Pavilions of Harrogate

The winners at Pavilions of Harrogate

And so it was at the Pavilions of Harrogate at the Great Yorkshire Showground on Wednesay that the winners of the awards, run by The Yorkshire Post and the region’s food group Deliciouslyorkshire in association with Asda, were announced at a black tie event hosted by Radio 2 food journalist Nigel Barden and Shepherds Purse founder Judy Bell.

Nominees from across the region gathered to discover who would take the crown across 20 categories celebrating the best individual products, innovative businesses and dedicated food champions that help Yorkshire generate 12.5 per cent of the UK’s food and drink turnover.

It was a particularly special night for Ryeburns of Helmsley. The North Yorkshire farming family turned ice cream makers scooped the top prize to recognise the very finest product put forward for this year’s awards.

It was their mango yoghurt which wooed the judging panel more than any other and it was named the 2014 Taste Awards’ Supreme Product.

Earlier in the night the Otterburn family, who run Ryeburns on their former dairy farm, also found out that the very same product had been named the Best Ice Cream.

Having pulled out of dairy farming more than 20 years ago they diversified into ice cream in 1988 to add value to their operations. When the then milk quota rules changed and they had to declare milk used in their ice cream as part of their quota, they sold their herd and now source milk for their ice cream from a dairy.

David Otterburn’s parents Richard and Christine set up the ice cream business.

Addressing Awards guests from the stage, production manager David said: “This has been 30 years in the making but I would like to acknowledge one family that’s not here anymore - the Moore family that started off all the ice cream making in the area. Instead of saying this is our business, stay out of it, they actively encouraged us to come into it. This award is dedicated to them.”

PRODUCT CATEGORIES

Best Bakery Product: Fodder, vanilla slice

Best Fresh Produce: Herbs Unlimited, sweet cicely

Best Fresh Meat: Eat Great Meat, pork chop

Best Prepared Meat: Weetons, rare store roasted beef

Best Yorkshire Pork Pie: Voakes Pies, traditional pork pie

Best Fish and Seafood: Staal Smokehouse, kippers

Best Cheese: Shepherds Purse, bluemin white

Best Ice Cream: Ryeburn of Helmsley, mango yoghurt

Best Drink: Birdhouse Tea Company, Yorkshire rose

Best Savoury Condiment: Mercers of Yorkshire, caramelised onion chutney

Best Confectionery: Shepcote, Marzipan christmas puddings

Best Ready to Eat Product: Voakes Pies, pork & black pudding with red onion marmalade pie

Best Sweet Preserve: Savvy Foods, date and sesame spread

TASTE CHAMPION CATEGORIES

Best New Business: Dottie Biscuit

Best Yorkshire Breakfast: Scaife Hall Farm

Best use of local produce on a menu: Eric’s Restaurant

Best Yorkshire Afternoon Tea: Cedarbarn

Local Food Hero: Jeremy & Louise Holmes - Yummy Yorkshire

Best Independent Retailer: Vanessa Delicatessen