Food and drink producers from all over Wales celebrated the very best in local food and drink at the seventh annual True Taste Wales Food and Drink Awards in Cardiff.
The True Taste Awards were launched in 2002 as part of the Welsh Assembly Government's commitment to developing the food and drink sector and to building awareness of the Welsh food brand ‘Wales, the True Taste'.
This year attracted a record-breaking number of entries from over 350 companies and the winners are:
True Taste Meat Product (Lamb)
University Home Grown Lamb, Aberystwyth University
On 2,500 acres of beautiful farmland, head of hospitality Kevan Downing and University Farms Manager Huw McConochie have developed a unique university project in the form of a farm. Following huge interest at this year's Royal Welsh Show and now being awarded a True Taste Award, the Aberystwyth University farm is going from strength to strength and there are now plans to produce organic milk, cream and yoghurts, potatoes and even turkeys.
Stockists: 01970 621961
True Taste Meat Product (Beef): Pedigree Welsh Black Sirloin Steak
True Taste Organic Product: Organic Free Range Woodland Tamworth Leg of Pork Oaklands Organics
Oakland Farm, the home of Oaklands Organics, is a 133 acre grassland farm managed by John and Rebecca O'Dwyer. At Oaklands they pride themselves on producing the best quality products with little stress to the animals or danger to the environment.
Oaklands pasture land is grazed by a heard of Pedigree Welsh Black cows and their three small flocks of Welsh ewes: Badger-face, Devils Bridge and Balwen, which are a rare-breed and are protected by the Rare Breed Survival Trust. They have free-range Tamworth Pigs, also a rare-breed, roaming the oak woodland, and free-range chickens living in shall flocks.
True Taste Meat Product (Bacon & Sausage)
Italian Fennel Sausage (100% meat), Trealy Farm Charcuterie
Trealy Farm combines traditional methods of curing, smoking and air-drying with innovation and technology inspired by training with charcuterie makers across Europe. They make British and continental-style fresh and cooked sausages as well as traditionally cured bacons and hams. Their range also includes air-dried products rarely made in the UK such as chorizo, air-dried ham, loin and pancetta and a range of salami including a lightly smoked snack-sized ‘snack salami' and cabanos.
It is a family-run farm-based business that sources its pigs from Trealy Farm or other local farms. All are free-ranging, fed a natural diet and are traditional breed, primarily Gloucester Old Spot, Welsh and Saddleback. Other meats they use are also reared locally and free-ranging.
Stockists: Tel: 01600 740705,www.trealyfarm.com
True Taste Award Meat Product (Game & Poultry): Smoked Duck Breast
True Taste Fish Product: Peppered Oak Smoked Salmon
Black Mountains Smokery
Based in Crickhowell, Black Mountains Smokery is a family run business. It produces a wide range of traditional naturally smoked foods including smoked salmon, trout, haddock, duck, chicken and cheese. All food is purchased from British farms with excellent standards of animal welfare and guaranteed free from all artificial colouring, flavouring and preservatives.
Ffetys-mature, Y Cwt Caws
Produced in the Dulas Farmhouse Dairies in a bespoke goat milking parlour and dairy, this cheese is made from pasteurised milk from free-range goats. It is then matured in brine until it has aged sufficiently to give it the perfect flavour.
Stockists: 01248 410 372
True Taste Dairy Product (Large Producer - produced in a factory)
Crème FraÁ®che, Rachel's Organic
Rachel's Organic luxury Crème FraÁ®che is intensely creamy with a uniquely indulgent taste.
True Taste Award Baked & Confectionery Product (Small Producer)
Gower Cottage Brownies
Now available to buy online with next-day delivery, Kate Jenkins' award-winning chocolate and walnut brownies are also available gluten free and nut free using fresh ingredients and have become the must have cakes for all who have tasted them.
Stockists: available to buy online atwww.gowercottagebrownies.co.uk
True Taste Baked and Confectionery Product (Medium Producer)
Free-Range Chicken, Leek and Laverbread Pie, Leonardo's Delicatessen Leonardo's is a delicatessen specialising in Welsh and Continental food & drink. It was established in January 2000 in north Wales. This year they were approached by a local farmer asking if they could use his free range chicken in a recipe and the owner, Andreas Brunzel, decided to marry it with leeks, fresh cream and - to give it a Welsh twist - laverbread.
Stockists: Leonardo's Delicatessen, 01824 707 161
True Taste Baked & Confectionery Product (Large Producer)
Steak Pie, Steak & Ale Pie and Mince Pie, Lewis Pies Lewis Pies was established in 1936 as a small bakery employing four people and is now a large manufacturing company with 100 full time staff. Lewis Pies is focused on becoming the UK's first choice supplier of pies and savoury products.
Stockists: 01792 579908, www.bako.co.ukand regionally through their fleet of van sales covering Wales and the West of England
True Taste Drink Product (Non-Alcoholic)
Will and Jamie's Fresh Yoghurt Drink (Seasonal Fruits), Culture Drinks
Culture Drinks was formed by two dairy farmers looking to add value to their milk sales. Will and Jamie both feel strongly about the company's affinity to the natural countryside of west Wales. Their Seasonal Fruit Yoghurt Drink which is made from milk from their own dairy herd, a fruit conserve (sourced from a local supplier, Miranda's Preserves) and apple juice.
Stockists:www.castellhowellfoods.co.ukand for further information visitwww.willandjamies.co.uk
True Taste Drink Product (Alcoholic)
Gimmers Mischief Premium Ale - Export, Pen-Lon Cottage Brewery
Pen-Lon Cottage Brewery is family-run and based in the coastal region of Ceredigion, west Wales. All its beers are hand crafted in small batches using simple traditional methods and ingredients, giving the ales a unique taste. The clean intense flavours are only produced by using natural brewing methods. The beers are naturally matured with traditional bottle conditioning, are vegan friendly and contain only natural ingredients and so are 100% chemical free.
Stockists:www.localfoodshop.co.ukor 01545 580022
Further information seewww.penlon.biz
True Taste Speciality Product (Condiments/ Sauces/ Preserves)
Pesto, Capital PÁ¢tés and Terrines Capital PÁ¢tés and Terrines operate a unique Welsh restaurant and 'food to go' operation, which has become an icon in the Welsh food industry for its continued promotion of Welsh food and drink. They have a presence at many large events such as the Hay on Wye literary festival, RHS Flower show and Royal Welsh Show and offer a range of great products for the restaurant industry.
Handmade with no artificial flavourings, colours or preservatives, the pesto is made in small batches to ensure the quality is maintained throughout the process.
Stockists:www.capitalpatesandterrines.co.ukor Barons Patisserie 029 2046 4090
True Taste Speciality Product (Desserts/ Puddings)
Seville Pudding, The Pudding Compartment The Pudding Compartment specialises in the creation of premium puddings and desserts. It offers a range of traditional and contemporary puddings produced to the highest standards using high quality, seasonal ingredients locally sourced wherever possible. All the puddings are hand made in a craft kitchen in the old market town of Abergele on the north Wales coast.
Stockists:www.thepuddingcompartment.co.ukand at various specialist food shops across the country
True Taste Speciality Product (Healthy Options)
Fresh Organic Shiitake Mushrooms, Maesyffin Mushrooms Maesyffin Mushrooms have been growing organic shiitake mushrooms in rural west Wales since 2003. The mushrooms grow on fruiting blocks made mainly from locally sourced oak and are cultivated in a system developed by Humungus Fungus. The entire process is certified as organic by the UK Soil Association. The mushrooms work well with red meat and chicken and the stems can also be used to make a highly nutrituous stock.
True Taste Speciality Product (Pre-packed/ Convenience)
Braised Welsh Lamb with Ratatouille, ej catering
ej catering started in 1999 providing catering for weddings, corporate and private clients. The company caters for every need from delicious gastro canapés for smart client entertaining, working hot or cold buffet lunches for in-house events or full Á la carte for any special occasion in the work place or at home. Its focus has always been on locally sourced ingredients and quality cooking. In 2006 ej catering created Heat Fine Food offering the same quality of food but as a DIY take away and mail order product.
True Taste Speciality Product (Other)
Huntsman Pie, Edwards of Conwy
Edwards of Conwy is a traditional European award winning master butcher located in the historical town of Conwy, north Wales.
Ieuan Edwards, a farmer's son from the Conwy valley, served his apprenticeship in the market town of Llanrwst, before successfully completing courses in both Switzerland and Holland. He opened his butchers shop at the age of 20, and now employs over 30 staff.
Other winners include:
True Taste Farming Partnership: Calon Wen Organic Milk Co-op
True Taste Retailer of the Year: The Hawarden Estate Farm Shop
True Taste Sustainable Development Award: Calon Wen Organic Milk Co-op
True Taste Local Hero Store Manager: - Geoff Garrard, SPAR Tates, Aberystwyth
True Taste Food Tourism Destination: adventa/ Monmouthshire County Council
True Taste Eating Out in Wales:
- Overall and mid Wales regional winner: Castle Cottage Restaurant with Rooms
- North Wales regional winner: Tyddyn Llan
- South east Wales regional winner: The Chandlery Restaurant
- South west Wales regional winner: Slice
By Diane Lane