West Dorset: Producers scoops haul of accolades at Taste of the West awards (From Bridport and Lyme Regis News)
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West Dorset: Producers scoops haul of accolades at Taste of the West awards
TOP PRIZE: Tim Maddams presents the Taste of the West award to Olivia Balson and Billy Balson of RJ Balson of Bridport for Best Bacon
West Dorset food producers and shopkeepers have brought home the bacon from the 2012 Taste of the West Awards.
Bridport butcher Richard Balson took the top prize for bacon with RJ Balson’s home-cured unsmoked back bacon.
It was a double triumph for Capreolus Fine Foods at Rampisham, which won the best new product category for Bay Cure bacon and took the prize for the best pancetta.
Clipper Teas, of Beaminster’s Single Estate Darjeeling Tea Tents won the best non-alcoholic hot drink title and The Town Mill Cheesemonger in Lyme Regis took the accolade for the south-west’s specialist retailer of the year.
Billy and Olivia Balson travelled to the Eden Project in Cornwall to pick up the bacon award from celebrity judge – TV presenter and chef Tim Maddams of River Cottage at a celebration honouring the “best of the best”.
RJ Balson in West Allington – Britain’s oldest family butchers are no stranger to awards but Richard Balson said it was always good to get recognition for producing locally sourced food in a traditional way.
“We are very pleased,” he said.
“It’s nice to know that our products are up there with the best.
“The bacon is our own curing recipe, using local free-range pork. We cure it ourselves and slice and pack it.
“This sort of thing is always good for Bridport and the local area which is well-known for its local foodstuffs”.
Established 19 years ago, the Taste of the West Awards showcase the best of food and drink produced in the region.
At the ceremony Tim Maddams commented: “The Taste of the West Awards is something fantastic to be involved with. I work with food everyday and it is great to highlight the best of the best.
“The awards ceremony was wonderful, it is amazing to see such a wonderful turn out, with fantastic food and in a stunning location.
“Judging was definitely hard, especially as these producers are already winners and their products are stunning!
“But in the end I had to pick the products that spoke to me.
“It was so rewarding, all the winners should be proud of their products.”