All the Winners from the Young British Foodie Awards 2017
MUNCHIES partnered for a second year with the YBFs to recognise the best in new UK food and drink talent. Here’s the full list of winners.
Since 2011, the Young British Foodie Awards has been celebrating up-and-coming names in UK food and drink. More than just another awards ceremony, it notices the artisan ice cream sandwich-makers before they end up on your Instagram feed, and champions rising food writers and innovative chefs everyone should be talking about.
This year was no different, as MUNCHIES partnered for the second time with the YBFs to celebrate a new crop of bartenders, food bloggers, butchers, chefs, farmers, bakers, and more.
Here's the full list of who won big on the night.
Alcohol: Ruth Spivey
The nominees for this year's Alcohol prize included a non-alcoholic brewery and railway arch winery, but it was Ruth Spivey who won out with her Wine Car Boot. Launched in 2013, the pop-up event helps small, independent wine businesses get their bottles to customers more acquainted with the supermarket wine aisle. In Spivey's own words "Wine Car Boot is about fun and meaningful engagement. I swapped spittoons for a sound system, and water biscuits for real food people actually want to eat with wine."
Street Food: Kitty Travers
This year's Street Food crown was taken by Kitty Travers, who runs London-based ice cream stall La Grotta Ice. With flavours like saffron and honey custard and papaya, green chili, and lime, she fended off competition from Taiwanese dumplings specialists Dumpling Heart and Yorkshire-based "gastro pop-up" Shoot the Bull.
Baking: Terri Mercieca
Judged by YBF founder Lily Jones of Lily Vanilli bakery, alongside renowned baker Claire Ptak and St. John pastry chef Justin Gellatly, this year's Baking prize went to London-based Terri Mercieca, who runs the Fraise Sauvage dessert company and Happy Endings ice cream sandwich brand.
Meat: Rebecca and Simon Wilson
This year's Meat category included black pudding from Belfast and Welsh charcuterie, but it was Jolly Nice farm and shop in Gloucestershire that won the judges over. Owners Rebecca and Simon Wilson rear a Shorthorn suckler herd of cows, as well as Tamworth and Old Spot pigs, and have their own on-site butchery team who produce Scotch eggs, sausage rolls, and "Kentucky fried pheasant."
Judge and Meatopia UK founder Richard H. Turner said: "These guys have a story, their meat is excellent and they've shown vision. They're bringing rare breed meat to the masses."
Front-of-House: Kieran Monteiro
The Front-of-House award was introduced last year as a way to recognise the hard working waitstaff, maitre d's, and managers who prop up any good restaurant. Kieran Monteiro took the prize for his work at West London restaurant group Boma.
Food Sharing: Riaz Phillips
Despite only being introduced last year as a new category to recognise those who use online platforms to progress British food and drink, Food Sharing 2017 received a strong roster of entries, including sibling bloggers the Dumpling Sisters and food and film pop-up KinoVino. But champion of them all of was Riaz Phillips, whose self-published book Belly Full: Caribbean Food in the UK started out as a Tumblr blog. It shines a light on the bakers, shop owners, chefs, and restaurateurs of Britain's extensive Afro-Caribbean food community.
Cookbook author Melissa Hemsley, food Instagrammer Clerkenwell Boy, and MUNCHIES' own Phoebe Hurst made up the judging panel, and were hugely impressed by Phillips' project.
Vegetables: Ross Geach
Veggie cookbook author Anna Jones and Kylee Newton of London preservers Newton and Pott judged this year's Vegetable category, and settled on Ross Geach of Padstow Kitchen Garden as their winner. Geach learned how to garden from his grandad and began selling vegetables after a stint as head chef of Rick Stein's Cafe. Today, he's a supplier for his former boss.
Fresh Voices in Food Writing: Olivia Potts
Judged by Yotam Ottolenghi, Marina O'Loughlin, and Tracey MacLeod, the Fresh Voices in Food Writing is kind of a big deal. This year's winner was Olivia Potts, who started her cookery blog, A Half Baked Idea, in 2014 after the death of her mother. "I found myself 25, motherless, heartbroken not knowing things I never knew I wanted to know," she writes. "Amongst those were her dishes. Losing her meant losing her food; I had never once asked for a recipe, and now it was too late." Potts' blog tracks her progress teaching herself to cook and has now grown to contain many of her own original recipes.
Chef: Alex Harper
Arguably the most hotly contested category, this year's cheffing award went to Alex Harper of Mayfair restaurant Neo Bistro, who won out over six other finalists including Hus Vedat from Turkish restaurant Yosma and Kricket's Will Bowlby. Judges James Lowe, Nuno Mendes, journalist-turned-chef Lisa Markwell, Camilla Schneideman of Leiths cookery school, and Bubbledogs co-founder James Knappett fell for Harper's deceptively simple chocolate tart, served with malt ice cream.
Markwell praised the standard of entries this year but added: "Next year, we're hoping for even more gender equality in the entries and from everywhere in the UK." Female chefs: consider that your rallying cry.
Honorary: Grant Harrington
Chef-turned-butter maker Grant Harrington won this year's honorary category, fighting off competition from sustainable milk producer Nick Millard and smoked salmon purveyors Lambton & Jackson. YBFs co-founder and judge Chloe Scott-Moncrieff explained what gave his entry the edge: "Grant's butter was salty, buttery, creamy, heavenly. It shines a buttercup yellow hue, thanks to the cow's rich diet. He wants Britain to reconsider butter, rediscover it, we felt he was pioneering, because few, if any, are doing what he's doing."
Tanqueray InGinuity Award: Christina Schneider
Drinks specialist Christina Schneider of London Thai restaurant Som Saa took this additional category prize for her Thai-inspired cocktails and front-of-house skills, which impressed Alcohol judges Alice Lascelles and Tony Conigliaro.