THE best food and drink in Huntingdonshire was celebrated for the second year with Huntingdonshire Food and Drink 08 Festival. Best Local Producer, sponsored by Tesco, was won by The Nutty Tart company in St Neots – a mail-order cake and biscuit business
THE best food and drink in Huntingdonshire was celebrated for the second year with Huntingdonshire Food and Drink 08 Festival.
Best Local Producer, sponsored by Tesco, was won by The Nutty Tart company in St Neots - a mail-order cake and biscuit business started four years ago by mums Deborah Arminger and Rachel Warwick, who wanted a business they could run from home.
This is the second prize they have lifted in the past two months. In August, they won a national gold award in the Great Taste Awards run by the Guild of Fine Foods. Their prize was an invitation to display their products at the Fine Food Festival in Olympia in September.
The judges said: "Rachel and Deborah are passionate about what they do and it shows in the taste and quality of their produce. Where possible, their ingredients are bought locally, including the organic flour from Glebe Farm in Kings Ripton.
Best Breakfast, sponsored by the Marriott Hotel in Huntingdon, was won by Fullards Farm in Woodhurst, owned by Neil and Annabel Farbon since 2005. The breakfasts are made with Mr Farbon's own recipe pork and apple spiced sausages, made by a local butcher, bacon from the Fenstanton butcher, free range eggs from Pingle's Farm in Colne, tomatoes grown by his neighbours and potatoes from his garden. His bread is made with flour from Glebe Farm in Kings Ripton and his jam is home made.
Best Pub, sponsored by Camra - the Campaign for Real Ale, was won by the Oliver Cromwell in St Ives. The award was presented to chef Carole Wareing and landlord Jerry Schonfeldt.
The judges said: "The Oliver Cromwell is noted for its well-kept and well selected range of real ales - typically four different beers, including beer from Cambridgeshire breweries, a wide variety of food, imaginative vegetarian options, a constantly changing dinner menu, and an outstanding quality of wines."
The pub is described as "A cosy, wood-panelled bar near the old St Ives quay with a warm, lively atmosphere."
The Best Independent Retailer, sponsored by Sainsbury's, was won by Top Banana, sellers of organic and non-organic fruit and vegetables in Buckden, owned by Michael Bennett.
The judges said: "The produce is fresh, finest and local. You can't do better than that." The award was collected by Michael Bennett and Sally Anne Reedman.
The Best Restaurant Award, sponsored by Waitrose, was won by the Old Bridge in Huntingdon. Each restaurant was visited by two "mystery diners" on separate occasions. The judges said the food was excellent in all the nominated restaurants but dining out was not just about food. It was about the whole experience, from the welcome to paying the bill. The four shortlisted all had something special and choosing a winner had been difficult. The award was received by the hotel's general manager, Nina Beamond.