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The full list of winners for 2022 have been announced, with the Grand Champion award going to an artisan chocolatier from Winchester, Hampshire.
Pitted against the winners of 61 other categories, Winchester Cocoa’s truly unique and delicious Fresh Chocolate Selection was deemed “supreme” by the esteemed buyers at Harvey Nichols, judges of the Grand Champion category.
The awards scheme, the only national awards dedicated to celebrating, honouring and promoting authentic British food and drink, always boasts a glittering panel of influential judges.
This year, they hosted Michel Roux Jr, Raymond Blanc, Eric Lanyard, Olly Smith, Shelina Permalloo, Sally Abé, Richard Corrigan, Dipna Anand and Richard Bainbridge among many other well-known foodie names, as well as food buyers from Harvey Nichols, Borough Market and Selfridges.
Award-winning products included an artisan gin, which drinks critic Olly Smith said was “like an exhilarating frosty breeze through the purest pine trees,” a traditional bacon that chef Glynn Purnell described as “an impressive show of craftmanship” and some “absolutely stunning” mutton mince judged by chef Giovann Attard.
Shirley Aubrey, food buying manager at Harvey Nichols, commented, “We were honoured to have the opportunity to take part in The Great British Food Awards to choose the Grand Champion winner.
“We tasted so many amazing products from passionate producers, from traditional cockles with malt vinegar and white pepper, good organic bacon and eggs with blazing golden egg yolks, right through to a salty sea-fresh oyster. Well done to all who took part, it makes us so proud to be in the wonderful British food industry.”
Great British Food editor and organiser of the awards Natasha Lovell-Smith was particularly impressed by the sheer range and quality of entries this year, which has been tough for many artisan producers throughout Britain and Northern Ireland.
“The judges really were spoiled for choice when it came to making the final decisions. We have always championed provenance and traceability, as well as great flavour, in our judging process. Many of this year’s entries demonstrated incredible innovation and commitment to sustainability, showing how exciting and forward-thinking the artisan British food scene is.
“There’s never been a more important time to support small local producers, so I would really urge independent retailers to seek out our fantastic winners and finalists.”
Chris Attewell, owner of Winchester Cocoa was ecstatic with his win. “For our fresh chocolate selection box to be announced as the Grand Champion is amazing, especially from within a field of such wonderful British produce.
“Our approach is simple but a lot of work goes into it! The key is fabulous quality chocolate (we use brilliant Swiss and British chocolate makers), traditional methods and natural ingredients. I love innovative flavours and combinations but always try to make chocolates that are inviting, indulgent and enjoyable. It’s lovely that our approach has been recognised with this award.”
As well as the celebrity-judged producer awards, Great British Food readers got nominating and voting to support their favourite independent fine food retailers across the country, with farm shops, delis, butchers, bakers, cheesemongers, fishmongers, restaurants, pubs and smokeries from Cornwall to Aberdeen, via Downpatrick and Llaneilli, picking up popular votes.
To discover all the winners, head over to Great British Food.