Culinary winners revealed at the glittering Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards evening!

Posted 14th October 2022

After much anticipation and a great deal of excitement, the winners in the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2022/23 are finally celebrating being named the best of the best in the county!

The competition, now in its fourteenth year, received hundreds of nominations and applications across 15 categories, from a diverse range of ambitious and driven individuals and businesses who make up the fabric of Northamptonshire’s food and drink sector. The Awards are aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues, producers and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

The results were announced at a dazzling Awards Dinner staged at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate on Wednesday 12th October.  The evening began with formal welcomes from Awards Director, Rachel Mallows MBE DL of The Mallows Company, Jo Gordon from Royal & Derngate and Stuart Branch of headline sponsors, Weetabix before guests then enjoyed a sumptuous three course meal designed by Portfolio Events. Guests were in safe hands as Portfolio made a return to cater for the Awards for a second year, creating a bespoke menu for the special event.

Befitting a celebration of the excellence of the county’s food and drink sector, the menu included a wealth of Northamptonshire ingredients, including Green Kitchen Preserves Tomato and Chilli Chutney, Whittlebury Bakery white sourdough crisp, Hamm Tun Fine Foods and the Northampton Cheese Company’s cheese, The Food Library’s Spiced Rhubarb Chutney and Mee Farmers’ Blueberry and Lavender Jam.  The main course was a Roast Rib of Booker’s Black Gate Signature Beef.

The results are as follows:

Artisan Local Drink of the Year

GOLD – Blue Aurora, English Blueberry Ice Wine

GOLD – Stonyfield English Quality Sparkling Wine, Rosé

GOLD – Lactodorum Towcester Gin, Wharf Distillery

SILVER – Heidrun Session NEIPA, Three Hills Brewing

SILVER – Fresh Oat Drink, Wild and Furrow

BRONZE – Solstice Malt Whisky, Wharf Distillery

Artisan Local Product of the Year (sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed)

GOLD – Naked Dairy Gelato, Rocky’s Gelato

SILVER – Northamptonshire Blue, Hamm Tun Fine Foods

SILVER – Blueberry & Lavender Jam, Mee Farmers

SILVER – White Sourdough, Whittlebury Bakery

BRONZE – Garlic & Fennel Salami, Northampton Charcuterie Company

BRONZE – Tomato & Chilli Chutney, Green Kitchen Preserves

BRONZE – Elderflower Sorbet, Your Cool

Artisan Local Vegetarian / Vegan Product of the Year (sponsored by Daily Bread)

GOLD – Oinkin’ Pattie from The Curious Vegan Co.

SILVER – Spiced Rhubarb Chutney from The Food Library

SILVER – Tongue Taster from Northampton Cheese Company

BRONZE – Cucumber & Dill Sauerkraut from Mille Pickles

BRONZE – Almond and Coconut Granola from Salma Shah

BRONZE – Vegan Blue Raspberry Bottles from Sweet Lounge

Booker Dining Venue of the Year (sponsored by Booker)

GOLD – Electric Pavillion, Northampton

GOLD – Hibiscus Fine Dining, Northampton

GOLD – Restaurant Ember, Wellingborough

GOLD – The Snooty Fox, Lowick

SILVER – The Butchers Arms, Greens Norton

SILVER – The Folly Inn, Towcester

SILVER – Tollemache Arms, Harrington

BRONZE – Tap & Kitchen, Oundle

BRONZE – The Plough Inn, Shutlanger

BRONZE – The Rose & Crown, Yardley Hastings

Booker Young Chef of the Year (sponsored by Booker)

GOLD – Hannah Dunne, Restaurant Ember

GOLD – Shawn Monk, The Falcon Inn, Fotheringhay

SILVER – Nicole Wicks, Rushton Hall

BRONZE – David Smith, The Palmichael

BRONZE – Matthew Heritage, The Falcon Inn, Fotheringhay

Community Café of the Year (Supported by The Good Loaf)

GOLD – Saints Coffee, Northampton

SILVER – Café 1850, Northampton

BRONZE – Aspen Café, Bosworth Garden Centre

BRONZE – Café Track, Northampton

BRONZE – Johnny’s Happy Place, Kettering

BRONZE – The Place to Bee, Kingsthorpe

Outstanding Contribution to Food and Drink in Northamptonshire Award (sponsored by All Things Business)

Winner – Colin Richardson

Farming Environment Award (sponsored by Weetabix Growers Group)

GOLD – Phillip Johnson & Daughters, Rectory Farm

SILVER – J.A Knight & Son

BRONZE – Bartlow Estate

FINALIST – Bridge House Farm

FINALIST – J.A Atkinson & Son

FINALIST – Stetchworth Estate Farm

F&B Achiever of the Year (sponsored by Howes Percival LLP)

GOLD – Andy Collins- Whittlebury Bakery

SILVER – Aldo Gallone- E. Gallone Ltd

SILVER – Joe Buckley- Tollemache Arms

BRONZE – Suzy Keeping & Chris D’alessio- KDR Events

Food and Drink College Student of the Year

GOLD – Bilal Ismail- Northampton College

GOLD – Tia ‘Echo’ Morris- Northampton College

SILVER – Elisabeth Knott- Moulton College

BRONZE – Luke Wolstencroft- Tresham College

BRONZE – Will McGowan- Tresham College

Healthy Food and Wellbeing Award (sponsored by Delapré Abbey)

Healthy Food & Wellbeing – Producers

GOLD – Cucumber & Dill Sauerkraut, Millie Pickles

SILVER – Chocolate flavour Super Shake- Nasty Vegan

SILVER – Organic Wheatgrass Juice – Britt’s Superfoods

BRONZE – Kebab-ish, Bite me Spices

BRONZE – Tomato and Red pepper Relish, Friars Farm

Healthy Food and Wellbeing award, Workplace

GOLD – Mercedes AMG HPP

SILVER – Silverstone Circuits Ltd

SILVER – Sol Havens CIC

BRONZE – Northampton General Hospital

Local Food Hero of the Year (sponsored by Moulton College)

GOLD – Towcester Community Larder

SILVER – The Green Patch

BRONZE – Community Health works UK CIC

BRONZE – Elliotts’ Rectory Farm

BRONZE – Foodkind CIC

BRONZE – Jamie’s Quality Butchers

One To Watch (sponsored by Whitworth Bros. Ltd Flour Millers)

GOLD – The Flavour Trailer

SILVER – Northampton Cheese Company

BRONZE – Jute Coffee

BRONZE – Nakasero

BRONZE – Nasty Vegan

Weetabix Sustainability Award (sponsored by Weetabix)

GOLD – Ganders Goat

SILVER – Jute Coffee Limited

SILVER – West Lodge Farm Park

BRONZE – Foodkind CIC

BRONZE – The Roastery

Whitco Chef of the Year (sponsored by Whitco)

GOLD – Bart Polinski- Hibiscus Fine Dining

SILVER – Arturs Dzerins- Electric Pavilion

BRONZE – Ben Drury, The Red Lion, Cranford

BRONZE – Michael O’Gorman, University of Northampton, Waterside Campus

World Cuisine Restaurant of the Year (sponsored by British Pepper & Spice)

GOLD – Alacati Grill, Daventry

GOLD – Mewar Haveli, Northampton

SILVER – June Plum, Wellingborough

BRONZE – Pjayz Kitchen, Northampton

The winners of all the categories were presented with trophies by the evening’s special guest presenter and journalist Helen Fospero, best known for her presenting role on shows such as GMTV, Daybreak and Lorraine, who for the second year was the Master of Ceremonies.

Restaurant Ember, Wellingborough, one of four Gold Award winners of the Booker Dining Venue of the Year was praised by judges for its fun and creative delicious BBQ Tapas menu. James Peck, Head Chef and Owner said ‘it means so much to have been recognised for this Award having only been open for three months, we are very humbled and excited for the future.’ It was a stellar evening for Restaurant Ember as James’s Young Chef, Hannah Dunne took one of the two Gold Awards in the Booker Young Chef of the Year.

The awards are generously supported and sponsored by major food and drinks businesses based in the county including headline sponsor, Weetabix. Stuart Branch, Chief People and Digital Officer for Weetabix, enthused, ‘Weetabix sustainability is in our DNA and so we are particularly proud to spearhead the Weetabix Sustainability Award category, now in its third year, because it’s an area that is so important to our communities and us as a business based within the county. We are immensely proud to support the awards process with year-long backing to ensure that those who are declared Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in each category receive the recognition they deserve as well as mentoring and guidance. This year is particularly exciting as we celebrate our Weetabix Growers’ Group – farmers who provide the wheat that our Weetabix Original is made from.  This is a new category and I am very proud that we are able to shine a light on those farmers who are doing a brilliant job to improve our countryside environment’.

Chairman of the Whitworth Brothers Board of Directors and President of UK Flour Millers announced the winners of the One to Watch category. ‘Whitworth Bros Ltd are over the moon with the response to the Awards this year and send our congratulations to Bronze, Silver and Gold winners’ said Mike Peters, Managing Director. The Flavour Trailer took home Gold, and said ‘We can’t believe it! We felt like winners just coming here this evening. The competition was incredible so we are just stunned. Our goal was the make incredible burgers and the fact that it has brought us here is incredible!’

A surprise award, sponsored by ‘All Things Business’ – The Outstanding Contribution to Food and Drink in Northamptonshire, an accolade for someone who has made a significant contribution to the sector. This year won by Colin Richardson, someone who has, over the years, played a remarkable role in taking on iconic venues and changing them to be both award winning and popular with the public.

For more details on the competition please visit the Awards’ website at or contact Rachel Mallows or Sophie Smith on 01933 664437 or email

You can also follow the Awards on twitter and Instagram at @foodawardsHQ or on Facebook at