Last Tuesday three of the Hale Events team attended the Taste of the West Awards 2012. We were delighted to be general sponsors of the event and also more specifically of the Local Food in Schools Award, so we wouldn’t have missed it for the world!
The awards took place at the Eden Project, in the Mediterranean Biome, and were attended by more than 200 people, all passionate about this productive region’s food and drink. With the autumnal sun shining through from outside it felt like being al fresco in the South of France, which provided a unique and delightful atmosphere for the event.
The afternoon started with drinks and canapés, highlighting products from award winners from the start. A Kir Royale aperitif made with Sharpham sparkling white wine and Bramley & Gage Crème de Cassis was a great way to start the proceedings. The drinks reception was a rare chance to meet producers and suppliers; those that you never normally get to meet as they’re usually far too busy working hard to get out much! It was great to put faces to some of the names we’ve dealt with, and to catch up with those more familiar to us.
Drinks were followed by a 3 course lunch cooked by the talented chefs at Eden. during which the awards were announced. Saddle of lamb with black pudding and garlic, potato dauphinoise, and red cabbage, gluten free chocolate brownie with Seville orange ice-cream, cheese, pickles and biscuits, and coffee…is your mouth watering yet?
We shared our table with some really interesting innovative food producers and retailers, from those we knew like Bartlett’s Farm Shop (Best of Burgers, Faggots & Meatballs for their Pork & Apple Burgers) who regularly visit the Source and Taste of the West show, to new faces – like Pork Heaven from Devon who have only been trading since March and have already won two awards for their sausages – at Food and Drink Devon and now Taste of the West!
We’re hoping to see lots of these great producers at the Source and Taste of the West Show. Hillside Speciality Foods, whose Celery Pickle won Best of Savoury Preserves, are already signed up so you’ll be able to see for yourself how good they are. That Crème de Cassis by Bramley & Gage won Best of Wines, Spirits & Liqueurs, and they will be at our other show Food and Drink Cheltenham. Hopefully these will be the first of the many Taste of the West award winners to come forward and showcase their products in front of a wider, and surely very appreciative, audience. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them as much as we did!