“The BBC Food & Farming Awards belong to everyone because it’s a celebration of the most delicious and important things in our lives. It’s a real chance for the public to share the food stories that really matter to them”. Valentine Warner, food writer, cook and judge.
Two restaurant chefs, a prison cook and a celebrated food blogger are leading a BBC mission to find the very best in British food and farming.
Raymond Blanc and Richard Corrigan are being joined by Al Crisci, the founder of the Clink restaurant in Highdown prison and blogger Jack Monroe, on the 2014 judging team of the BBC Food & Farming Awards.
Along with cook and writer Valentine Warner, and critic and broadcaster Charles Campion they’re calling on nominations to find winners in 10 different categories; Best Food Producer, Best Drinks Producer, Best Food Market, Best Local Food Retailer, Best Takeaway/Street food, Best Cook, Best Food Initiative, Outstanding Farmer of the Year, the Lifetime Achievement Award and Food Personality of the Year.
Each year the BBC calls on its audiences to nominate someone in their part of the UK for an award. As chef Richard Corrigan, “…. we’re always amazed by the stories that come in to us as judges, and we never know where in the UK the nominations will take us … from visits to cheese-makers and dinner ladies to farm shop owners and national retailers…. but we care about each and every one, the stories are inspiring”.
Nominations open on January 5th and can be sent in via www.bbc.co.uk/foodawards.
People can send nominations in all 10 categories; individuals and businesses can also nominate their own work. Close of nominations is Monday 27th January.
Over the years the awards have recognised people like school dinner lady Jeanette Orrey, who went on to help thousands of school cooks across the UK, 2012’s Farmer of the year Guy Watson, for his success with Riverford’s veg box scheme and national retailers like Sainsbury’s for its work supporting small scale producers.
Winning an award can make a huge difference to an individual or a business. Last year’s winner in the Best Food Market category was pHd student Emily Boothroyd who set up a farmers’ market inside Sutton Bonington University campus, she explained that “winning an award was life changing! It gave me the confidence to change my career path entirely, markets are now my life”.
Nominations open on January 5th, for three weeks only.
Anyone can send in a nomination, cooks, retailers, market traders can nominate themselves. All they need to do is go towww.bbc.co.uk/foodawards from January 5th. Plus, keep an eye out for the Food Programmes Twitter feed, @bbcfoodprog using the hashtag #bbcfoodawards for all the latest updates.
The best ideas that come through the judging process will be featured on BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme and a special edition of the BBC Food & Farming Awards, also on Radio 4.
Presenter of the Food Progamme and one of the founders of the Awards in 2000, Sheila Dillon encourages you to get online to nominate ‘‘They’re your awards set up to highlight the achievements of people, mostly working under the media radar, who add to the quality of all our lives.’’
Once the judges have selected a shortlist for each of the categories, they visit each finalist in person. The eventual winners will be announced at the annual BBC Food & Farming Awards ceremony, to be held at the St Georges concert Hall, Bristol on Thursday May 1st. Shortly after, BBC Radio 4 will broadcast a programme featuring the winners and judges.