Best Food Producer shortlist announced

Best Food Producer 1

Latest finalists announced ahead of glittering 2015 Chesterfield Food and Drink awards ceremony

Chesterfield’s tastiest food and drink producer is closer to being unveiled. Ten nominees for the title of Food and Drink Producer of the Year were narrowed down to a shortlist of three recently at a tasting event held at Hollingwood Hub, the home of the Canal Trust Partnership in Chesterfield.

Granny Mary’s (Original Recipes), Liza Bakes and Teresa Lambarelli’s will now battle it out for the title at the glittering Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards ceremony being held at Chesterfield College’s Heart Space building on Wednesday 28 October.

Sponsored by NatWest, the prestigious title recognises local food producers, growers and manufacturers within 10 miles of Chesterfield. The shortlisted businesses were selected from hundreds of nominations received by Destination Chesterfield, organiser of the awards in association with Chesterfield College, also headline sponsor of the awards for the third year running.

Each of the shortlisted businesses had to present three variations of their products to a panel of local judges, including Chesterfield Champions. They were awarded marks out of 10 for both presentation and taste.  The shortlisted businesses have also had to submit a business plan which will be assessed by Destination Chesterfield and will contribute to their final score.

Chatsworth Road-based Liza Bakes Ltd, which distributes its produce all over the country but prides itself in using local goods, won the coveted title last year. Louise Milroy, owner of Liza Bakes, said: “I am delighted to be nominated for the award. It would be amazing to win and be a really big achievement for the team who work tremendously hard. It is a privilege to be here amongst such great producers- winning would be the icing on the cake.”

Teresa Lambarelli, a finalist for the third year running said: “I am absolutely honoured to have been named as a finalist for Chesterfield Food Producer of the year again! It has always been my aspiration and drive to give Chesterfield and now the UK a true flavour of Italy! It comes at such a very exciting time for my business as I am looking to outsource the development of my pasta sauce to meet demand.”

Craig Maxfield Sales Director of Granny Mary’s – a finalist for the first time, said: “To be nominated means a lot for the company. We are really pleased to be a part of the process. There are some fantastic producers shortlisted and the competition is fierce! It would mean a lot for us to win, but being nominated alongside such outstanding producers is an achievement in itself.”

Dominic Stevens, Manager of Destination Chesterfield said: “It was a very strong field and the judges had a very difficult decision to narrow it down from ten to three. Each finalist was passionate about their products and took great pride in them. They were also equally passionate about their role as food and drink producers in Chesterfield and how they are actively helping the town receive the recognition it deserves for its thriving food sector.”

The winner of the Food Producer of the Year category is just one of 14 which will be announced by celebrity chef Theo Randall at the glittering awards ceremony. He said: “Good food is one of life’s simple pleasures. The support shown for the awards in both the nomination phase and the awards shows that good food is passion of many people in Chesterfield.”

The shortlist for the Chesterfield Food Producer of the Year is the latest category to be announced in the 2015 Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards ahead of the awards ceremony. Already 24 eateries, pubs, bars and venues have been shortlisted across 10 categories in the popular awards. This year also sees the introduction of a brand new category – Conference Venue of the Year – and also 11 new contenders for the awards, including Tickled Trout, Batemans Mill, Chesters, Little Castle, H&F Tea Rooms, Libby’s, Four One Three, Coffee St, Qoozies, Three Cottages and the Proact Stadium.

A full list of the finalists can be seen at www.chesterfield.co.uk/foodanddrinkawards

Other supporters of the awards include the Derbyshire Times, Peak FM, Franke Sissons, Holdsworth Foods, Banner Jones, the Crooked Spire Church, Black Eyed Susan, Reflections, Mitchells Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, Chesterfield Borough Council, East Midlands Chamber, Hooper’s, Jumble Design, BHP Chartered Accountants, Kier and MSE Hiller,