The Oscars of the South West food and drink world, the Food Reader Awards 2022, took place on Monday night (June 27) at Winslade Manor near Exeter. It was hosted by Food Magazine, and the result of a record 100,000 nominations and votes cast across 13 award categories.
This year’s prestigious Best Chef accolade, sponsored by Sharp’s Brewery, was awarded to Great British Menu chef and founder of Robin Wylde in Lyme Regis, Harriet Mansell. Harriet fought off tough competition from fellow chefs Adam Handling of Ugly Butterfly in Cornwall, Charlotte Vincent (formerly of The Five Bells in Clyst Hydon, Devon) and Ron Faulkner of Ronnie’s of Thornbury to claim the coveted title.
Luxury manor house hotel Lympstone Manor in Devon, run and owned by chef patron Michael Caines MBE, won the Best Hotel award, sponsored by Ellis Wines. Best Dining Pub, sponsored by Frobishers, went to fellow Devon establishment The Bull Inn, Totnes.
Other hospitality awards saw The Beckford Bottle Shop in Bath crowned Best Restaurant (sponsored By Total Produce), Electric Bakery in Bude, Cornwall the Best Cafe (sponsored by Roastworks) and Best Cocktail Bar (sponsored by RAW Food & Drink PR) presented to HydeAway in Frome, a prohibition-style cocktail bar which only opened in the summer of 2021.
Rodda’s Clotted Cream won the hotly contested Best Food Product award (sponsored by Salt Media), while Best Drink Product (sponsored by Wickhams online wine and spirit merchant) was presented to Sharp’s Brewery for its amber ale, Doom Bar.
Retail awards went to Devon’s veg and meat box scheme, Veg in a Box, which won Best Indie Retailer (sponsored by Independent Coffee Guide), with the Best Farm Shop accolade going to Teals in Somerset (sponsored by The Devon Meat Box Company).
Devon Cookery School took home the Best Cookery School gong (sponsored by Flying Fish Seafoods), while readers voted Emily Scott Food at Watergate Bay Hotel as Best Newcomer (sponsored by South West 660) for Emily’s incredible menus built around local seafood.
Trewithen Dairy in Cornwall was crowned Sustainability Champion (sponsored by Blue Marble) in recognition of its regenerative farming initiatives.
Food Magazine editor, Kathryn Lewis, commented on the awards, saying: ‘For 19 years, Food Magazine has championed the South West’s best independent food and drink businesses. We launched the awards in 2012 to celebrate and acknowledge the very best restaurants, cafes, pubs, chefs, hotels, producers, retailers and cookery schools in the South West, so we were thrilled to receive 100,000 votes this year.’
‘The quality of entrants was extremely high and the awards ceremony was a who’s who of the movers and shakers of the South West’s food and drink scene. Huge congratulations goes to all of this year’s winners and finalists, and we’d like to thank all of the Food Magazine readers who took the time to cast their votes in the awards.’
At the prize-giving ceremony, Winslade Manor’s executive chef Matt Mason crafted a stunning four-course celebration dinner which was matched with wines from Ellis Wines and craft beers from Sharp’s Brewery.
The supporters and sponsors of the Food Reader Awards 2022 include Ellis Wines, Flying Fish Seafoods, Frobishers, Indy Coffee Box, RAW Food & Drink PR, Roastworks Coffee Co, Sharp’s Brewery, South West 660, The Devon Meat Box Co., Total Produce and Wickhams.
For further information about the Food Reader Awards, including the categories, winners and finalists, please visit https://food-mag.co.uk/features/food-reader-awards-2022/.