Excellence in Food and Drink Awards: The Winners
The huge variety of global cuisines available to diners in the UK was in evidence at this year's Caterer Group Excellence in Food and Drink Awards, run in association with 3663 First for Foodservice, writes Matthew Batham.
Products invoking flavours of France, Morocco, the USA and Japan were among the hundreds scrutinised and tasted by our panel of judges, made up of chefs, operators and product development experts.
There were 16 categories in all, and the winners were announced at an awards lunch held at LondonÁ¢ÂÂs Dorchester hotel.
Accompaniments and Ingredients
Winner Swahili Paste from Steng Ingredients
Shortlisted Maggi Multi-Use Tomato Sauces Á¢ÂÂ" Tomato Sauce with Mixed Peppers;
Major Thai Mari-Base Marinade;
Pyrol Frozen FoodsÁ¢ÂÂ Plum and Roscoff Onion Chutney;
Rickmers Bali Duo
Swahili food has been influenced by several exotic cuisines, including Arabian, African and Asian. Swahili Paste from Steng Ingredients reflects this history in its rich and vibrant flavours. It can be used as a marinade or sauce base and all ingredients are natural and traceable. Our judges said the product looked natural and authentic.
Bakery and Sandwiches
Winner Butter Brioche Loaf from Delifrance UK
Shortlisted Brakes Micro Chicken Tikka Filled Naan;
Brakes Rustic Steak, Stilton and Rosti Topped Pie;
NestlÁÂ© Rolo Cookie
Made using French flour, the Butter Brioche Loaf from Delifrance UK is supplied part-baked in outers of six, aimed at caterers with limited freezer space. It can be used to make bread puddings, toasted, sliced and filled for a sweet or savoury snack and was described by judges as an excellent product.
Cheese, Dairy and Milk
Winner Pilgrims Choice Vintage Extra Mature Cheddar
Shortlisted Brakes Baguette Shaped Cheese Slices;
Brakes Flavoured Cheese Board Selection;
Brakes Italian Cheese Board Selection
Pilgrims Choice Vintage Extra Mature Cheddar impressed the judges with its Á¢ÂÂdistinctive tasteÁ¢ÂÂ and Á¢ÂÂbeautiful appearanceÁ¢ÂÂ. Sourced by North Downs Dairies, the cheese is matured naturally for about 12 months to create its strong flavour.
Desserts and Puddings
Winner Brakes Premier CrÁÂ¨me BrÁÂ»lÁÂ©e
Shortlisted Mini Classic Chocolate Truffle Torte from Aveston Kitchens;
Macphie CrÁÂ¨me BrÁÂ»lÁÂ©e
The product is made in France to a traditional recipe using cream, egg yolks and Madagascan vanilla beans.
Healthy and Ethical Products Á¢ÂÂ" Savoury
Winner Rickmers Bali Duo
Shortlisted Heinz Reduced Sugar & Salt Beanz;
Maggi Chicken Paste Bouillon;
McDougalls White Bread & Roll Mix
Bali Duo is a blend of easy-cook long grain rice and pearls of 100% durum wheat pasta, which cook together in eight minutes. A yield of about 115g of cooked product from 50g dry weight makes it particularly suitable for schools, hospitals and other cost-sector meal providers. Judges commented on how versatile the product was and said its softer texture would appeal to children.
Healthy and Ethical Products Á¢ÂÂ" Sweet
Winner RDA Passionfruit, Grape and Orange Juice
Shortlisted Brakes Healthier Choices Mixed Berry Frozen Yoghurt;
Strawberry Fristi Yoghurt Drink
RDA claims to produce the only 100% fresh, pure, organic range of juices and smoothies in the UK. Each bottle provides the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and contains the juice from the recommended daily intake of fruit. As with all products in the RDA range, Passionfruit, Grape and Orange Juice is also free from additives and preservatives. Judges described the drink as Á¢ÂÂa delicious, brilliant product with great flavoursÁ¢ÂÂ.
Winners Drink Me Chai Latte from Tea UK; Coffeehouse Marlow Espresso
Shortlisted CafÁÂ© Express from Finlay Beverages;
Coffeehouse Lezet Espresso
Judges picked two distinctly different products as winners in this category. Drink Me Chai Latte is a speciality tea infused with cinnamon, ginger and cloves and blended with milk.
The recipe is inspired by an American trend, which has seen the traditional Indian drink Westernised. Marlow Espresso from Coffeehouse is based on carefully selected regional coffees, offering an end-product that has none of the harsh, acidic undertones associated with poor-quality roasts and beans.
Impulse Snacking, Confectionery and Food on the Go
Winner Alpen Bar range from Weetabix
Shortlisted Brakes Premiere Assorted Petit Fours;
Brakes Truffle Selection;
More than 100 million Alpen Bars were eaten in the UK last year, with the number sold through food service outlets continuing to grow. Key growth markets include education and business and industry. Varieties in the range include Fruit & Nut, Strawberry with Yoghurt and Apple & Blackberry with Yoghurt.
Winner Maggi Mash Machine
Shortlisted NescafÁÂ© Half Caff;
Vegalene from Universe Foodservice
Maggi Mash Machine from NestlÁÂ© Foodservice serves six flavours of hot potato snacks at the touch of a button in convenient pots. The device is ideal for those caterers wanting to offer a healthier food-on-the-go alternative to chips and conventional snack foods.
KidsÁ¢ÂÂ Healthy Options Meals
Winner Bernard Matthews Turkey Premiere
Shortlisted Authentic Food Company Sweet and Sour Chicken
Turkey Premiere has been developed for the childrenÁ¢ÂÂs market and features 100% turkey breast meat, chopped and covered in a crispy crumb. The product has less than 10% fat and less than 0.4g of sodium per 100g.
KidsÁ¢ÂÂ Snacks and Drinks
Winner Simpsons Squishee from Cabana Soft Drinks
Shortlisted Dr PudsteinÁ¢ÂÂs, the MonsterÁ¢ÂÂs Stinky Foot from Heinz Foodservice;
Brakes Cool Clown;
Abbey Well Fruits
Simpsons Squishee is a slush drink, designed to be dispensed on the premises and produced in partnership with 20th Century FoxÁ¢ÂÂs hugely successful animated TV series. The drink comes in two flavours, Orange Overload and Strawberry Splurge, both aimed primarily at children aged between seven and 14. The drink contains real fruit juice and is fortified with vitamins.
Meat, Game, Poultry and Fish
Winner Brakes Premiere Craft Guild of Chefs Salmon and Cod Tartare Fishcake
Shortlisted ChefÁ¢ÂÂs Larder British Extra Matured Topside Beef from Booker;
ChefÁ¢ÂÂs Larder Premium Welsh Lamb (French Trimmed) from Booker
Brakes Premier Craft Guild of Chefs Salmon and Cod Tartare Fishcake was already a winning recipe, having been selected as the top product in the Brakes Seafood Challenge 2005, run in conjunction with the Craft Guild of Chefs. The recipe was created by chef Omero Gallucci of the Cumberland hotel, London and combines Scottish salmon with North Atlantic cod and the traditional ingredients of tartare sauce. The recipe also includes Charlotte potatoes, gherkins, capers and
Ready Meals Á¢ÂÂ" Main Courses
Winner (and Gold Award Winner) The Great British Pudding Company Steak, Mushroom and Ale Pudding from Central Foods.
Shortlisted Bang Bang Chicken from Pyrol Frozen foods;
Chicken Tikka Masaala from the Authentic Food Company;
Malaysian Beef Rendang from the Authentic Food Company
Judges couldnÁ¢ÂÂt fault Central FoodsÁ¢ÂÂ Steak, Mushroom and Ale Pudding which comprises pieces of steak in a rich ale and mushroom gravy encased in suet pastry. Each 370g portion is fully baked and can be reheated from frozen in the microwave. A case size of eight puddings is designed for caterers with limited freezer space.
Ready meals Á¢ÂÂ" Starters
Winner Knorr 100% Moroccan Style
Highly Commended Sea Products International Maryland Crab Cakes
Shortlisted Aviko Mega Wedges;
Authentic Food Company Chicken
Moroccan-style Chickpea is one of the latest additions to the Knorr 100% soup range. The recipe, which is inspired by North African cuisine, is tomato-based with chickpeas spiced with tumeric, cumin, cayenne pepper and a hint of coriander. The soup can be stored at ambient temperature and can be oven-heated. Highly commended in this category were Maryland Crab Cakes from Sea Products International.
Winner Twinings Green Tea and Lemon Iced Tea
Shortlisted Mango, Apple and Grapefruit Juice from RDA Organic;
Saxon 1050 Apple Juice Range
Á¢ÂÂVery refreshingÁ¢ÂÂ was the judgesÁ¢ÂÂ description of Twinings Green Tea and Lemon Iced Tea. The product is part of a range of six fruit-based flavours packed in 400ml re-sealable PET bottles for drinking on the go. Iced tea is worth some Á£10m in the out-of-home market as consumers continue to opt for healthier, non-carbonated soft drinks.
Winner Kitchen Range Foods Wasabi Mixed Tempura Vegetables
Shortlisted Brakes Premiere Real Italian Pizza Á¢ÂÂ" Mediterranean Chargrilled Vegetables;
Aubergine, Almond and Apricot Tagine from KK Fine Foods
Wasabi Mixed Tempura Vegetables are designed to appeal to vegetarian and non-vegetarian customers alike. ItÁ¢ÂÂs a selection of fresh carrot batons, green beans, baby corn and red and green peppers, seasoned with hot and spicy Japanese style Wasabi and coated in a light tempura batter.
3663 First for Foodservice is delighted to maintain its role as a sole sponsor of the prestigious Caterer Group Excellence in Food & Drink Awards 2005 for the third consecutive year.
Des Bell, Director of Marketing, 3663 comments, Á¢ÂÂWe have been delighted to support the Excellence Awards since their inception three years ago. The awards have grown rapidly with another year of success and a record number of entries. From the perspective of 3663 as the ongoing sole sponsor, it has been a rewarding experience to be actively involved with the event and to lend support to the strive for distinction in the industry.Á¢ÂÂ
Des continues: Á¢ÂÂThe overwhelming response of this yearÁ¢ÂÂs awards has made it clear that the industry is collectively keen on development, quality and variety. 3663 is committed to the provision of excellence, both in the products we source and the customer service we sustain. This yearÁ¢ÂÂs event has brought together an increased number of manufacturers and distributors in its pursuit of excellence across all sectors of the industry. Our continued support of the awards signifies our dedication to quality and the overall growth of the food service industry. We are delighted to congratulate the winners on their success.Á¢ÂÂ