Award nominees wait to be crowned as winners
THE WINNERS of the first ever Taste of Somerset awards have been decided.
Voting has now closed in the categories where newspaper readers chose the winners.
And last week judges helped to choose more winners from the remaining classes.
Now the short-listed food and drink businesses have a nervous wait before the award recipients are revealed at a ceremony next month.
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The competition was launched earlier this year to celebrate the best of Somerset food and drink – a multi-million pound industry.
Adam Burgan, arts and entertainment manager for award sponsor the Octagon Theatre, Yeovil, said: "One of the great things about living in Somerset is the amazing choice of local food producers.
"At the Octagon Theatre we are proud that our café bar makes the most of local suppliers and food producers.
"It makes good business sense for us to be supporting our local economy, but more importantly the quality is always excellent and tastes far more interesting and tempting.
"Our meats are supplied by Barrett Brothers, of Crewkerne, our pies come from John Thorners of Shepton Mallet, our ice creams are from Lovingtons of Castle Cary, and even our bottled water comes from Glastonbury.
"On the bar patrons can enjoy cider from Thatchers or Bridge Farm or even a bottle of Yeovil Ale.
"We are excited to be supporting the Taste of Somerset Awards and celebrate some of the finest food producers."
Readers of nine Local World publications voted for the winners in six categories. These include Best Independent Cafe, Tea Room or Snack Bar, where the category finalists are Living Pretty in Curry Rivel and Love in a Cup at Tytherington.
The Best Independent Food Retailer will go to a wholesaler, website or independent retailer which has found success with an original idea – and found popularity with voters.
The nominees are the Scallop Shell, Beckington, Love in a Cup, Tytherington, and the Apple Tree Farm Shop, Yeovil.
Best Farm Shop seeks an enterprise at the heart of its community, selling the farm's own produce and other local food, and was also chosen in the vote. The nominees are White Row Farm Shop, Beckington, the Apple Tree Farm Shop, Yeovil, and the Newton Farm Shop, Newton St Loe.
Readers have also decided the Best Restaurant category winner. The category is for establishments which stand out from the crowd with a winning menu.
The nominees are The Crown, Wells, Mulberry's restaurant, bar and grill in Yeovil, and Graze in Bath.
Readers also chose between the Best Pub award nominees – The Crown in Wells, the Queen's Arms, Corton Denham, and the Lord Poulett Arms, Hinton St George.
The Start-up Food or Drink Business award encourages companies set up in the past two years to demonstrate how they have cornered the market.
The nominees are Stocklinch Ales, Olives 'N' Stuff, and the Independent Spirit of Bath.
Winners of the remaining categories – Food or Drink Business of the Year award, Outstanding Contribution to Local Food Development, Best Drinks Producer, Best Food Producer, and the Innovation award – have been decided by judges.
The first ever Taste of Somerset winners will be announced at a ceremony hosted by celebrity chef Peter Gorton at Haselbury Mill, near Crewkerne, on Tuesday, September 10.
For more information about the awards and the ceremony visit www.fromestandard. co.uk/taste.