From multi-award-winning cheeses to a certain brand of tea that is synonymous with this proud county, the Yorkshire brand has grown in power and familiarity, so much so that ‘foodies’ around the world recognise the region as a must-visit culinary destination.
As well as big business success stories, there is an ever-thriving network of independent food producers working throughout the region whose unique, quality products all contribute to the £100bn-plus that is fed into the economy by the food and drink industry each year.
Together, these enterprises 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.
It is to recognise this prowess that The Yorkshire Post and regional food group Deliciouslyorkshire are teaming up for this year’s Taste Awards.
The annual celebration of local food and drink sees the region’s producers celebrated across 22 hotly-contested award categories.
Entries are now open for the 2016 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: “Our 2015 awards were our biggest to date with over 300 entries from some of the most fantastic and innovative food and drink producers in the county.
“This year we’re aiming to top that with more entries overall and hopefully attract some producers who haven’t been involved before.
“The awards are a showcase and celebration of the dedication and innovation throughout the Yorkshire food and drink scene.
“All of our 22 categories, which cover everything from beer to cheese, meat to cake and everything else in between are open to both Deliciouslyorkshire members and non-members alike.
“They’re a fantastic opportunity to not only get recognition for your products and business, but also to get feedback from our judging panel who this year are made up of top chefs, supermarket buyers and industry experts, as well as Radio 2’s resident foodie Nigel Barden.
“If you are a Yorkshire based food and drink businesses I would really encourage you to get involved. These awards will raise the profile of your business and invite you to be part of a prestigious and glittering awards ceremony in Harrogate this October.”
Nicola Furbisher, managing editor of Yorkshire Post Newspapers, said: “These awards are a fantastic way to celebrate and champion the talent, vision and can-do attitude of the fabulous array of food and drink producers and businesses that go a long way towards making Yorkshire the best county in the land.
“We have everything in Yorkshire that justifies the region’s boast of being the food and drink capital of this country, from the small, family-run artisan producers through to major wholesalers and independent retailers. These awards are about celebrating the amazing strength and scope of our food and drink industry.
“The Yorkshire Post stands up for this region and that role encompasses all those food and drink businesses that we hope will enter these awards this year. Good luck to everyone who enters.”
This year’s winners will be decided across a week of intense judging in late-August, during which a high-profile panel of judges - consisting of top local chefs, supermarket buyers and industry experts - will sip, nibble and gulp every one of the entries to pick out the worthy winners.
The deadline for all entries across the award categories is Friday, August 12.
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 12 and will be hosted by Radio 2’s Mr Barden and Deliciouslyorkshire’s Judy Bell.
For details on how to enter the Taste Awards 2016, visit www.deliciouslyorkshire.co.uk
There are 22 Taste Awards categories which are now open for entries to food and drink businesses across the Yorkshire region.
The wide-ranging categories have been carefully selected in order to find the very best of the best Yorkshire food and drink experiences across all sections of the food and drink industry.
From individual food and drink products, to the best of the region’s food and drink businesses, Taste Awards 2016 celebrates them all.
Best Bakery Product
Best Fresh Produce
Best Fresh Meat
Best Prepared Meat
Best Yorkshire Pork Pie
Best Fish and Seafood
Best Ready to Eat Product
Best Ice Cream
Best Drink (with individual awards for Best Beer, Best Wine or Spirit and Best Beverage)
Best Savoury Condiment
Best Sweet Preserve
Best Free From Product
Best New Business
Best Yorkshire Breakfast
Best use of local produce on a hotel or restaurant menu
Best Yorkshire Afternoon Tea
Best Independent Retailer
Best Wholesaler Distributor
Local Food Hero