30 October 2020, 08:21 AM
Artisan fudge scoops top honour in The Great British Food Awards

The Great British Food Awards, which is the only national awards to celebrate and promote authentic British food and drink, marks each participant on both provenance and taste.

John Gill, head of marketing and trading at Booths, said the quality of finalist products this year was “simply outstanding” and described Coppercrunch as “an absolute joy”.

While “on appearance quite unassuming,” John said, “maybe it’s a fudge or possibly toffee; the layer of chocolate and nuts adds some intrigue, but surely nothing I haven’t seen before. On first taste though, wow, just wow.”

Jason Grant, the co-founder of The Copper Pan Fudge Company, said his business had, like the majority of small businesses, spent months trying to innovate and find new ways to reach customers while locked down in the middle of the global pandemic.

“Winning the confectionery category with Coppercrunch was confirmation that all our hard work had paid off,” Jason said. “To then find out we’d won ‘Grand Champion’ knowing the calibre of both smaller, artisan business and big household names who’d also entered products, was simply extraordinary. We received the call on the same day we opened our new concept store. It made for the perfect opening weekend.”

This year’s panel of judges included The Hairy Bikers, Michel Roux Jr, Raymond Blanc, Monica Galetti, William Sitwell, Miguel Barclay, and several other influential voices in the food and drinks world.

Other top-marked products included Exeter Gin, a classic artisan gin, which drinks critic Olly Smith said he could “drink by the bucket”; Willy’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, which was labelled “world-class” by judge Jack Stein; and a delicate elderflower sorbet by Baboo Gelato, which The Hairy Bikers described as “beautiful mouth-fuel.”

Editor and organiser Natasha Lovell-Smith said the judges were spoiled for choice when it came to making the final decision this year. “We have always championed provenance and traceability, as well as great flavour, in our judging process. Many of this year’s entries demonstrated incredible integrity, innovation, ethics and commitment to sustainability, showing how exciting and forward-thinking the artisan British food scene is right now,” Natasha said.

In addition to the celebrity-judged producer awards, readers nominated their favourite independent fine food retailers across the country.

Lauren Sunderland, visual merchandiser at Keelham Farm Shop, which won the Best Farm Shop & Deli in the North of England, said the award was a credit to the whole team. “At Keelham, we are one big family, sharing our passion, dedication and experience. 2020 has been a trying year for us all. Our team members have rallied together to support our customers and each other which is what makes this award special to us all,” said Lauren.

Elsewhere, Jamie Oliver was named Britain’s most influential chef for his work standing up for British producers this year.

To discover all the winners, head over to Great British Food.

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