South West food & drink champions announced

Taste of the West Awards 2023 - South West food & drink winners
Taste of the West Awards 2023 - South West food & drink winners

The overall champion winners of this year’s Taste of the West Awards were announced this week at a prestigious ceremony held at Sandy Park in Exeter. 470 people from the region’s food and drink industry gathered to celebrate the West Country’s finest food and drink, as well as all the best places to stay, eat and shop for local food & drink in the South West. With the help of BBC television presenter Victoria Graham, a staggering 42 awards were given out to 37 South West food & drink businesses.

The Taste of the West Awards have been running now for 30 years and the annual programme rewards the very best food and drink from across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. They truly are regarded as a benchmark for excellence across the whole South West region. This year over 1,200 products and in excess of 350 hospitality and retail establishments entered the awards.

At the ceremony on Monday 6 November, the overall winners of each of the 12 hospitality and retail classes were announced, followed by the champion products from each of the 26 product categories.

This year’s Awards are title sponsored by Trowers & Hamlins LLP and Bishop Fleming, who share Taste of the West’s passion for supporting local food and drink businesses from the West Country. Fleur Lewis, Partner at Bishop Fleming, said:

“Being able to support and celebrate the success of so many of our wonderful food and drink businesses in the South West is truly an honour. We extend our congratulations to all the food and drink producers, hospitality and retail establishments who work so hard to put our region on the map as such a foodie destination.”

Stuart Mathews, Partner at Trowers & Hamlins LLP, commented: “We are very proud to be headline sponsors of the Taste of the West Awards and to celebrate the smorgasbord of fantastic food and drink businesses that we have here in the South West. What a brilliant evening!”

The ceremony culminated in the announcement of the coveted Supreme Champion Product Award sponsored by Black & White Asset Finance Ltd, which this year was presented to Taste of Sidmouth (Devon) for their outstanding Pear & Ricotta Ice-Cream. The Canned Cuttlefish in Ink produced by Sea Sisters Cannery (Dorset) was awarded the Reserve Supreme Champion Product. Taste of the West’s No 1 Place to Go for 2022/2023, sponsored by Goosemoor Foodservice, was awarded to Highcliffe House in Lynton, Devon. Taste of the West’s South West Sustainability Award 2023 was presented to Westaways Sausages Ltd in Newton Abbot, Devon.

The ceremony was attended by around 470 guests, with representatives from award-winning producers, hospitality establishments, retailers, top chefs, food writers and many others involved with and actively supporting the South West’s food and drink scene. The evening began with a drinks and canape reception, which was followed by a stunning meal, with contributions from local food & drink producers across the region. The event really was a culinary feast to truly celebrate the fantastic quality of food and drink from the West Country, as well as the passion of those who produce, serve and sell it.

John Sheaves, Chief Executive of Taste of the West, commented: “This was the largest gathering of the food and drink awards to date in the history of the programme and our sincere congratulations go to all the champion finalists and overall winners. Celebrating with so many winners and supporters, including our sponsors, is particularly special and unique since it comes from the industry itself, rather than Government. Seeing so many faces from our fabulous industry in one room filled me with enormous pride and gratitude.”

A full list of all champion award finalists and winners is available on the Taste of the West website.

Entries into the Taste of the West Product Awards 2024 are now open – visit the Taste of the West website to find out more.


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