2016 Yorkshire Life Food Awards, Rudding Park, Harrogate

Chef of the Year Florian Piorot

Chef of the Year Florian Piorot - Credit: Archant

The Yorkshire food industry gathered at Rudding Park in Harrogate to celebrate the best of the county and a special Yorkshire Life birthday.

The sponsors of the 2016 Yorkshire Life Food and Drink Awards

The sponsors of the 2016 Yorkshire Life Food and Drink Awards - Credit: Archant

Our food and drink awards celebrations take on special meaning this year as Yorkshire Life marks its 70th anniversary. Few magazines can say they have been serving their readers for such a long time and we are always grateful for their unstinting loyalty. In return I hope we can inform, entertain and inspire with events such as our food and drink awards.

The judges, experts in their own areas of food, drink and hospitality and with a passion for entertaining as I’ve ever known, have had as always, a difficult time reaching their decisions. But after months of deliberations and the search for top quality they have found contenders worthy of recognition for their talent, innovation and commitment to their customers.

Yorkshire Life celebrates its 70th anniversary with a cake supplied from Bettys, Harrogate

Yorkshire Life celebrates its 70th anniversary with a cake supplied from Bettys, Harrogate - Credit: Archant

There are some very determined people out there who are working tirelessly to maintain Yorkshire’s reputation for the fine food and drink and hospitality. We want to champion their efforts and celebrate their successes with these awards that also acknowledge their steely resolve. Our awards lunch was at Rudding Park, one of Harrogate’s leading hotels. The food here is an example of all that is excellent in fine dining and in superb service. It was a celebratory lunch full of goodwill and shared achievement, perhaps one of the very best yet. Guests were generous too, donating £1,051 to our awards’ charity the lifesaving Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

We hope the food and drink and hospitality industries are encouraged by our celebrations and know that we do support them through good times and bad. I would like to say thank you to our team of judges whose expertise is second to none. Thanks too, to our sponsors and suppliers who have helped us make today’s event such a very special occasion.


Hotel of the Year in association with Sykes House Farm, Wetherby

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Winner: Swinton Park Hotel, Masham

Judges said: ‘Swinton Park today is one of the most sophisticated hotels in the region with its outstanding rooms, excellent dining, its own cookery school, conference centre, wedding planning and hosting as well as a choice of countryside pursuits including walking, fishing and falconry on the Swinton Park estate. Difficult to match anywhere.’

Highly commended:

Goldsborough Hall Hotel, Knaresborough

West Park Hotel, Harrogate

Traditional Pub of the Year in association with Bang & Olufsen, Leeds

Winner: The Swan & Talbot, Wetherby

Judges said: ‘This is a traditional pub with a twist. A friendly welcome from well trained and attentive staff. Serving good honest food at a reasonable price and with a smile. Attention to detail in the drinks offering and best of all, an award-winning wine list. Just what you want from a forward thinking, independently owned business.’

Highly commended:

The Plough Inn, Wombleton

The Maltings, York

Newcomer of the Year in association with Slingsby Gin, Harrogate

Winner: Pax Burger, Huddersfield

Judges said: ‘What a super business! A simple idea which focuses on great, high class local produce and lovingly handmade burgers, seasoned to perfection. A vibrant and slick operation, with an enviable vibrant atmosphere. Independently owned and run by Eric Paxman, who has really put the area on the gastro map.’

Highly commended:

The White Rabbit, Todmorden

Food Product of the Year in association with Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Winner: Yorkshire Wagyu, The Yorkshire Wagyu Company, Driffield

Judges said: ‘We agree unanimously that there is nothing to compare with this delicious product. It is nothing short of melt-in-the-mouth, the flavours experienced were just exquisite!’

Highly commended:

Lishman’s Yorkshire Salami, Ilkley

Yockenthwaite Granola, Skipton

Drink Product of the Year in association with Rural Crafts

Winner: Slingsby Gin, Harrogate

Judges said: ‘A beautiful gin presented in a striking bottle. There are so many gins on the market but this one is not only the best, it’s produced locally and its ingredients are found locally. The company has done a brilliant job in marketing their product with its own shop now open in Harrogate. All their hard work has paid off, a wonderful success story.’

Highly commended:

Sloemotion Damson Gin, near York

Scarborough Fair IPA, Driffield

Dining Pub of the Year in association with Hallgarten Druitt

Winner: The Sportsman’s Arms, Wath

Judges said: ‘Consistently good food, a wide range of beers and a friendly welcoming bar set in beautiful Nidderdale. The minute you walk through the door, you instantly relax in comfortable, superior surroundings.’

Highly commended:

The Triton Inn, Brantingham

The Hare Inn, Scawton

Independent Food Retailer of the Year in association with Taylor Foods

Winner: Mr Pickles’ Yorkshire Food Emporium

Judges said: ‘A great find. The emporium champions Yorkshire produce from basics such as milk and bread to luxury goods including sparkling wine and smoked salmon. And the emporium is open until late.’

Highly commended:

Glaves Butchers, Scarborough

Vanillaetc., Keighley

Food Hero of the Year in association with Alevere

Winner: Mitch Mitchell of Truefoods, Ripon

Judges said: ‘A true food Yorkshireman who is as driven and passionate about his contribution to the industry today as he was at the beginning of his career 35 years ago. Celebrated chef, food adviser and innovative food producer who was one of the first if not the first to make five-star standard stock and sauces available to everyone when he launched Truefoods, in Ripon almost 10 years ago. His commitment to customers and consistently high standards are his trademarks and his achievements an inspiration to any aspiring food business.’

Tea room/ Coffee Shop of the Year in association with Hills Fine Foods

Winner: Spring Espresso, York

Judges said: ‘A fabulous coffee house, with world class baristas taking every care to make the perfect coffee. Service is fun and theatrical at times and the home made cakes and hearty bacon sandwiches make it a great cafe destination.’

Highly commended:

Bettys Tea Rooms, Harlow Carr, Harrogate

Hoxton North, Harrogate

Farm Shop of the Year in association with NFU Mutual

Winner: Balloon Tree Farm Shop, Stamford Bridge

Judges said: ‘A farm shop with a great range of Yorkshire produce often with something new and different on the shelves, plus a bright and airy restaurant serving well presented, hearty food. Difficult to stay away.’

Highly commended:

The Mile Farm Shop, Pocklington

Mainsgill Farm Shop, Richmond

Restaurant of the Year in association with Croft Residential

Winner: Le Cochon Aveugle, York

Judges said: ‘Michelin star dining without the price tag. The whole experience made us grin like eejits. The menu has evolved slowly and delivers lovely surprises. Don’t worry that you don’t know what’s coming - it works. ‘

Highly commended:

The Old Vicarage, near Sheffield

Eric’s Restaurant, Huddersfield

Chef of the Year in association with Total Foodservice

Winner: Florian Poirot

Judges said: He is an internationally acclaimed patisserie chef based in York who runs his own macaroon making business while working alongside confectioners, Nestle. The food industry recognised his exemplary sugar sculptures by naming him overall winner of at the UK Pastry Open last year and he goes on to represent the UK at the World Pastry Cup (Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie) in Lyon in 2017. We also celebrate his talent and achievements with this award.


To start

Sykes House Farm pork and black pudding crackling, textures of apple, sage and onion

To continue

Taylor’s East Coast cod fillet,crab and coriander rosti, chorizo, baby leaks, sea vegetables, chive butter sauce

To finish

Luxury red berry and champagne trifle, raspberry sorbet supplied by Hills Fine Foods

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